The Knappa Loggers cleared one of their last big hurdles Friday night, and cleared it with room to spare in a 66-26 win at Nestucca.

Knappa (5-0 atop the league standings) will look to close out a perfect league season Friday at home vs. Portland Christian (1-4).

“Nestucca is always a trip we seem to struggle with,” said Knappa coach Aaron Barendse. “We started off slow, but shook the bus ride and put it together. The boys played hard.”

The Loggers led 22-8 after one quarter, and 44-14 at halftime.

Eli Takalo had a 5-yard touchdown run, tossed a TD pass to Kanai Phillip, and the Loggers recovered a fumble for another score in the first period.

Cameron Miethe had a touchdown run, and following a Nestucca score, Knappa's Devin Hoover had a 70-yard kick return.

And with just nine seconds left in the first half, Takalo and Phillip hooked up on a 90-plus yard touchdown for the 30-point halftime margin.

After going 1-2 in nonleague play, Knappa opened league with a 32-23 win at Warrenton, followed by blowout victories over Vernonia (42-17), Neah-Kah-Nie (58-38), Gaston (54-0) and Nestucca.

The Royals, ranked 31st out of 34 teams, are next in line for the eighth-ranked Loggers.

“Nestucca was very physical and ran hard,” Barendse said. “Those kids got after it. I couldn’t be prouder of our kids. They battled and did what they needed to do. One more league game left for this great group of young men. Time to prepare for PC and hopefully keep this rolling.”

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

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