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Week 1: Camas Papermakers stumble but showed so much heart in comeback bid

Papermakers fight back from 31-0 deficit in Week 1

Seriously, was there a better loss in Week 1 in Southwest Washington?

Yes, that sounds absurd, a “better loss.”

But think about it.

The Camas Papermakers have a bunch of new starters this season, a bunch of players who have been waiting to take their turn as the next wave of talent for a proud program. They have been working since last December to show the world they can get it done.

Luc Sturbelle, shown here in practice in August, made an incredible catch on Camas’ final scoring drive, helping the Papermakers get to within two points. Photo by Mike Schultz
Luc Sturbelle, shown here in practice in August, made an incredible catch on Camas’ final scoring drive, helping the Papermakers get to within two points. Photo by Mike Schultz

Camas Papermakers (0-1)

Week 1: Lincoln 31, Camas 29

Next: Hazen at Camas, 7 p.m. Friday

And in less than two quarters of play, they are down 31-0 on the road to Lincoln.

Devastating, right?

No, not really.

Because the second half, the fourth quarter in particular, was just so inspiring.

The Papermakers never stopped battling. They scored in the final minutes to make it 31-29. Only a missed 2-point conversion kept this game from going into overtime.

The standings say it was a loss.

And yes, officially, it was a loss.

Guessing the coaching staff felt pretty good about the way the team finished, though.

The Papermakers were down 31-0!

“We have a chance to be good,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “Our effort, consistency, attitude, and attention to detail will define us.”

Well, the effort, and therefore, the attitude must have been strong Friday. Many teams, seeing 31-0 on the scoreboard, would not have a chance to win. This team did.

Hall of Fame company:

Sophomore quarterback Jake Blair made his varsity debut early in the game and ended up throwing for more than 200 yards and helping the Papermakers on that comeback.

His first attempt, though, did not go as planned. The ball was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

Those of you who have been reading me for years understand I rarely point out negative plays associated with an individual name, but please understand, I only bring this up because it reminded me of another talented quarterback.

Brett Favre’s first pass in the NFL was a pick-six. He ended up making the Hall of Fame.

Jake, welcome to varsity football. Great comeback, and great response after a tough beginning.

“He’s a competitor,” Eagle said. “He’s a quick learner. He works hard to correct mistakes. He’s going to be a good one.”

Video review:

A couple little plays that played a big role in the comeback:

I believe it was Tyler Forner with a great pass defense in the end zone on a series that led to a field goal instead of a Lincoln touchdown.

Late in the first half, I believe it was No. 55 Tristan Souza who blew up a third-and-one running play by Lincoln. He shook off his block, got the ball carrier down, and Lincoln ended up punting, up 31-0. That was big because Camas would score its first touchdown just before the end of the first half, starting the comeback.

To open the second half, it looked to me that it was No. 14 Brogan Lane who made a fantastic tackle on the kickoff. That put Lincoln in bad field position, which led to a safety.

And on the final touchdown drive, Luc Sturbelle made an incredible catch.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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