GOLDENDALE — Odessa took a 48-0 lead two seconds into the second quarter on its way to a 76-14 win over Naselle Saturday.
The Tigers, who reached State semifinals after being ranked number one much of last year, were unstoppable running the option, with running backs Marcus King and Josh Clark doing most of the damage. They also showcased their team speed on defense. They brought a strong pass rush and quickly closed gaps when the Comets got the ball in open space, keeping Naselle’s potent offense off the scoreboard until late in the third quarter.
King took an option pitch 64 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play, the first of his four long first-quarter touchdowns. King scored on another outside pitch, made a dazzling open-field move on a catch-and-run play on his third TD, and caught a long pass down the sideline for his fourth score, Odessa’s fifth of the game with 1:25 remaining in the first period.
Tim DeWulf followed with a diving 30-yard touchdown catch on the opening play of the second quarter. On the first play of the Tigers’ next drive, Josh Clark ran 67 yards up the middle for another touchdown. Helped by a seven-for-seven performance on two-point conversions to that point, the Tigers were ahead 56-0 less than 15 minutes in.
Ethan Lindstrom caught a pair of long Cole Dorman passes on a third-quarter drive, the second of which was a thirty-five yarder to put the Comets on the scoreboard. Josh Townsen’s two-point conversion catch made it 68-8. Lindstrom then recovered his own onside kick, bouncing it straight up the middle, running right behind the ball and pouncing on it. In the fourth quarter, Naselle’s Antonio Nolan broke away for a 54-yard touchdown run.
Coach Jeff Eaton noted that Lindstrom can make plays even against extremely athletic teams. “He’s a faster player, and he has some moves. Fa’oso [Tutu’u] will be another threat; he’s even a step faster than Ethan.” But Dorman often had to make throws earlier than it appeared he wanted to. Eaton said the line, which has two new starters and could take time to gel, will have to give Dorman time to throw against elite opponents. “We might have to move Vince Fauver to guard (from center) to deal with speed rushers from the edge. We’ll take a look at some things,” he said.
Jack Ruch suffered a first-quarter concussion and will be out for two weeks.