NASELLE — The Comets used two onside kick recoveries to pile up points quickly in a blowout victory over short-handed Taholah Friday, Nov. 1. Naselle scored three touchdowns in the first four minutes and led 38-0 after a quarter in the 56-0 victory.

The Comets’ dizzying scoring pace came despite losing a fumble at the Taholah one-yard line on their first possession. The Comets quickly got a defensive stop, and from then on everything went right for the home team.

The Comets’ offense, usually run-heavy, showed balance. Ethan Lindstrom put Naselle on the board with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jason Harman. After on onside kick recovery, he struck again with a 48-yard scoring strike to Tutu’u. Another onside kick set up a 47-yard Joey Strange touchdown run.

On the day, the Comets passed on nine of 19 offensive plays. (A running clock after the first quarter limited these numbers.)

Tutu’u finished with two touchdown catches, the 48-yarder and a 62-yarder. Lindstrom and Strange each had a pair of touchdown runs. Backup quarterback Warren Wirkkala threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Chase Haataia.

Taholah, which has forfeited two games this season due to a lack of eligible or available players, barely had enough to field a team.

“Their athletic director talked to Brian (Macy) earlier in the week and they thought they would be able to bring 18 or 19 players, but they had guys who quit or didn’t show up, so they only came with 12 players,” Naselle coach Jeff Eaton said.

That left Taholah’s offensive line overmatched, and talented quarterback JauVon James-Juneau under constant pressure.

“There were several plays where Fa’aoso, Kolten (Lindstrom), and Jakoby Johnson were all three harassing him,” Eaton said.

Friday’s victory was Naselle’s second of the year against Taholah.

Naselle finished the regular season 9-0. They will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. In the second round they will play in Aberdeen against the winner of a matchup between Taholah and Crescent, which Taholah may forfeit. Naselle won 56-14 at Crescent in October.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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