Camas faces Skyview in crucial 4A GSHL matchup Friday night
CAMAS — Statistically speaking, Taylor Ioane had a perfect night a couple weeks back as the quarterback for the Camas Papermakers.
He threw the ball 17 times that night.
He completed 17 passes that night.
He ended up with 229 yards through the air, with six touchdown passes that night.
“At first, I honestly didn’t know I went 100 percent that game,” Ioane said. “I didn’t realize it until the next couple of days. ‘Did I even throw an incomplete pass? There’s no way I didn’t throw one.’ That’s super rare.”
For Ioane, though, that 17-for-17, six-touchdown performance meant the whole offense was clicking. He was just the beneficiary.
“It’s the trust in my receivers knowing they’ll be there,” Ioane said. “They caught everything. They had a lot of trust in me to get them the ball, and I have a lot of trust in them catching the ball.
“I just want to thank my line for everything the whole year, how everybody has improved every game,” Ioane added.
Which leads Ioane and the Papermakers to Friday night and Week 7 of this high school football season. Camas is taking on Skyview in the first Class 4A Greater St. Helens League game of the year, Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Kiggins Bowl.
The Papermakers come into this contest with a similar path that they took last year, in terms of results. A year ago, playing one of the toughest non-league schedules any team in Southwest Washington has ever faced, Camas lost its first four games with then new quarterback Taylor Ioane.
A tough schedule for sure. But oh-and-four is oh-and-four. There certainly were question marks about Ioane, about the Papermakers.
“It was definitely frustrating,” Ioane said, noting that the previous year, he only played two junior varsity games at quarterback, so he really was thrust into varsity with very little experience.
“I didn’t get a feel,” he said.
All was back to normal for Camas the rest of the way, though. The Papermakers won their final five regular-season games, won the league title, and would qualify for state.
This year? Another tough schedule. An 0-3 start. But heading into the Skyview game, the Papermakers have won three in a row.
Plus, this year, the quarterback play has been improved.
“He’s doing all the right things,” Camas coach Jack Hathaway said. “He sees things a little bit more clearly. He’s processing faster and making really good decisions.”
Ioane trusts his teammates a lot more, too.
A year ago, he acknowledged he escaped the pocket as soon as he felt even the slightest pressure.
“I learned I could be a lot more patient and not scramble right away, like I did last year,” Ioane said. “I was paranoid and felt like I needed to run almost every time. I got better at that last year, and I got a lot better this year.”
Against Kamiak in Week 5 — that perfect outing — he had those six touchdown passes. But the one pass that showcased the new Taylor Iaone was an 11-yard pass in the red zone. On his 14th attempt of the game, a Kamiak blitzer had a free shot at the quarterback.
Ioane delivered a strike to his receiver and absorbed the big hit.
Now, going into the Skyview game, his improvement has a lot to do with the team’s improvement. Of course that works the other way, too. As his teammates improved, so did Ioane’s game.
“We started out with a bunch of young guys. Almost our whole team was brand new,” Ioane said. “We kind of had to figure out everything. The first three games were a challenge. We had to figure ourselves out, how to play together, work together, and show how we can be as good as we are now.”
The tough starts to both seasons could have kept Ioane and the Papermakers down.
“The coaches, the confidence they gave me, they gave me a boost,” Ioane said. “It really helps a lot knowing I’ve got everybody … helping me throughout this whole journey.”
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- High school baseball: La Center looks forward to promising futureLa Center’s baseball program had the best finish among Clark County teams this season, reaching the WIAA state quarterfinals, while Camas, Hudson’s Bay, and King’s Way Christian bowed out in the round of 16.