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Comets score on first seven possessions

CENTRAL POINT — Not that the Crater Comets need another weapon, but kicker Austin Siegel gives the Comets just that.

Siegel's big leg was on display against Mazama as the Comets romped to a 46-0 victory at Dutch Meyer Field Friday.

Siegel opened the scoring with a career-long 40-yard field goal when the Comets' first drive of the game stalled. The next six times Crater possessed the ball all ended with touchdowns.

Obviously Crater's three-week layoff since defeating Eagle Point 57-20 on Oct. 9 had no negative effect on the Class 5A fifth-ranked Comets (7-1, 3-0 SSC).

"We did a good job executing despite the time off," said Crater coach John Beck. "The kids just worked harder to get better."

In addition to the field goal, Siegel converted all five of his extra-points and put two kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks. The Comets passed for a two-point conversion after their second TD.

Crater led 46-0 at halftime. The second half was played with a running clock because of the mercy rule and Crater liberally substituted in reserves.

But in the opening 24 minutes, the Comets struck with speed and precision.

Tyler Turituri played his finest half of football in a Crater uniform. The junior quarterback completed 9 of 10 passes for four touchdowns and 196 yards.

Christian Massey was on the receiving end of three of the TD tosses, while Kelley Beck caught the fourth.

"We knew we'd have a good shot to put up some numbers," said Turituri. "We just went out and executed."

Crater scored four touchdowns in about seven minutes spanning the first and second quarters. Mazama (4-5, 0-4 SSC) looked helpless in not just stopping but even slowing down the Comets' spread gun offense.

Crater went 64 yards in six plays to score on an 11-yard run by Jacob Ziegler on a fly sweep around the left end with 5:21 remaining in the first quarter.

A Dylan Carlson fumble at the Mazama 19 on the Vikings' next possession led to a quick Comets score. It took Crater only two plays for Turituri to hook up with Massey for a 6-yard TD at the 2:25 mark.

Ziegler returned a Mazama punt 32 yards up the left sideline on the first play of the second period to set up the next score. This time only one play was needed for Turituri to thread a pass down the middle for a 21-yard strike to Massey just 11 seconds into the second quarter.

Ziegler left the game with a hurt foot at this point and never returned. But it didn't seem to matter, as Derek Cartwright picked up where he left off and returned the Vikings' next punt 16 yards to set up another score. A 15-yard face mask penalty on the play gave the Comets the ball at the Mazama 41.

Again one play, another touchdown. On this occasion, Turituri placed a spiral right into the hands of Beck without breaking stride down the sideline for 32-0 lead with 10:04 left before halftime.

"Tyler is a great athlete," said Massey, who had six catches for 142 yards. "When he throws you the ball it's right there and you can turn and do something with your feet."

Cartwright completed the night's scoring on a dynamic 72-yard punt return. The junior dashed up the right sideline then cut diagonally across the field, weaving his way through the Mazama defenders to the end zone.

The Comets' defense also came up big, limiting Mazama to just six first downs and 76 yards in total offense.

Crater clinched at least a share of the SSC title with the victory. The Comets can secure the league's No. 1 seed in the Class 5A state playoffs with a win at Klamath Union next Friday.

Reach reporter Frank Silow at 776-4480, or e-mail fsilow@mailtribune.com