NASELLE — Jason Harman and Jimmy Strange each scored three touchdowns in Naselle’s 72-12 win over the Mustangs of Rainier Christian Friday, Sept. 7. Cole Dorman threw four touchdown passes, and Warren Wirkkala threw another two. It was Naselle’s fourth win in three years over the Mustangs. The matchup has become more one-sided since the Comets’ six-point playoff win two seasons ago.
Strange ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries, caught a 41-yard touchdown pass and made a team-high 11 tackles on defense. On Naselle’s third possession, he got to the outside of the defense for a 23-yard run, then powered through the middle for a five-yard touchdown to put the Comets up 14-0. His 41-yard run set up another TD early in the second quarter. He started the second half with a 50-yard touchdown run. Later in the third quarter, he jumped to catch a short pass and took it all the way for 41 yards.
That catch by Strange was one of many plays where the Comets turned short passes into long gains. Dorman, who went nine of 15 for 210 yards, was hitting his receivers in stride and allowing them to make plays. On Naselle’s second possession, Dorman hit Ethan Lindstrom on a quick crossing route nine yards downfield, and Lindstom took it the rest of the way for a 24-yard touchdown to put the Comets on the board. Jacob Eaton caught a pass along the sideline, wiggled away from the corner and took off for a 30-yard touchdown to put Naselle up 20-0 8:19 into the game. Eaton also took a short crossing route for a 44-yard gain in the second half.
Harman returned a second-quarter interception for a touchdown to extend the lead to 36-0. Wirkkala, who came on in relief of Dorman at quarterback, threw touchdowns to Harman on two of his three passes. One of the plays went for 62 yards as Harman broke a tackle in the open field. Coach Jeff Eaton said Wirkkala had practiced all week at center, in case Vince Fauver had to be held out due to injury, getting no reps at quarterback in practice. He still went 3 for 3 for 107 yards.
Antonio Nolan ran for 48 yards and a score on five carries and added nine tackles and a key interception. The Mustangs had responded to Naselle’s first touchdown by driving deep into Comets territory, but Nolan picked off an underthrown pass at the eight-yard line and returned it to the 40. Fifteen yards tacked on for a horse collar tackle put Naselle in Mustang territory to start their drive, setting them up for their second touchdown.
Jakobe Johnson had back-to-back sacks at the end of the first quarter, helping set the Comets up on another short field. Joey Strange had a sack and batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Fauver added another sack.
Naselle will play Tacoma Baptist at Tacoma’s Curtis High School Saturday at 7:00.