The Astoria Fishermen weathered the weather Friday night at CMH Field.

They could not, however, weather a pair of big plays by the Molalla Indians.

Quite possibly the two biggest plays of Molalla's season helped the Indians turn the tide of a close game into a 21-12 win over the Fishermen.

A wet, slick turf and a rainy second half in Astoria's home on the hill did not seem to favor either team.

What favored Molalla was possibly a worn out Fishermen defense.

Astoria entered the fourth quarter with a 6-0 lead, before two back-to-back offensive plays by the Indians was all it took to help Molalla score its second win ever as a member of the Cowapa League.

The Fishermen statistically dominated the Indians for nearly three full quarters, but had only six points to show for it.

An interception by Astoria's Tristan Boyle early in the second quarter gave the Fishermen the ball at the Molalla 27-yard line.

From there, it took Astoria just two plays to reach the end zone, a pass from Bo Williams to Dylan Junes resulting in a 45-yard score and the first lead of the season for the Fishermen.

In a key series for the Molalla defense, Astoria finished its last drive of the first half at the Indian 1-yard line on a failed fourth down attempt.

The score remained 6-0 through the third quarter.

Molalla — which had arguably done nothing on offense through three quarters (the Indians had just 29 yards in total offense at halftime) — got tricky in the fourth.

With just four first downs entering the final period (and two of those were by penalty), the Indians drew up an option pass on a second down play from their own 13-yard line early in the fourth.

And Damian Pingo's pass hit a wide open Jacob Nix, who took it the remaining 60 yards for an 87-yard touchdown. Francisco Ignacio's point-after kick gave the Indians the lead for good.

The Fishermen had to punt after three plays of the ensuing drive, and — perhaps a little stunned and maybe a little tired — Astoria's defense gave up another touchdown on Molalla's very next play from scrimmage, a 61-yard run by quarterback Isaac Thomas-Klementis.

Before his biggest carry of the night, Thomas-Klementis had minus-2 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Not ready to cash in just yet, the Fishermen forced a Molalla fumble with 4:56 left, and followed with a one-play scoring drive of their own, as Williams connected with Michael Moore for a 31-yard score.

But the Indians answered with a few big first down plays on their next series, and capped it with another long TD run by Thomas-Klementis from 40 yards out to give Molalla a nine-point lead.

Astoria's Ryan Stutznegger had 72 yards rushing on 19 attempts, while Williams was 16-of-29 passing for 175 yards. Boyle caught five passes for 71 yards.

Molalla had six first downs in the fourth quarter, after just four through the first three quarters.

The Fishermen fell to 0-7 with the loss.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or

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