SPRINGFIELD — Crater has relied on a balanced offensive attack early in the season but it was the Comets’ defense that came up big in a Midwestern League road game against winless Springfield on Friday.
Crater erased a 7-0 halftime deficit with a 21-point third quarter en route to a 35-7 victory over the Millers.
The Comets (3-1, 2-0 MWL) tied the game 7-all on its second possession of the second half by advancing 43 yards in five plays, capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ethan Scott to Austin Kramer.
Then senior linebacker Garrett Stacey changed the momentum for the Comets by scoring two consecutive defensive touchdowns on Springfield’s next two possessions.
First, Stacey scooped up a fumble and went 8 yards for a touchdown on the Millers’ first play from scrimmage after the Comet touchdown pass. And on the next Springfield (0-4, 0-2) offensive chance, Stacey returned an interception for a 48-yard touchdown.
Markus Bennett then provided the Comets their third straight defensive touchdown on a 22-yard interception return about midway through the fourth quarter.
Crater totaled just 202 yards in offense while Springfield accumulated 256 yards.
Jace Godley, a Comet senior running back, had 82 yards on 17 carries to pace the offense, and Kramer had two catches for 46 yards.
SHELDON 35, NORTH MEDFORD 0: At Eugene, senior quarterback Zach Diehl ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more as third-ranked Sheldon handed North Medford its first loss of the season in the Southwest Conference game at Marty Johnson Field.
The Irish (4-0, 1-0 SWC) jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead.
North Medford (3-1, 1-1) gained 103 yards rushing and 154 through the air.
Senior running back Alex Janakes led the North ground attack with 54 yards on eight carries. Tyler Evans caught seven balls for 71 yards for the Black Tornado.
GRANTS PASS 40, WILLAMETTE 16: At Grants Pass, undefeated Grants Pass used 21 unanswered fourth-quarter points to pull away from Willamette for the SWC victory.
The Cavemen (4-0, 2-0 SWC) clinged to a 19-16 lead before Alexander Jarvis ripped off consecutive touchdown runs of 72 and 23 yards in the fourth quarter. Jarvis rushed for 185 on 16 attempts.
Cavemen quarterback Blain Hobbs threw three TD passes, two in the second quarter to Cameron Castle. Hobbs was 14-for-20 for 150 yards.
Richard England also caught a TD from Hobbs and Zack Williams capped GP’s big fourth quarter with a blocked punt return for a touchdown.
ASHLAND 52, MARIST 21: At Ashland, Tucker Atteberry had a hand in Ashland’s first five touchdowns as the No. 4-ranked Grizzlies romped to a 38-14 third-quarter lead in the Midwestern League contest at Walter A. Phillips Field.
Atteberry, a senior quarterback, connected on four long touchdown passes and returned an interception for a 48-yard TD.
Oliver Warren and Nicky Weinberg were each on the receiving end of a pair of long touchdown passes for Ashland (3-1, 2-0 MWL). Warren finished with five catches for 139 yards and Weinberg added 133 yards on six catches.
For Ashland, 321 of its 417 yards in offense came through the air, while winless Marist (0-4, 0-2) had 180 yards rushing and 184 passing.
THURSTON 48, EAGLE POINT 47: At Springfield, Eagle Point gambled for the win with a two-point conversion after rallying late in the MWL clash but the run attempt was stuffed and Thurston preserved the victory.
The ninth-ranked Eagles (3-1, 1-1 MWL), who scored the final three touchdowns after trailing 48-27 in the third quarter, compiled 430 yards on the ground but had just 19 yards through the air. Bennett Rodgers led the Eagles’ ground attack with 120 yards on 19 carries to go with a touchdown while Jaxson Jones rushed for 91 yards on 16 attempts and scored twice.
Thurston quarterback Trevor Duran tossed six touchdowns and was 27-for-39 for 344 yards.
MAZAMA 58, PHOENIX 14: At Klamath Falls, Tyler McLin scored three first-half touchdowns to help Mazama grab a 37-7 halftime lead in the Skyline Conference opener for both teams.
The Vikings (3-1, 1-0 Sky) scored 22 unanswered points in the second quarter to take command.
For Phoenix (1-3, 0-1), Papu Masalosalo scored two touchdowns and rushed for 81 yards.
The Pirates were limited to 198 yards in offense, while Mazama totaled 451.
M — McLin 8 run (Wright run)
M — Nunez 74 pass from McVey (Beeson kick)
P — Masalosalo 1 run (Bazan kick)
M — McLin 3 run (Westlake run)
M — McLin 10 run (Westlake run)
M — Lopez 61 pass from McVey (Beeson kick)
M — Hunt 20 run (Beeson kick)
M — Hunt 22 run (Beeson kick)
M — Westlake 60 punt return (PAT failed)
P — Masalosalo 19 run (Bazan kick)
HARRISBURG 39, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 13: Cascade Christian’s Haiden Schaan passed for 98 yards and two touchdowns and tacked on 54 rushing yards for the Challengers in the nonleague defeat at U.S. Cellular.
Cascade Christian’s Zack Fralich added 102 yards on the ground against Harrisburg (2-2), which got four rushing TDs and one receiving from Hunter Knox. The Challengers (3-1) totaled 151 yards rushing overall.
H — Downs 86 pass from Jones (Downs failed)
H — Knox 5 pass from Jones (Downs failed)
CC — McLemore 10 pass from Schaan (Dunn failed)
H — Knox 5 run (Downs kick)
H — Knox 20 run (Downs kick)
CC — Fralich 16 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)
H — Knox 13 run (Downs fail)
H — Knox 9 run (Downs kick)
COQUILLE 56, ST. MARY’S 6: At Coquille, Gavin Rajagopal rushed for 89 yards and Calder Pruhliere added a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown for St. Mary’s (2-2) in the nonleague loss.
Coquille (4-0) limited St. Mary’s to 146 yards of total offense and amassed 328 yards on the ground.
C — Scolari 16 run (run failed)
C — Safety, ball snapped out of end zone
SM — Pruhliere 43 interception return (kick failed)
C — Scolari 91 run (pass failed)
C — McCarthy 24 run (run failed)
C — McCarthy 9 run (run failed)
C — Scolari 53 run (Christensen run)
C — Overby 25 run (Christensen run)
C — Layton 55 interception return (Overby run)
C — Deck 70 punt return (no conversion attempt)
GOLD BEACH 49, ROGUE RIVER 0: At Gold Beach, Rogue River wasn’t able to keep up with Gold Beach, dropping to 0-4 on the season after the Chieftains were shut out for the first time this season.