Jacques Badolato-Birdsell follows standout offensive line for 217 yards rushing and three touchdowns
TACOMA — It’s a Papermaker Party.
The Camas Papermakers are back on top of the Class 4A state high school football world, completing an undefeated season, completing the Revenge Tour.
Jacques Badolato-Birdsell, behind one of the best offensive lines in the Northwest, rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, Jackson Clemmer caught a game-changing touchdown pass from Blake Asciutto, and the Papermakers beat Bothell 35-14 at Mount Tahoma High School.
“Back when we were freshmen, this is all we wanted,” senior lineman Rush Reimer said. “Now we’re state champions.”
“Everything went as planned. You fight through things and love up your brothers,” senior lineman Tai Tumanuvao said. “Everyone did great.”
“This means everything. We’ve been grinding since we were little kids,” said senior Tyler Forner, who scored a touchdown on offense and made a bunch of plays on defense. “It all came together, finally. It’s a blessing. God is good.”
“This is crazy. We’ve been wanting to do this forever,” Ascuitto said. “It’s insane.”
Bothell ended Camas’ 2018 season in the state preliminary round. Those Papermakers went 5-5. These Papermakers went 14-0 and ended up beating every team that beat them last year.
Taking down Bothell in the state championship game was the revenge of all revenge.
This title also started last November, Camas coach Jon Eagle said.
“The Monday following that last loss, the kids said, ‘This is never going to happen again,’” Eagle said. “The buy-in was small, then the buy-in kept getting bigger and bigger.”
The season started, Eagle added, the Papermakers suffered some injuries to some big names, but the next guys stepped up.
“And here we are,” Eagle said.
Here they are, with the program’s second state championship in four seasons.
Camas scored the first three touchdowns of the title game but this certainly was not a blowout.
The Cougars scored just before halftime, then scored on the opening drive of the second half to make it 21-14.
Bothell’s defense would stop Camas on its next series, too.
That’s when the Camas special teams, the Camas defense, and the Camas offense combined for the pivotal moments of championship Saturday.
A 55-yard punt by Bryce Leigton pinned Bothell inside its 5-yard line. The Camas defense forced a three-and-out, with Forner making a big play. After the Bothell punt, Asciutto scrambled, bought time, then launched a pass to Clemmer, who came down with the ball in the end zone for a 28-14 lead.
Bothell’s momentum was gone.
Bothell’s final four possessions: punt, punt, loss of downs, turnover.
Before the interception, it was Badolato-Birdsell with his third touchdown of the night to give Camas a 35-14 advantage.
Then Clemmer picked off the Bothell pass with 2 minutes to play, and the Papermakers could start celebrating.
Well, maybe not Tumanuvao.
“I waited until the clock said zero,” he said. “We lost to them by one point last year. I wasn’t celebrating until the clock hit zeroes.”
OK, but the rest of the Papermakers got an early start.
“That put a smile on everyone’s face,” Clemmer said of his interception. “It’s official. We just went 14-0 and won a state championship.”
Reimer said he knew this title was coming after Week 3.
Of course, the Papermakers had to actually, you know, win it.
Saturday’s game plan was a passing game early, opening up running room for Badolato-Birdsell a little bit later.
Asciutto was 3 for 3 for 70 yards on the opening drive, capped by a 6-yard touchdown run from Badolato-Birdsell.
After a Bothell punt, Asciutto again went 3 for 3 on the next drive, which ended on Forner’s 1-yard touchdown plunge from the Wildcat formation.
From there, it was mostly the Badolato-Birdsell showcase. He broke free for a 47-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 midway through the second quarter. He finished the first half with 139 yards on 15 carries.
“I love my o-linemen,” Badolato-Birdsell said. “I want to give them all the credit.”
Reimer said he was proud of how his teammate ran the ball.
“Just paving the path for him is an unbelievable experience,” he said.
“They believe in me,” Badolato-Birdsell added. “I like that. And it’s just trust.”
Asciutto ended up going 6-0 as the starting quarterback. He gave credit to Jake Blair, who went 8-0 before suffering a season-ending injury. Asciutto finished 10 for 14 for 160 yards and a touchdown in the title game.
Clemmer had four catches for 66 yards. Charlie Bump had two catches for the Papermakers, with one going for 49 yards to set up the first touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Camas defense kept doing what it has done all season, crushing the hopes of some quality opponents.
Bothell’s 14 points? Its lowest output of the season.
Forner led the team with seven tackles, including a sack for a loss of 13 yards. Logan Silva had six tackles. Jack Gibson had a sack. And Luke Jamison had an open-field tackle on a third-down play to stop the Cougars from moving the chains.
Back to the offense, the game ended on a Badolato-Birdsell first-down run on a fourth-down carry.
The clock started running again, and the packed grandstands, the standing-room-at-the-top-of-the-grandstands, got louder and louder.
For Camas, this is not just a football title for the program. It is for the community.
“It’s so important to look back and see all that red,” Eagle said. “It means a lot.”
Camas takes a 7-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/KJsnArnNDt— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) December 8, 2019
CAMAS 35, BOTHELL 14
Camas 14 7 7 7 — 35
Bothell 0 7 7 0 — 14
C — Jacques Badolato-Birdsell 6 run (Bryce Leighton kick)
C — Tyler Forner 1 run (Leighton kick)
C — Badolato-Birdsell 47 run (Leighton kick)
B — Blake Bickhaus 6 pass from Andrew Sirmon (Charlie Shulkin kick)
B — Jordyn Turner 39 pass from Sirmon (Shulkin kick)
C — Jackson Clemmer 28 pass from Blake Asciutto (Leighton kick)
C — Badolato-Birdsell 3 run (Leighton kick)
RUSHING: Camas — Badolato-Birdsell 34-217, Forner 2-1, Asciutto 1-3, Randy Yaacoub 3-8. Bothell — Christian Galvan 14-53, Sirmon 6-12, Talataina Tevaga 4-14.
PASSING: Camas — Blake Asciutto 10-14-1-160. Bothell — Sirmon 15-33-1-208.
RECEIVING: Camas — Jackson Clemmer 4-66, Jackson Preston 1-6, Charlie Bump 2-51, Kenny Wright 2-27, Eli Sivers 1-10. Bothell — Evan Berry 6-79, Jordyn Turner 6-116, Galvan 2-7, Bickhaus 1-6.