Astoria had just 73 yards rushing Friday night to Gladstone’s 351.
But, the Fishermen took advantage of the “Great Equalizer” against the Gladiators: Turnovers.
Gladstone eventually won the nonleague football game at Dick Baker Stadium, 21-20, but made it much tougher than it should have been.
The Gladiators had four turnovers — three of which led to all three Astoria touchdowns — and the Fishermen came within one successful two-point conversion of winning the Week 2 matchup.
As it was, Astoria failed on two of its three two-point attempts in the one-point loss.
Gladstone senior running back Tate Brechbiel was the star of the night, rushing for 247 yards on 35 carries, and sealed the game with a 47-yard run on a third-and-nine play in the final minute.
The Gladiators were in great shape with four minutes left, leading 21-12 with the ball at the Astoria 14-yard line.
But a fumble gave new life to the Fishermen, who scored seven plays later on a 50-yard pass from Rocky Rub to Colton McMaster, who broke several tackles to reach the end zone.
Astoria was unable to recover the ensuing onside kick.
The Gladiators lost two of their four fumbles, and Gladstone’s leading receiver was Astoria’s Connelly Fromwiller, who intercepted two passes by Gladiator quarterback Bradye Owen, who completed just one pass to his own team.
Gulls 48, Newport 0
A September preview of a November state championship game?
Fans may get that look later this week when Seaside visits Estacada for a Week 3 nonleague football game.
The Gulls are certainly looking like they will be contending in late November, as Seaside cruised to another mercy-rule win Friday, building a 41-0 first half lead on their way to an easy 48-0 win over Newport.
It’s been a fun season so far for Seaside: Two wins at Broadway Field, and two perfect games for the Seagull defense, with Seaside outscoring the opposition 103-0.
The Seaside defense has yet to be challenged, and the offense has yet to be stopped, with the Gulls averaging 10.8 yards per play.
Newport had 55 yards in total offense, to 347 for Seaside. The Gulls had 249 yards on rushing on 22 attempts (11.3 per carry), while quarterback Carson Kawasoe was 7-for-7 for 98 yards.
Heppner 15, Warriors 12
The Warrenton Warriors, as the old saying goes, left it all on the field Saturday night in Heppner.
Rated fifth in the latest Oregon School Activities Association rankings, the Warriors — who should start picking up some first place votes at the 3A level — gave the No. 1-ranked 2A team all they could handle in the nonleague matchup.
Despite being outplayed by the Warriors for three-and-a-half quarters, the Mustangs used a late score to topple Warrenton, 15-12.
The Warriors controlled the game, and made sure that nothing would come easy for the Mustangs, who made it tougher with countless mistakes of their own.
Heppner held an early 7-6 lead, but that’s how it remained through three quarters.
Warrenton’s best drive of the night came at the end of the third period (11 plays, 65 yards), with Hordie Bodden Bodden scoring his second touchdown on the first play of the fourth, on a 5-yard run.
The Mustangs answered with an 11-play, 65-yard march of their own late in the fourth. But it wasn’t easy. With a first-and-goal at Warrenton’s 1-yard line, Heppner promptly committed a false start, followed by a center snap over the quarterback’s head, which eventually set up a fourth-and-goal from the 14.
And on one of his few completions of the night, Heppner’s Landon Mitchell found Kason Cimmiyotti in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Bodden Bodden — who completed 17-of-39 passes for 183 yards to six different receivers — threw his only interception in the final seconds to end Warrenton’s last drive.
Ethan Caldwell caught five passes for 79 yards for the Warriors, who should be back in the win column later this week, when they visit winless Culver.
Loggers 16, Toledo 12
At the 2A level, the Knappa Loggers bounced back from last week’s loss at Warrenton with a 16-12 victory over Toledo, which was ranked seventh in the latest coaches poll.
Knappa (1-1) has a bye this week, then plays Sept. 24 at Clatskanie (0-2).
In the 1A 8-man Casco League, the Jewell Blue Jays improved to 2-0 with a 72-13 win at Siletz Valley. So far, nearly half the games in the Casco have been forfeits.
Across the river, Ilwaco scored its first win of the season, defeating Toutle Lake 26-14; while Lummi Nation did the near impossible, beating Naselle 58-20, snapping a 24-game regular season win streak for the Comets.