Phoenix's Skyler Reagan gets tripped up by Ryan Johnson of North Bend during the first quarter on Friday. - Jamie Lusch

Fast start fizzles for Phoenix

PHOENIX — Gunning for their third straight victory, the Phoenix Pirates rolled out to a 12-0 lead halfway through the first quarter Friday night.

But visiting North Bend came storming back for a 33-18 triumph.

North Bend's dominating ground game included an 88-yard touchdown run from senior running back Cameron Seiger.

Phoenix fell to 2-2 on the season. It was North Bend's first victory in four tries.

"We came out fast and then we stopped executing on offense and defense," Phoenix coach Toby Walker said.

The Pirates fired up their home crowd at 7:16 of the first quarter when junior running back Matt Lapat capped a 60-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run up the middle. It gave Phoenix a 6-0 lead. But North Bend blocked the extra-point attempt, and it seemed a sign of things to come.

"We struggled in our kicking game," Walker said.

The Pirates failed in their only other kick attempt and, after their final touchdown, tried a two-point run, which also failed.

Phoenix quickly added to its lead, however, in the first quarter, when North Bend running back Cody Harden fumbled and Phoenix recovered.

On the first play of the drive, senior quarterback Chris Kammel connected on a 42-yard bomb to junior receiver Skyler Reagan, and Phoenix was leading, 12-0.

And that's when Phoenix's highlight reel came to an end and North Bend's began.

At 9:39 of the second quarter, Kammel threw an interception into the hands of North Bend's Dalton Iveans, a senior who's also the Bulldogs' quarterback.

Starting on the Phoenix 37, Iveans connected with a pass to junior fullback Jake Lucero at the 13-yard line. Two plays later, Lucero carried it up the middle from the 1 to make it 12-6. North Bend's Ryan Johnson, who converted on three of his five PAT kicks, made it 12-7.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good with 1:48 to go in the first half when Harden carried it in from the 7. With Johnson's second successful kick, it was 14-12 at the half.

After halftime, North Bend stayed on the ground for most of its next scoring drive, and Harden ran it in from the 5 to make it 20-12.

Phoenix was backed up in its own territory for much of the second half, but Kammel hooked up with senior David Kennaley on a 30-yard scoring pass to cut North Bend's lead to 26-18 with 11:49 left.

North Bend's Seiger answered three minutes later with a 40-yard scoring run up the left side. With the kick good, it was 33-18 and that's how it ended.

Time ran out with Phoenix attempting a final drive.

"I'm proud of the way they battled," Walker said of his Pirates. "We made some mistakes, but they never quit."

North Bend coach Rick Taylor noted the Bulldogs were returning only four starters from a 9-3 team last year.

"It's taken awhile" to get on track, he said.

"Phoenix is a very good ballclub," he said.

North Bend 0 14 13 7 — 33

Phoenix 12 0 6 0 — 18

P —Lapat 2 run (kick failed)

P — Reagan 43 pass from Kammel (kick failed)

NB — Lucero 1 run (Johnson kick)

NB — Harden 7 run (Johnson kick)

NB — Harden 5 run (kick failed)

NB — Seiger 88 run (kick failed)

P — Kennaley 30 pass from Kammel (run failed)

NB — Seiger 40 run (Johnson kick)

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