In a game that was slightly more dramatic than it should have been, the Astoria Fishermen reeled in another whopper Friday night at John Warren Stadium, as they opened the Cowapa League football season with a 48-34 win over Scappoose.
Astoria led 41-6 early in the third period before the Indians woke up and outplayed Astoria over the final 24 minutes. But they simply ran out of time in their comeback attempt.
Astorias 14-point win over the Indians (who lost to No. 1-ranked Central in overtime the week before) should move fourth-ranked Astoria up the 4A rankings.
Meanwhile, every button Astoria pushed and nearly every play they ran in the first half Friday worked to perfection.
The Fishermen scored on their fifth play from scrimmage, a 9-yard pass from Conor Harber to Josh Ferguson.
After a fourth-down conversion attempt failed on the second series, Astoria drove 81 yards in 10 plays on its third possession.
The drive was keyed by Harbers 31-yard pass to Dillon Smith on a third-and-10 play, a 22-yard run by Harber to the Scappoose 21, then Harbers 12-yard completion to Smith at the 5.
Harber capped the drive with a 5-yard TD run. The senior had another big night, rushing for 206 yards on 27 carries and throwing another four touchdowns, giving him nine TD passes in the last two weeks.
He also made all six point-after attempts, running his season total to 21-for-23.
Harbers supporting cast includes running back Wyatt Wullger, who scored on a 39-yard run to open the second quarter; Kai Vaughn, the recipient of a 12-yard TD pass with 6:16 left in the first half; and Ferguson, who caught his second touchdown pass to help Astoria post a 34-6 halftime lead.
Wullger had another scoring run early in the third quarter for a 41-6 lead.
The Scappoose offense kicked into gear in the third, keyed by big completions from quarterback Cody Stutzer to receiver Paul Revis.
Stutzer may have come close to setting a field record with 424 yards passing, completing 26-of-46. He threw a pair of interceptions, to Ferguson and Harber.
Revis finished with 12 catches for 192 yards. Stutzer had TD strikes of 55 and 54 yards in the third quarter, to Revis and A.J. Fazio, respectively.
Harber had a late TD pass to his other target, Smith, who finished with seven catches for 101 yards.
The Fishermen play their first true road game of the season Friday at Yamhil-Carlton (1-4), followed by a home game vs. Tillamook (1-3) and an afternoon game at Seaside (0-5) Oct. 28 before a possible league title showdown at Banks Nov. 4.
Astorias win over Scappoose was its fourth in four years, and fifth in the last six.