The 1B car in District IV finally has a new team in the driver’s seat.
The Mossyrock football team did the one thing it hadn’t been able to do locally since making the move down to the 8-man game Friday, knocking off Naselle 64-42 on the road in a game that could signal a power shift in the making.
“We’re over the moon right now,” Mossyrock coach Eric Ollikainen said. “We always had this game marked on our calendar, and it was a big one for us. It feels good to get the monkey off our backs.”
It’s the first time the Comets have been beaten in league play since 2016. Both of the Vikings’ first two shots in the 8-man game at Naselle ended with defeats by wide margins.
But this time was different, right from the start. When the Comets jumped ahead early, the Vikings replied. When Naselle started to build a lead, going up 20-6 in the first quarter, Mossyrock came back.
When the halftime buzzer sounded, the highly-anticipated matchup was tied 28-28.
“They scored quickly at times and kind of got us on our heels, but we just went to work and grinded,” Ollikainen said.
And out of the break, the Vikings got their chance to throw a haymaker of their own. Easton Kolb started it with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Keegan Kolb, the fourth time the brothers linked up to score on the night. On the ensuing Naselle possession, Keegan got his hands on the other team’s quarterback like he just had for his own, and the result was the same on a 45-yard pick-six. After getting another stop, Easton got the job done with his legs, running it in from 35 yards out to make it 50-28.
“That swing in a short amount of time, once that happened we seized momentum, and tried not to let go,” Ollikainen said.
The Kolb brothers dominated the stat sheet. Both ran for 97 yards to share the team lead, while Easton added 211 passing yards and five passing touchdowns. Keegan hauled in five catches for 128 yards, while Zackary Munoz logged three receptions.
Mossyrock totaled 231 rushing yards, behind a starting line of Fernando Ojedo, Hunter Isom, and Cameron Kuberth.
“We just tried to grind it out and lean on them, and we were able to do that,” Ollikainen said.
The win gives Mossyrock (7-0) a clear shot to the top seed in the 1B Pac-5, with the Vikings able to solidify their control next week at home against Winlock.
But first, they’re going to take a bit to celebrate their biggest win since joining the 8-man ranks.
“Hats off to my team,” Ollikainen said. “They didn’t panic, they knew they were going to face adversity. I’m so proud of them. They worked so hard for this, and it’s nice to see them get rewarded with a win.”