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Crater 'O' comes to life in loss to Grants Pass

GRANTS PASS ' Crater put together a complete game against Grants Pass in Southern Oregon Conference football Friday.

The Comets' offense came alive against the SOC's second-best defensive team, but the effort failed to translate into a victory for the winless Comets.

The Cavemen used Patrick Allen's touchdown return on the opening kickoff of the second half as an impetus for a 34-14 victory at Mel Ingram Field.

I think the kids played four quarters on both sides of the ball, Crater coach Rich Cable said. That's something we've tried to do all season.

The Comets (0-8, 0-5 SOC) ended up with a productive, balanced offense against the stingy Cavemen.

— Crater gained 162 yards on the ground and passed for 181 more. The Comets totaled 343 yards in offense against a team that has been yielding 228 yards a game.

We spread out our offense, and threw the ball more than we normally do, said Cable. We didn't go in with that plan, but we fell behind early and had to.

The Comets scored late in the first half on a 49-yard pass from senior quarterback Gary Gomes to Brad Evans to cut the Caveman lead to 14-6 going into intermission.

But Allen's 83-yard kickoff return to open the second half stemmed the Comets' momentum.

That takes a lot out of you, said Cable.

Evans, who was inserted into the lineup after recently transferring from Weed, Calif., helped balance the receiving corps with Dan Whitehead. The duo combined for seven catches for 172 yards.

Whitehead's been doing a good job for us all year, said Cable. They tried to double-cover him, and that opened up Brad Evans.

Gomes was 7-of-14 passing for 128 yards and no interceptions. Nick Rose added two completions for 53 yards.

Gary Gomes is starting to come into his own at the quarterback position, said Cable. He put the ball out there where our receivers could get underneath it.

Crater senior running backs Justin Weathers and Cody Ponder were also effective. Weathers picked up 65 yards on eight carries, and Ponder rushed nine times for 56 yards.

Grants Pass (4-4, 3-2 SOC) got a big performance from junior quarterback Nolan Morgan, who burned the Comets' secondary for 219 yards on 18 competitions in 24 attempts.

Jake Dastrup was the Cavemen's top receiver with four catches for 81 yards.

Our kids played with heart, said Cable. I felt like we were in it most of the game.