North Bend Football Vs. Crater

North Bend's Coleman Compton looks for room to run Friday during a game against Crater at North Bend High School. The Bulldogs fell to the Comets 28-66.

NORTH BEND — For the first time this season, North Bend was on the wrong side of the scoreboard Friday night, and in a big way.

Crater capitalized on its team speed and four costly North Bend turnovers to beat the Bulldogs 66-28 at Vic Adams Field, handing North Bend a loss heading into its league opener next week against defending state champion Thurston.

North Bend's Jake Cant battles Crater's Gerritt Warner on the line of scrimmage Friday at North Bend High School. The Bulldogs fell to the Com…

“(Crater) was a very good football team, just like we though they would be,” North Bend coach Gary Prince said.

Crater’s team speed bottled up North Bend’s running attack when the Comets were on defense and led to a number of big plays when Crater had the ball.

Throw in the four turnovers that led directly or indirectly to 24 first-half points and it was too much for North Bend to overcome.

“You can’t do that against a good football team,” Prince said of the turnovers.

North Bend actually forced the first turnover and converted it into the first score of the game.

Coleman Compton picked off a pass by Crater’s Trever Davis on the first series of the game and, two plays later, made a one-handed grab on a slant pattern for a 32-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ian Spalding.

It was the first of two one-handed grabs and two scores for Compton, but the lead didn’t last.

Crater quickly marched the field and scored on Gavin Acrey’s 5-yard run.

After the teams traded punts, Acrey scored again, sprinting around the right end from 15 yards out.

And moments later, the Comets were in the end zone again with a defensive score when Robert Amoson grabbed a bad snap that sailed past Spalding and took it 2 yards for a score.

Another fumble led to a TD pass from Davis to Trevor Jaasko and Crater was in front 28-7 with 11 minutes still to go in the first half.

North Bend got a TD pass from Spalding to a wide-open Garrison Mateski for 39 yards on a slant pattern, but Crater added three more scores before halftime — a 40-yard field goal by Davis after an interception by teammate Caden Lasater, Acrey’s 47-yard interception return after an overthrow by Spalding, and a 31-yard dash to the end zone by Chase Sherer on a wide receiver screen.

Two more quick scores in the third quarter, on another receiver screen to Sherer and an 11-yard grab by Dawson Douglas enacted the running clock.

While Crater was getting touchdowns from its speedy players, the Comets were limiting North Bend to just 26 yards rushing on 25 attempts.

“We’re not a big team,” Davis said. “We’re more of a motto of speed kills. We’ve never had big-sized guys.

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North Bend's Divenson Willis Runs Crater quarterback Trever Davis out of bounds Friday at North Bend High School. The Bulldogs fell to the Com…

“The line did their job.”

Crater was coming off a loss to top-ranked and defending state champion Thurston last week, and the Comets wanted to bounce back strong, Davis said.

“It’s huge,” he said of the win. “We set our goal of 42 points for the offense and our defense did great.”

North Bend wasn’t able to establish the running game, but Spalding had a solid night passing, except for the two interceptions.

He finished the night 18-for-34 for 211 yards and four touchdowns — connecting with Compton again on a 23-yard score late in the game.

“Our passing game is a lot more deadly than last year,” said Compton, who had seven catches for 84 yards. “Ian is a great passer.”

He pointed to North Bend’s 28 points as a good night, which should be enough except for the miscues.

“We missed a couple of tackles and had some turnovers,” Compton said. “If we can just clean that up …

“The score didn’t reflect the game.”

North Bend quarterback Ian Spalding drops back to pass Friday during a game against Crater at North Bend High School. The Bulldogs fell to the…

Except it was clear Crater was the better team Friday night in a battle of two top-five teams from schools that are in the same league for every sport but football, where Crater is in Class 5A's District 2 South Division and North Bend in the District 2 North Division. 

“There are different tiers of 5A football,” Prince said. “We have to work more to get to the upper tier.”

Prince added that is the job of the coaching staff.

“We want to put our kids in a better position to be successful,” he said. “We are going to shoulder that burden and get them ready for Thurston on Friday night.”

Compton said the Bulldogs would bounce back with the defending champions coming to Vic Adams Field for the annual Miss Flame game and start to league play.

“We’ll get right back after it,” he said. “We need to have level heads, come back Monday and work hard, and the results will show Friday.”

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Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.