Comets crush Chitwhins 56-20

Donny Edwards tried to tackle a Taholah receiver during a rainy game.

TAHOLAH — Oct. 21 on a soggy, slippery field, the Comets beat Taholah 56-20. Erik Lund had four touchdown runs, and Nick Gaines had three and a half of the Comets’ eight sacks. It was Naselle’s second win over the Chitwhins on the season; this one went in the books as a non-league game for the Coastal League-champion Comets.

The heavy rains Friday were more than the field could soak up. On one play, the cornerback and receiver both fell in standing water, and both teams frequently missed tackles. The Comets mostly threw away the passing portion of their playbook. The Chitwhins, in contrast, were determined to rely on their best players, scrambling quarterback Jason Mowitch and receiver Jessie Perdy.

The Comets sputtered on offense early until a pair of long runs from Antonio Nolan put them on the board. Nolan broke a tackle for an 18-yard pickup on third-and-nine, then beat Perdy to the outside, took it down the sideline and high-stepped a tackler for a 32-yard touchdown, putting the Comets ahead with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter.

Mowitch answered with a 90-yard drive, completing passes into the rain and slipping away for long runs on scrambles. On the final play of the drive, he stepped out of a sack, spun off another defender, cut back and scored on a 30-yard run to tie the game.

Lund got the lead back for the Comets, running through tackles for a 24-yard touchdown on the final play of the first quarter. Lund followed on defense with a sack for a 14-yard loss. Two plays later, Parker Dalton picked off a pass and ran it back for a score, increasing the lead to 18-6.

On the next drive, Taholah tried to move away from slow-developing pass plays in favor of quick strikes. However, Donny Edwards and Dalton made excellent tackles, preventing yardage-after-the-catch and forcing a third-and-six. Ethan Lindstrom came with a blitz and dropped Mowitch immediately, forcing fourth-and-twelve. Lund finished the Chitwhins off with another sack, all the way back at the Taholah one-yard-line, where the Comets took over. Lund punched it in right away with his second rushing touchdown of the game to make it 24-6.

By halftime, the Comets led 30-6.

Nolan put another nail in the coffin with a 73-yard touchdown just over a minute into the second half. It was the first of four 60-plus yard runs in the second half, three of them by the Comets. Fa’aoso Tutu’u added a 70-yarder, and Lund came up with a 60-yarder for his fourth score of the game. Tutu’u scored again from 26 yards out with 2:29 remaining.

Nolan had a team-leading 178 yards on nine carries, Tutu’u had 117 on six, and Lund ran 104 yards on 10 carries. Lund had 2.5 sacks to go with 3.5 for Gaines.

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