A look ahead: Papermakers travel south for the second straight week
Week 1: Camas 35, Central Catholic 13
Next: at Sherwood, Ore., 7 p.m. Friday
Every year, like all teams, the Camas Papermakers have to reload with new talent.
But unlike all the other teams, the Papermakers do so and never seem to skip a beat.
Camas opened the 2017 season with a 35-13 victory over Central Catholic (Ore.), a team that went to Oregon’s state championship game last season. The victory pushed Camas’ regular-season winning streak to 51 games. The team has not lost in the regular season since 2011.
What a debut:
Quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in his first game as the starter.
That only tells part of the story.
I got to watch every play of this game the next day on my computer. Allen must have earned the respect of all of his teammates after they saw the clips, as well.
Why? The guy took hit after hit and still delivered the ball.
His 58-yard scoring strike to Drake Owen was a perfect ball as he was getting hit.
He also had a drive when he was hit on consecutive plays. On the next pass play, he stood strong in the pocket, even as pressure was around him, and he delivered a strike to his receiver. Later, on the same drive, he was drilled as he released a touchdown pass to Ja’Michael Shelton.
Central Catholic impressed:
Steve Pyne, the coach of the Rams, has now played Camas in back-to-back season openers. Both times, Camas got lopsided wins. A year ago, Camas would go on to win the Washington state title. Central Catholic, meanwhile, rebounded and reached the state title game in Oregon.
Pyne told ClarkCountyToday.com that this year’s game was closer, even if the scores of both games were similar. He said right now, Camas is not as physical as it was a year ago at this time.
“But they’re young. They’ll get better,” Pyne said.
As far as November and into December, yes, Pyne said, there is a chance for a repeat for Camas.
“Not knowing the landscape of Washington football very well, outside of Camas, I would think they would have a chance because they will be a very tough ‘out’ come playoffs,” Pyne said. “They’re so well coached and disciplined.”
Central Catholic was able to get a pass rush against the Papermakers, and the Camas running attack was not super strong, until the final drive of the game. Pyne said the Camas offensive line, though, will just get better and better as the season progresses.
My favorite play:
The game was pretty much in hand, and the Papermakers decided to try to run some clock and crush the will of their opponent with a rushing attack. The last 10 plays of the drive came on the ground.
One in particular stood out. It was fourth-and-1 from the Central Catholic 31-yard-line. Will Schultz tried running wide, but he had to retreat eight yards to the 39 just to get around one defender. Then he turned the corner, got up field and got the first down. Camas was going to win anyway, but this was the kind of effort that shows why the Papermakers have won 51 consecutive regular season games.
What did Jon Eagle learn from his team in Week 1? “I like the way our defense flew around and rallied to the ball. I thought our special teams played well in coverage, returns, and kicks.
“On offense, we are getting production out of our passing game,” Eagle said, noting the offense does want to involve more receivers in the coming weeks. “I thought our O-line played well in spots — not uncommon this early — they have to gel. They will as the season progresses.”
Coach’s pick for MVP on offense: Drake Owen. Big plays all night. Owen finished with 12 catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns, plus he had a fantastic punt return.
Coach’s pick for MVP on defense: Eagle said the whole unit played well together. “It’s all about knowing where your help is coming from.” And he pointed out Trevor Bentley for his tackling and Isaiah Abdul for his pass coverage.
Thoughts on the next game: “They are a tough team. They have made some changes so we will have to adjust on the fly.”