NASELLE - The Naselle Comets fell behind early to the state's seventh-ranked team, the Tacoma Baptist Crusaders, but came back to score a pair of second half touchdowns in losing the Pacific League game 55-13 Friday night. The Comets varsity record fell to 1-5 for the season, 0-3 in league games.
The Comets trailed badly, 41-0, with a goose egg on the scoreboard by halftime. Tacoma Baptist's Barclay Tull amazingly gained 162 yards on only five carries, and scored two touchdowns on runs of 70 and 81 yards. Quarterback Adam Greuner, who was a perfect 6-for-6 passing, for 93 yards and four touchdowns, all thrown to Jeff Gudaitis.
However, the Comets rallied with two TDs in the second half to avoid the shutout. Aoy Marion got the Comets first score on a 16 yard run. Jason Gradt kicked the extra point after the TD. The second TD come on a four yard pass from Doug Wise to Randy Johnson.
"The kids are hanging in there," said Naselle coach Robin Andrea. "They are still learning, as we are a very young team competing against some very strong teams in the league and district."
Four of the teams in the area, including Tacoma Baptist, are ranked among the top B teams in the state.
"Our offense gained lots of yards but we couldn't stop their big plays," said Andrea. "We also took care of the ball better with only two fumbles and not losing either of them."
Andrea praised the play of Marion for both his offense and defense, Jason Gradt for his kicking, punting and defense, Gavin Maxwell for his defense, Bobby Footh for his defense, and Carl Fredrickson, who was playing with injuries, but still managed to intercept a pass and play good defense.
The injury bug took a toll on the Comets with Kyle Burkhalter suffering a shoulder injury when it popped out and then popped back in again, joining at least four other Comets who are slowed or sidelined. The other injuries are to Fredrickson, who has had several injuries, Richard Smith who was out of this game, Caleb Hazen who is out for at least two weeks, and Colby Engelson who was out for this game.
The Comets travel to Menlo this Friday to take on the Willapa Valley
Vikings, who beat Raymond 31-14 Friday, and are still in the hunt for one of the top spots in the league.