The Clatskanie Tigers football team from Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS) and the Rainier Columbians football team from Rainier Jr./Sr. High School (RJSHS) have entered state playoffs for the OSAA - 3A division, which begins this week. Both teams will play their first game on Friday, Nov. 8.
The playoff game comes right after the Clatskanie Tigers won the league championship last weekend.
The Clatskanie Tigers, ranked sixth in the division, will be up against the St. Mary’s High School Crusaders, ranked 11th in the division, at a home game at 7p.m. The Rainier Columbians, ranked fifth in the division, will be playing against the Madras High School White Buffaloes, ranked 12th in the division at a home game at 7 p.m.
Both teams have regularly made it to the state playoffs. The Clatskanie Tigers have made it the last six of seven years, according to CMHS Athletic Director, Ryan Tompkins. The Rainier Columbians have made it at least the last 10 years, according to Graden Blue, RJSHS Principal and Athletic Director.
Last year, the Columbians defeated the Tigers during the quarterfinals, Tompkins said. The Columbians then went on to win the state championship 44-14 against the Cascade Christian High School Challengers and had an undefeated 13-0 season, according to the OSAA website. Before then, the Columbians had won the OSAA 3A Football State Championship in 2010.
The Columbians’ tactic will be to lead from the start, according to the team’s athletic director.
“We’ve got a pretty strong frontline, we’ll lead the lineup there,” Blue said.
For now, the team’s goals are pretty simple, according to football coach, Mike King.
“We try not to look forward. We’re completely and totally focused on tomorrow night, playing Madras. If we can take care of business tomorrow, we can take care of next Friday,” King said.
If the Columbians win this game, they will play either the Amity High School Warriors or the Brookings-Harbor High School Bruins next weekend.
For the Clatskanie Tigers, experience will be the name of the game, according to Tompkins.
“We have a whole lot of seniors on the team, 15 seniors, all of them have been to the playoffs the last four years,” Tompkins said. “So there’s a lot of experience in the playoffs and what it takes.”