4A GSHL football notes: Once again, Union vs. Camas is the big deal

Will Camas go undefeated in the regular season? Or will there be a three-way tie for the title?

Here are the weekly notes for the football teams of the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.

CAMAS PAPERMAKERS (8-0, 3-0 4A GSHL)

UNION TITANS (5-3, 2-1 4A GSHL)

Week 8: 

Camas 21, Skyview 17

Union 52, Battle Ground 6

With respect to the other three teams in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League, this is The rivalry for the 4A GSHL

Camas vs. Union.

Union vs. Camas.

Last decade, when Union opened and both programs were in the Class 3A, it was Union that got the upper hand winning two of the first three encounters.

This decade, after both programs became 4A schools, Camas took control of the series on the way to two state championship game appearances.

In 2017, Union ended Camas’ long regular-season win streak to take the league title. Last year, Union held off Camas 14-7 to remain undefeated en route to a state championship.

Tyler Forner of the Camas Papermakers hopes to help Camas take the leap to an outright league title this week. Photo by Mike Schultz
Tyler Forner of the Camas Papermakers hopes to help Camas take the leap to an outright league title this week. Photo by Mike Schultz

These two teams represent two of the past three state champions, in fact.

This year, another huge game, with an interesting wrinkle.

One starting quarterback is certainly out.

Another starting quarterback could be ruled out this week or still might play but will not know for another day or two.

Jake Blair, who has led Camas to a 8-0 record during this Revenge Tour, broke a collarbone last week in the 21-17 win over Skyview. He announced on social media that he is done for the season.

CJ Jordan, meanwhile, injured a knee early in Union’s win over Battle Ground last week. Union coach Rory Rosenbach said best-case scenario is it will be an injury that can be put in a brace but he could still play. But the Titans cannot prepare for best case.

Union will turn to Alex Gehrmann, a super sub, if you will.

Gehrman got playing time last year for the state champs when Lincoln Victor was out for a game and a half or so. Plus, Rosenbach usually gave Gehrmann a series in every game with the starters.

That experience paid off this year already when Gehrmann filled in for Jordan in a win over Chiawana.

“He does a great job. Been in the program for years,” Rosenbach said of “The Gehrmannator,” as his teammates call him.

“He knows what to do. We can run all the stuff we want to run. We’re very comfortable with him.”

At Camas, senior Blake Ascuitto filled in for Blair in the Skyview win. A tough situation, coming into the game in the third quarter, his numbers were not great. But the Papermakers did call for passes to go downfield. They had, and have, confidence in him.

Plus, given a week to prepare, Camas coach Jon Eagle — a quarterback whisperer if there ever was one — should have his team ready.

Oh, the Papermakers also believe they are good enough to challenge for a state championship. Yes, it will be a tougher challenge without Blair, but no one from Camas is going to give up on that dream.

As far as the 4A GSHL, once again, the seedings all come down to the final week, with this game.

If Camas wins, it completes a 9-0 regular season and wins the league title outright. Camas has already assured itself of at least a share of the title.

Isaiah Jones of Union should be a key player in this week’s showdown with Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz
Isaiah Jones of Union should be a key player in this week’s showdown with Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz

If Union wins, and if Skyview takes care of business against Heritage, there will be a three-way tie for the league championship. Coin flips will determine the seedings for Camas, Skyview, and Union. 

The Titans, by the way, are hoping for their third consecutive league title. That would be a first for the program.

“For our guys, Camas is really high on the list,” Rosenbach said. “You always have a couple of goals. The first is to win a league championship. And to win a league championship, you usually have to beat Camas. We share an address. They lovingly call us West Camas. It’s the one you talk about. It’s the only game the kids are going to talk about in 20 years.”

Next: Union at Camas, 7 p.m. Friday at Doc Harris Stadium.

Skyview Storm, High School Football, Vancouver, Clark County, 4A GSHL, Yaro Duvalko, Ahmani Williams, Jalynnee McGee, Mason Wheeler, Jack Nitschke, Cooper Barnum

SKYVIEW STORM (6-2, 2-1 4A GSHL)

Week 8: Camas 21, Skyview 17

The Storm feel like they let one get away. 

Yes, Camas had the upper hand in the first half, rushing for more than 200 yards and jumping out to a 21-3 lead.

The Storm, though, dropped some passes, or missed some passes early that would have led to at least a touchdown. There were certainly some close calls that did not go Skyview’s way. 

And in the second half, there were more missed opportunities, including a fumble near the goal line. 

But here’s the good news for the Storm. They don’t feel like they played very well, coach Steve Kizer told me. And even with that, they almost beat undefeated Camas. 

The Storm will learn from this defeat. Don’t be surprised to see them still make a long run in the playoffs.

Should they prevail this week against Heritage, they will either be the No. 2 seed from the 4A GSHL and get a home playoff game in Week 10, or they share a league title. 

A Skyview win, and a Union win over Camas, would mean a three-way tie for first place. Coin flips would then determine seeds 1-through-3. 

A win-win-win for the Storm: If they beat Heritage, they will get a home game in Week  10, or a share of the league title. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Next: Skyview travels to McKenzie Stadium to take on Heritage at 7 p.m. Friday.

HERITAGE TIMBERWOLVES (2-6, 0-3 4A GSHL)

Week 8:

OK, unless Heritage surprises everybody on Friday with a victory, the team will finish with the same record as it had in 2018.

Do not be fooled, tough. This team has improved.

The Timberwolves played tougher against Mountain View and Battle Ground, and more importantly, their participation numbers are up this season. 

It’s a good sign for the future. 

Next: Heritage takes on Skyview at 7 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

BATTLE GROUND TIGERS (2-6, 1-3 4A GSHL)

Week 8: Union 52, Battle Ground 6

The Tigers wrapped up their league schedule last week against Union. The team’s win over Heritage kept them out of the cellar once again.

The Tigers, too, have shown signs of progress this season at times. They have a chance at matching last year’s win total, as well, if they can win in Week 9. 

Next: Battle Ground gets one last road trip, traveling to South Kitsap for a 7 p.m. game Friday. 

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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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