UMATILLA -- Unranked Vale got a big performance from Colton Kesey to turn back No. 1 Clatskanie 20-14 in a 3A nonleague football game Saturday at Umatilla High School.
Kesey, a 5-foot-9 junior quarterback and defensive back, passed for 124 yards and two touchdowns and had two interceptions as the Vikings (2-2) handed the Tigers (3-1) their first loss of the season. Junior Keegan Mizuta rushed for 124 yards on 27 carries for Vale.
Kesey's two first-half interceptions gave the momentum to Vale early in the game. The Vikings built a 20-0 lead late in the third quarter, showing signs that they weren't going to slow down.
However, Clatskanie senior quarterback Cooper Blodgett led a fourth-quarter rally that nearly turned around the outcome.
Blodgett threw touchdown passes of 17 yards to Kees Tjaarda and 68 yards to Jacob Bruce to get within 20-14 with 2:13 left. The Tigers forced Vale to punt and got the ball back deep in their own end, but after Blodgett drove them 94 yards, they fell short of the end zone as time expired.
It was the first game against an Oregon team for Vale, which opened 1-2 against Idaho opponents. The Vikings take on unbeaten Homedale (4-0), Idaho, next week.
Clatskanie, which had outscored its first three foes 165-0, lost momentum heading into next week's Special District 1 West opener at No. 2 Rainier (4-0).
Isaiah Reyes is a student at Umatilla High School