Defending champs fall behind 14-0 and comeback attempt falls short
The Camas Papermakers’ defense of their 2016 Class 4A state high school football championship is over.
The Papermakers fell behind by two touchdowns Friday and their comeback effort fell a little short as Camas fell 22-15 to Central Valley in the first round of the state playoffs in Spokane.
“They scored on their first two drives but our defense made some adjustments and then did a great job of controlling their offense,’’ said Camas coach Jon Eagle.
After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, Camas began their rally with a score from their defense. A safety got the Papermakers on the scoreboard, at 14-2.
Camas quarterback Kyle Allen then found Drake Owen on a 32-yard pass play in the second quarter to cut the Papermakers’ deficit to just five points at 14-9 at halftime.
Camas put together a long drive in the third quarter, with most of the yards coming on the ground. The drive extended into the initial moments of the fourth quarter before the Papermakers scored on a 1-yard run by Zach Terry to take the lead. The extra point conversion (pass) failed and the score was 15-14.
Central Valley had a chance to go ahead in the fourth quarter but a missed field goal. Central Valley got another chance though when its defense intercepted a Camas pass.
Finally, Central Valley scored a touchdown and converted the two-point play to take a 22-15 lead with 3:40 remaining in the game.
Camas had a final chance to either tie the game or go ahead but with less than two minutes to go in the game, a Papermakers’ pass was deflected and intercepted and their comeback effort had been thwarted.
“We had a chance to put something together but just couldn’t do it,’’ said Eagle, whose team finished the season with a 9-2 record. “The ball got tipped in the air, kind of a fluke thing, and the guy just happened to be in the right place at the right time and he made an interception.’’
Allen finished with 116 yards passing, with 66 of those going to Owen, who had seven receptions. Will Schultz finished with 45 yards rushing for the Papermakers.
Central Valley had 221 yards rushing and 70 passing. Camas finished with 59 yards rushing to go with the 116 yards passing.
After losing to Union in the final week of the regular season, the Papermakers had to travel last week to defeat Auburn Riverside 40-0 in a state qualifier game. Camas then had to turn around and make the trip to Spokane in the first round of the state playoffs, a difficult back-to-back for any team in the postseason.
“We misfired a little bit but we have to tip our hats to them.’’ Eagle said of his team’s Friday opponent. “I thought our kids played well. It’s always tough for high school kids to take a bus ride like that.”
Prior to the loss to Union, which determined the Greater St. Helens League title, Camas had won 58 straight regular season games. It is believed to be the fourth-longest streak of its kind in Washington state history. Prior to the loss to the Titans, the Papermakers hadn’t lost a league game since 2009 and hadn’t lost in the regular season since 2011.
“We had so many question marks going into this year because we graduated such a special class last year,’’ Eagle said. “We really didn’t know what we had. We had so much growth this season. We had a lot of different players who were able to answer all those question marks. We just feel so great about all these kids who stepped up. All the growth we saw in all of our players made for a great year.’’
Even with the freshness of Friday’s season-ending loss very much in mind, it was easy for the Papermakers’ coach to remember the bigger picture when it comes to his football program.
“I feel very good about our program,’’ Eagle said. “We’re pretty excited about the future.’’
CENTRAL VALLEY 22, CAMAS 15
Camas 0 9 0 6 — 15
Central Valley 14 0 0 8 — 22
CV — Hannan 1 run (Rehkow kick)
CV — Chodorowski 1 run (Rehkow kick)
Camas — Safety
Camas — Drake Owen 32 pass from Kyle Allen (Boyle kick)
Camas — Zach Terry 1 run (pass failed)
CV — Hannan 1 run (Tomlinson run)