Camas to meet Union for Class 4A GSHL title

Papermakers are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in state poll

Camas Papermakers (8-0, 3-0 4A GSHL)

Week 1: Camas 35, Central Catholic (Ore.) 13
Week 2: Camas 34, Sherwood (Ore.) 13
Week 3: Camas 52, Davis 19
Week 4: Camas 28, Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) 25
Week 5: Camas 35, Battle Ground 0
Week 6: Camas 38, Skyview 20
Week 7: Camas 63, Battle Ground 13
Week 8: Camas 34, Sunnyside 19
Next: vs. Union, 7 p.m. Friday at Doc Harris Stadium

The Papermakers took care of business in Week 8, a non-league road game, to extend their amazing overall and regular-season streaks. They return to league play in Week 9 for the biggest game of the year, in hopes of continuing a third incredible streak.

Camas has won 41 straight Class 4A Greater St. Helens League games heading into this week’s matchup with Union. Friday’s game will decide the 4A GSHL title. Photo by Mike Schultz
Camas has won 41 straight Class 4A Greater St. Helens League games heading into this week’s matchup with Union. Friday’s game will decide the 4A GSHL title. Photo by Mike Schultz

That was close:

I’ll admit it. I was planning on just watching a few minutes of this game on my computer screen. But I ended up watching the whole thing because it was so close. Sunnyside was within two points at the end of the third quarter. Sunnyside, down eight in the fourth quarter, nearly scored a touchdown that would have pulled the team within a 2-point conversion of tying the game.

Of course, you know by now, Camas held off Sunnyside for its 58th consecutive regular-season victory and 22nd overall victory in a row.

Here is your Drake Owen Remains Awesome Update:

Warning to all other teams. Do not punt to this man.

Owen returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring. The blocking was solid. But this also was a return on instinct. Owen has those football instincts. He has been showing them off all season. Showed them off again this night.

Later in the first half, Owen caught a fourth-down pass from Kyle Allen to keep one drive going, then scored on a TD pass from Allen.

That was fast:

Sunnyside scored with 1:26 left in the first half to pull within two points at 14-12.

Sunnyside left too much time on the clock for Camas.

Shane Jamison caught a 18-yard pass from Allen to get the Papermakers moving in the right direction. He was hit hard on the play, but refused to go down after the hit, picking up more valuable yards.

There was a 17-yard pass, too. Can’t say for certain who the receiver was – could not see the number on the video – but I’m assuming it was Ryan Rushall. It looked like him. Plus, it was a catch over the middle. And we all know Rushall is fearless going over the middle to make a catch.

Allen then had one of his best plays of the night on an incomplete pass. He was about to get sacked, but he had enough strength to get the pass off, out of bounds, out of danger, but without getting an intentional grounding call.

Later, Allen threw a TD pass. Sorry, could not see the number of the receiver. But it gave Camas a 21-12 lead at the half.

Game-changer:

Camas was up 27-19 in the fourth quarter when a Sunnyside running back got loose for a 56-yard gain. He appeared to be going all the way, but a Papermaker chased him down. Again, could not see the number of the Camas player, but I’m guessing it was Isaiah Abdul who refused to give in on the play.

Sunnyside would not get any closer to the end zone, losing the ball on downs.

Instead of a possible tie game, it was Camas ball with an eight-point lead.

Impressive:

We know about 58 in a row in the regular season and 22 in a row overall. Camas also has that league streak going, too, and that is at 41.

Making that streak more impressive has been the competition through the years. The Class 4A Greater St. Helens League is not an easy league to conquer.

In 2015, all three playoff teams won Week 10 games to make it to state. Camas cruised to victories over the other two playoff teams in league play.

In 2016, only two teams made the playoffs. Battle Ground finished 7-2, was ranked in the top 10, and did not make the playoffs. Skyview finished second in the league, then went to the final four at state. Camas cruised to victories over those teams, too.

In 2014, Union reached the state quarterfinals and lost once in the regular season — to Camas.

The past few years, the build-up to the Skyview game has been huge. The Storm nearly toppled the Papermakers the second time they played each other in 2015 — with the second game coming in the state playoffs.

In 2016, that was Skyview’s rallying cry: to get back at Camas.

It did not happen.

In 2017, the Storm returned a number of talented players from last season’s semifinal team. Once again, the focus in the offseason was to be the team to take down Camas.

It did not happen.

Now the challenge for Camas it to take on a new challenger.

Union, which, on paper, was not much of a threat the past two seasons, is back. Big-time back, in fact. The Titans put a hurting on Skyview last week, setting up this mega game Friday night between two teams with a combined record of 15-1.

It’s like the old days. (Well, maybe not old days, but a while back when Union was just starting its program.) Union beat Camas in 2008 and 2009 to claim the league titles, back when both teams were Class 3A programs.

That Union victory in 2009? That was the last league loss for Camas.

This Friday, we will find out if Camas can continue the streak. If the Papermakers do it, they will know that they have once again swept the league, and once again swept a league with at least two other quality teams.

Coach Speak:

What did Jon Eagle think about Week 8? “Sunnyside has a bunch of tough, hard-nosed players. We were in a battle.”

His thoughts on Week 9: “Always a great game,’’ Eagle said. “Get there early. Union has a great team. It should be fun.”

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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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