Big plays can only take you so far, as the Astoria football team found out Friday night.
A few big plays and a handful of Central turnovers had the Fishermen in front at halftime, but a second-half rally gave the Panthers a 15-6 season-opening win at John Warren Field.
Astoria rolled up 150 yards rushing in the first half and held a 6-2 lead at halftime, but the Fishermen couldn't overcome a second-half soaker, as a downpour limited their ground game to just 29 yards on 12 carries.
Meanwhile, Central racked up 149 yards rushing over the final two quarters, and the Panthers finished with 224 yards on the ground.
On a rainy Friday night Astoria sophomore, Nick Alfonse (4) trips up Central player Trevor Fine (11) at the 30-yard line while Frankie Febus (1) comes in for the tackle.
KIM ERSKINE-The Daily AstorianCentral senior Trevor Fine led all players with 124 yards on 25 carries, and teammate Adam Smith added 78 yards on 14 attempts.
On the first play of the second quarter, Astoria's Frankie Febus intercepted a Central pass in the end zone, and on the next play, senior quarterback Keenan Borgardt scrambled for a 62-yard run to the Panther 18.
Two plays later from the 20, Borgardt found Febus in the end zone for a 6-0 lead.
Kye Johnson's point-after attempt was blocked and returned the other way by Fine, giving Central two points.
The Panthers had three first-half turnovers as Andrew Mattingly recovered a Central fumble, and Nick Alfonse intercepted a halfback option pass by Fine late in the second quarter.
Astoria couldn't take advantage, even after a pass interference call in the end zone gave the Fishermen a first-and-goal at the Central 1-yard line with 1:40 left in the half.
A holding call on Astoria moved the ball back to the 15, Borgardt threw two incomplete passes, and Johnson's 32-yard field goal attempt was no good.
KIM ERSKINE - The Daily Astorian
During Friday night's football game in Astoria, (4) Nick Alfonse's punt is blocked by Central High player Robert Burrows (54).The Fishermen coughed up the ball on their first possession of the second half, and Central cashed in with a 6-yard scoring run by Fine.
The Panthers put the game away with a 17-play, 79-yard drive that started with 3:46 left in the third quarter, and ended with a 6-yard TD run by Pratt with 8:09 remaining in the game.
Borgardt was 8-of-19 passing for 87 yards, and he also led Astoria with 66 yards rushing on eight carries.
The Fishermen had 266 yards total offense to Central's 247.
Newport 18, Seaside 16SEASIDE - Newport won a Friday night fumble fest at Seaside, as the Cubs held off the Gulls 18-16 in a season-opening nonleague game at soggy Broadway Field.
The two teams combined for a total of 18 fumbles. Seaside fumbled 10 times and lost six, and Newport fumbled eight and lost four.
The most costly turnovers came from the Gulls, who lost four fumbles inside the Newport 20-yard line, and lost two more inside the Cubs' 5-yard line.
On the plus side, Seaside rolled up 313 yards rushing on 55 attempts, with Dennis Olstedt gaining 118 on 21 carries. Scott Lucia rushed for 109 yards with a touchdown and two two-point conversion runs.
Newport held a 12-0 halftime lead before Seaside scored on an 11-yard fumble recovery return by Jerrod Hovden in the third quarter.
The Cubs pushed the lead to 18-8, but the Gulls responded with a three-yard run by Lucia in the fourth quarter.
Seaside had two more possessions, but the Gulls were unable to score.
Newport had 282 yards rushing and minus-3 yards passing, and only had five first downs to Seaside's 11.
The Gulls host Taft Friday.
Knappa 34, Morton 7MORTON - Sophomore Steve Brandon made a successful debut for Knappa Friday night, scoring three touchdowns to lead the Loggers to a 34-7 win at Morton.
Brandon scored on a 1-yard run for the first touchdown, and later scored on runs of three and 10 yards.
Brandon Wing scored on a 3-yard touchdown and rushed for 138 yards on 15 carries, as the Loggers racked up 264 yards on the ground and completed 1-of-3 passes.
Knappa led 28-0 at halftime, and recovered five of Morton's six fumbles.
The Loggers host Waldport Friday.
Warrenton 30, Nestucca 6CLOVERDALE - Shane Rudduck scored a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 62 yards to lead Warrenton to a 30-6 win at Nestucca Friday night.
The Warriors built a 15-0 halftime lead, then scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away for their season-opening win.
Sophomore quarterback Eric Gantenbein completed 6-of-16 passes, including a pair of 8-yard scoring tosses to Aaron Torres and Bret Birman.
Rudduck returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, and Birman tacked on two points in the fourth period by returning a blocked point-after attempt. The kick was blocked by Nathan Massey.
Warrenton had 240 yards in total offense (140 rushing), while the Warrior defense held to Nestucca to just 43 yards rushing through three quarters. The Bobcats ran for 69 yards in the final quarter.
Big punts by Engebretson had Nestucca starting drives from its own 7, 15, 3 and 16-yard lines.
Warrenton hosts Adna (Wash.) Friday.
Cove 22, Jewell 6JEWELL - Tanner Marshall scored three touchdowns to lead Cove to a 22-6 win at Jewell Friday night in a nonleague 8-man game.
The bigger Leopards picked up most of their yards on the ground, rushing 56 times. Marshall scored on runs of 10, 1 and 60 yards.
Jewell was led by Lucas Spaulding's 91 yards rushing on five carries, and three receptions for 25 yards. Randy Layman caught three passes for 34 yards, and Jake Johnston completed 8-of-16 passes for 11 yards.
The Bluejays host Mapleton at 4 p.m. Friday.
Rainier (Wash.) 20, Ilwaco 0ILWACO, Wash. - Ilwaco's home winning streak was snapped at one, following Friday night's 20-0 loss to the Rainier Mountaineers.
It was the Southwest Washington 1A league opener for both teams.
Rainier took the lead in the first quarter on a 10-yard run by Tyson Webb, and Kyle Sands' 17-yard scoring toss to Jeromy Lynch made it 14-0 at halftime.
The Mounties added another touchdown in the third quarter on a 30-yard run by Elroy Perez.
Perez and Webb each had 94 yards rushing while Alex Martin led Ilwaco with 36 yards on 15 carries.
The Fishermen play at Ocosta Friday.
Toutle Lake 13, Naselle 6NASELLE, Wash. - Toutle Lake won Friday night's wet and windy contest at Naselle as the Ducks waddled their way past the Comets 13-6.
With their victory, the Ducks snapped a 10-game losing streak that dated back to last season. Naselle's losing streak, going back to 2001, reached 22.
A 34-yard scoring run by James Davidson gave Toutle Lake a 7-0 lead in the first quarter before the Comets responded with a Doug Wise-to-Kyle Burkhalter touchdown in the second period, cutting the lead to 7-6 after the point-after attempt was blocked.
Toutle Lake's Perry Eckert capped a 50-yard drive in the third quarter with a 1-yard scoring run.
Davidson ran for 152 yards to lead the Ducks, who suffered four first-half fumbles.
Aoy Marion rushed for 72 yards and teammates Tony Mendoza added 61 for Naselle, which plays at Wahkiakum this week.
Waldport 24, Neah-Kah-Nie 6ROCKAWAY BEACH - Neah-Kah-Nie's Jake Jordan rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn't enough Friday night against Waldport, as the Irish toppled the Pirates 24-6.
Neah-Kah-Nie lost five of its 10 fumbles, as Waldport built an 18-0 lead through three quarters.