Papermakers look to stay undefeated; Skyview has eyes on a league title
This year is going to be different, the Skyview Storm hope.
This year will be more of the same, the Camas Papermakers hope.
Thursday’s game at Kiggins Bowl is the high school football game of the year in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.
At least until next week … maybe.
Here is the only thing we know for certain: If the Skyview Storm beat Camas, Skyview will be the No. 1 seed from the 4A GSHL.
However, if Camas beats Skyview, the Papermakers would likely need to beat Union the following week to ensure the top seed. Technically, Battle Ground could beat Union this week to make Week 9 moot in that scenario.
(This is a good time to remind everyone as we talk about possible playoff scenarios that I never ever just assume a team is going to beat another team. Yes, it would be a shocker if Battle Ground beats Union this week. But until Union does win that game, it does not count in the standings.)
OK, with that said, let’s take a look at the Big Three games in the 4A GSHL.
In Week 6: Skyview beat Union.
This week: Camas takes on Skyview. Another reminder: Game is 7 p.m. Thursday at Kiggins.
Next week: Camas vs. Union.
If Skyview wins this week:
The Storm would improve to 3-0 in league with tiebreakers over everybody else and would lock in the No. 1 seed.
That would leave Camas and Union (most likely) to play for the No. 2 seed in Week 9. The loser would be No. 3.
The top-three teams in the league will qualify for the state preliminary playoff round.
If Camas wins this week:
The Papermakers will improve to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in league. But if Union beats Battle Ground, Camas and Union would play in Week 9 with a league title on the line. However, not necessarily the No. 1 seed.
Naturally, if Camas runs the table and is undefeated, it will be No. 1, all alone atop the standings.
However, if Union were to beat Camas and Skyview beats Heritage in Week 9, that would mean all three teams would tie for the league title and coin tosses could determine the seeding. (That could change, too, if there were an uproar and the teams wanted to do some sort of Monday tiebreaker. But standard operating procedure for the 4A GSHL is to break this tie with a coin toss if all three teams are going to the playoffs anyway.)
Skyview beat Camas in 2011 when they were not in the same league. The Papermakers would then go on to win 58 consecutive regular-season games.
Since 2012, it has been all Camas. The Papermakers have won all seven regular-season games between the programs, plus Camas rallied late to beat Skyview in a state playoff game in 2015.
CAMAS PAPERMAKERS (7-0, 2-0 4A GSHL)
Week 7: Camas 41, Battle Ground 14
The Papermakers rested a few guys in the Battle Ground game, some players who have been a little banged up through the first six weeks of the season. Most of those players are trending toward playing against Skyview on Thursday, according to coach Jon Eagle.
Injuries happen to every team, he noted. The Papermakers do not use them as an excuse if things don’t go well. In fact, often times, the next-man-up mentality has suited Camas just fine.
“We’ve had a lot of kids who have stepped up and are doing a great job,” Eagle said. “I’ve found over the years, injuries provide an opportunity for someone else. Kids will surprise you if given the opportunity.”
It is part of football. Durability is part of the game, too. And so, too, is developing depth, the coach noted.
The Papermakers also are not concerned with the Thursday kickoff. They just moved up their schedule and held a Sunday practice.
“We don’t change our process, our routine,” Eagle said.
The Papermakers are used to being in the spotlight, of course.
“This is a classic, solid, high school football game,” Eagle said. “Two good football teams, well-prepared, and ready to play.”
SKYVIEW STORM (6-1, 2-0 4A GSHL)
Week 7: Skyview 53, Olympia 14
Skyview also gave a few guys an extra week to prepare for the Camas game. The Storm had the luxury of a non-league game in Week 7, plus played on a Thursday. So the Storm have had a little bit of extra time to prepare for this battle.
Skyview coach Steve Kizer said the Storm will be ready.
“It’s for the championship, as far as we’re concerned,” Kizer said, noting that Camas still has to play Union in Week 9.
The Storm beat Union in Week 6 30-3.
“We just want to get better each week, and we made a giant step getting better that week,” Kizer said.
If the trend continues, Skyview will have a shot against Camas. The coaches might remember 2012, but these players do not.
“We just need to play well, and see how it goes,” Kizer said. “We haven’t played well against these guys. Give them credit. They’ve played awesome against us.”
UNION TITANS (4-3, 1-1 4A GSHL)
Week 7: Union 56, Heritage 7
The Titans responded from their loss to Skyview with a big win over Heritage.
Yes, it was a big win. The Titans are not used to being on the wrong side of a lopsided score. That’s what happened against Skyview.
So it was a test for them the following week. Would they come out sluggish or without focus? Nope. They were focused.
CJ Jordan threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns and only played for a half.
The Titans know they are better than what they showed against Skyview. They will have a chance to prove that this week against Battle Ground and next week against Camas.
Next: at Battle Ground, 7 p.m. Friday.
BATTLE GROUND TIGERS
Week 7: Camas 41, Battle Ground 14
Finishing strong: The Tigers were not able to slow down undefeated Camas, but they showed pride in the program with a couple of late touchdowns to make the score respectable.
Bishop Straube caught a fourth-down touchdown pass from Reid Schneider, and Ryan Potes scored on a touchdown run.
Next: The Tigers would love to stun the 4A GSHL world when they host Union at 7 p.m. Friday.
Week 7: Union 56, Heritage 7
A late score: Just like Battle Ground against Camas, the Timberwolves struggled to stop Union. But Heritage, too, did not give in, despite the score.
Quarterback Nikki Scott got a 1-yard touchdown run to avoid the shutout. More noteworthy, it was an 81-yard drive. Andre Cowley had a 42-yard run to give the Timberwolves a lift.Next: Heritage hosts Emerald Ridge in a non-league game at 4:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium