It was a rare February, Tuesday night season opener for the Naselle football team. But the result was all too familiar.
Opening their 2021 “spring” season at home against Mossyrock, the Comets made it look easy, scoring a 46-0 win over the visiting Vikings at Rueben Penttila Field.
Naselle lost a fumble on its first offensive play of the night, but it was all Comets after that.
The Naselle defense dominated and the Comet offense had three one-play scoring drives to highlight a 38-point first quarter.
Jimmy Strange opened the scoring for Naselle, running 51 yards to cap a one-play drive with 7:49 left in the first quarter. Kolten Lindstrom had the first of his three touchdowns on a 73-yard sprint on another one-play drive.
After Mossyrock went for it —and failed — on a fourth-and-24 play midway through the first quarter, the Comets took over, and Lindstrom ran 44 yards for a touchdown on the very next play.
A Mossyrock turnover led to a 5-yard TD run by Joey Strange, the Vikings fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Lindstrom scored on the next play, a 25-yard run for a 38-0 lead.
Warren Wirkkala capped the scoring with a 10-yard TD run midway through the third quarter.
By the end of the first half, Lindstrom, Jimmy and Joey Strange had a combined 250 yards rushing on just 14 attempts (17.8 yards per carry).
Lindstrom finished the night with 148 yards rushing on five attempts (29.6 yards per run), while Wirkkala led the defense with eight tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Prior to the postponement of the 2020 fall season, Naselle's previous game was the 2019 Class 1B state championship, when Odessa topped the Comets 80-26. Naselle was 12-0 coming into the state title game, having outscored their opponents 702-194.
In 2018, the Comets won 10 straight, outscoring the opposition 614-140, before an 82-28 loss to Almira-Coulee-Hartline in the third round of the state playoffs.
Naselle won eight games in 2017 (one by forfeit), outscoring opponents 434-106 in the other seven games, before a loss to Almira-Coulee-Hartline in the state playoffs.
Outside of post-season contests, Naselle has won 18 straight regular season games. The Comets are scheduled to play at Winlock Saturday.
Raymond 24, Ilwaco 13
The Ilwaco Fishermen were less than a quarter away from winning a long-awaited season opener to the 2020-21 football season — but their 13-6 lead disappeared in a matter of minutes, as Raymond/South Bend scored three touchdowns in the final period for a 24-13 victory.
Monday's game in South Bend had been postponed from Friday due to weather conditions.
Ilwaco's first score of the season came courtesy of a 99-yard run from senior Dylan Simonson, whose score gave the Fishermen a 7-6 lead at halftime.
Simonson later had an interception on defense, and Ilwaco junior Gabe McCargish made it 13-6 with a scoop-and-score, recovering a bad snap by Raymond and returning it 60 yards for a touchdown.
But that would be Ilwaco's last score, as the Ravens rallied in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 unanswered points for the win.
Ilwaco is scheduled to host Stevenson, Friday at 7 p.m.