CAMAS - The Naselle Comets will be well-traveled by the end of this football season, with games in such locations as Seattle and Tacoma. Their journey began last Friday night with a game against Vancouver Christian (VC), held in Camas. The Comets, made up largely by younger, less experienced players, came out on the short end of a 28-14 score in their first game.
Assistant coach Jeff Eaton said, "I felt that our line started to do much better as the game went along, especially since several of our kids were playing their first game and we were missing several guys who we hope to have later."
The Comets did do better as the game progressed. Naselle trailed the VC team 13-0 at the half but were able to crack the end zone in the third quarter. The score was set up by a long pass/run from Kyle Burkhalter to freshman Colton Gilbert. Freshman tailback Austin Burkhalter ran three yards for Naselle's first score of the season. The run for the two point conversion failed, and the Comets closed the gap to 13-6. VC came back to score again in the third, topped off with a 2-point conversion to make the score 21-6.
The Comets came back with a fourth period score on Tony Rush's 1-yard plunge. Kyle Burkhalter ran in for the 2-point conversion and the Comets were within a touchdown at 21-14. Naselle then came within a couple of yards of tying the score but they were stopped on the VC three yard line.
The host team then put together a 97-yard drive, scoring on a short run. After kicking the extra point, Vancouver Christian had the 28-13 lead and the win in the season opening game.
Eaton had praise for the offensive play of Kyle Burkhalter and Colton Gilbert. He said, "Kyle passed (195 yards) and ran the ball well (129 yards) and Colton ran well. Our offensive line gave Kyle some good pass protection, especially later in the game."
On defense, Eaton complimented the tackling of Kyle Burkhalter, Jeremy Rae, and Alan Erickson. He also praised the defensive line play of Mike Shirley, and he commented on the improved play of the defensive line as the game went along as the VC team was almost exclusively a running team.
Naselle is now 0-1, and host their first game of the season this coming Thursday, when they play the JV team from Astoria High School.
Naselle 0 0 6 8 - 14
Vancouver C. 13 0 8 7 - 28
N - Austin Burkhakter, 3 run, (run failed)
N - Tony Ruch, 1 run, (Kyle Burkhalter run)
Naselle team stats: VC team and individual stats: N/A
39 Rush for 195
10/22 passing for 134
3 penalties for 20 yards
1 fumble 1 lost '
17 First downs
Kyle Burkhalter= 10/22 195 no interceptions
22 rush for 129 yards
Austin Burkhalter= 7 receptions 44 yards
10 rush for 33 yards
Colton Gilbert 1 reception for 63 yards to set up first TD (3rd Qtr)
2 rushes for 27 yards