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ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore. — Clatskanie senior quarterback Cooper Blodgett told his team before Friday’s OSAA 3A State first-round game to get on his back.

“And we did,” Tigers coach Tim Warren said.

Blodgett rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries in leading the Tigers to a dominating 26-3 win over Santiam Christian here. It’s ninth-ranked Clatskanie’s first state win since 2009.

“It feels great,” Blodgett said. “This really feels good. I got to give it all to my line. They blocked their butts off.”

After trading defensive blows early, the Tigers (7-3) came up with a tone-setting goal-line stand to limit the Eagles’ 18-play drive to just three points. Shortly afterward, Blodgett took a 65-yard dash for his first score and Clatskanie’s first lead — 7-3 with 5:22 left in the first half.

From there, it was all Tigers.

“That Santiam Christian team is coached well,” Warren said. “We knew they were going to gameplan for us, but Cooper was off the chain.”

Santiam Christian’s final seven drives all came up empty, with three of those going three and out. The Eagles wanted to pick on freshman Andre Combs over the top.

Combs was having none of it, helping limit SC’s talented freshman QB to just 5 of 19 passing for 53 yards.

Combs also had a game-sealing fourth-quarter interception that he nearly took back to the house.

“I just hugged him and said, ‘That isn’t freshman stuff right there,’” Warren said. “I thought the back end of the defense played their best game of the year.”

And then Blodgett did his thing on offense. He had touchdown runs of 3, 2 and 12 yards after his 65-yard opening jaunt. He also threw for 91 yards on 9-of-12 passing.

Kees Tjaarda had four catches for 61 yards and Cedrix Heath had 12 carries for 45 yards. Lead running back James Helmen had one carry for 19 yards before aggravating an injury that’s cost him several games this year.

“We didn’t tackle especially well,” said Warren, always looking for the squad to improve. “We have to do a better job tackling for sure.”

It all sets up a rematch with Rainier next Friday. After losing 36-20 in Week 5 to the Highway 30 rival, the Tigers are eager for redemption over the top-ranked Columbians.

And they feel they did plenty Friday night to show they’re plenty capable of bringing down No. 1.

“I’m excited,” Blodgett said. “I’ve been looking forward to this for however many weeks since we lost.”

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Sports Editor

Joshua is the sports editor for The Daily News. He joined the staff in January 2016 after working at The Bellingham Herald. He is a Western Washington University graduate and native of the Puget Sound region.

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