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Kelso RAL football

Kelso's Josh Webb dodges a tackle from R.A. Long's Ian Johnson. Webb had two sacks, two touchdowns, including a 90-yard kick return, and 73 rushing yards on 15 carries in a 48-13 win over the Lumberjacks on Friday. 

He set the tone with a 90-yard kickoff return to open the game. He controlled the pace with 15 carries and 73 hard-earned rushing yards. And he helped fluster R.A. Long with two sacks in Kelso’s 48-13 win on Friday at Longview Memorial Stadium.

Wherever Josh Webb was on the field, he was making a difference.

Webb, primarily a kicker last year, has taken over as lead back for Max McDaniel. It’s the first time he’s played running back since his freshman year. He hasn’t missed a stride yet, as he has 181 yards through two games. He’s a dynamic edge rusher as an outside linebacker, and while no longer a kicker, he’s found a way to impact special teams as a returner.

“I think he’s getting better and better, and we’re getting better and better up front,” Kelso coach Steve Amrine said.

Clatskanie, Rainier continue to torch opponents

Clatskanie and Rainier have each dominated their opponents this season. In the Oregon 3A Coaches Poll, top-ranked Clatskanie has outscored Heppner and Umatilla by a combined 113-0, and third-ranked Rainier has handled Umatilla and perennial state power Scio by a combined 97-6.

Allowing no points after two games puts Clatskanie into an elite category shared with 1A schools Days Creek, Joseph, and South Wasco County. The 113 points scored is tops among 3A schools, and is 11th among all categories in Oregon.

For Clatskanie, it’s been early domination. The Tigers are averaging 26.5 points in the first quarter, and 21 points in the second quarter.

In their season-opener with Heppner, Tigers’ quarterback Cooper Blodgett passed for 205 of their 393 total yards. In Friday’s triumph at Umatilla, Clatskanie rushed for 253 of its 419 total yards. Blodgett has a combined 371 passing yards, including three touchdown passes for Crew Blodgett, and two apiece to Jake Bruce and Kees Tjaarda. On the ground, the Tigers have rushed for 441 yards. Cooper Blodgett has ran for four TDs, James Helmen has two ground scores, and Tjaarda and Cedrix Heath have one apiece. Bruce has also notched TDs with punt returns of 78 and 66 yards.

While Clatskanie has had success through the air, Rainier has stayed with a ground and pound offense. Joey Tripp and Kenny Tripp have three rushing TDs apiece, with Brandon Isaacson, Korbin Howell and Tanner Chapman scampering for a score apiece.

Kalama’s nonleague slate a perfect challenge for defending champs

What do Woodland, Napavine and Adna have in common? The football teams make up the bulk of Kalama’s nonleague schedule, arguably the toughest in Washington’s 2B classification.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” coach Sean McDonald said.

That’s the way he wanted it for the defending champions, a team that hadn’t lost a regular season game in 23 months, until a slow start doomed the Chinooks in Week 1.

It wouldn’t have been terribly surprising for Kalama to start 0-3, but that’s not happening after a decisive 20-13 win over Napavine on Friday. With a tough win, the road gets easier, yeah?

“No, it doesn’t,” quarterback Alex Dyer said. “You have to come in every week like it’s a championship game. Adna, we’re going to see in the playoffs, and Napavine we’re going to see in the playoffs. So we have to come out and play each game week by week.”

Kalama has started its first two weeks against Woodland and Napavine for three consecutive seasons now, but throwing Adna in creates the type of challenge few teams can cope with.

At this point, the Chinooks have no choice but to do just that — and they’ll enter it with a jolt of confidence.

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