Timberwolves hope to bounce back from loss to Camas
Heritage Timberwolves (3-4, 0-2 4A GSHL)
Week 1: Heritage 28, Prairie 14
Week 2: Heritage 34, Evergreen 7
Week 3: West Valley (Yakima) 57, Heritage 16
Week 4: Redmond 38, Heritage 20
Week 5: Union 56, Heritage 6
Week 6: Heritage 34, Benson 14
Week 7: Camas 63, Heritage 13
Next: vs. Battle Ground, 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium
A disastrous first half for the Timberwolves against the top-ranked 4A team in the state, but Heritage did have a few highlights in the second half.
Play of the night:
The Timberwolves gave up 56 points in the first half.
Sure, they scored twice in the second half, but the scoreboard still read 56-13 in the closing minutes of the game. It would have been so easy to just not care anymore. Camas was going to win, regardless of the final score.
Robert Meadors, though, wanted to make sure the Papermakers earned that final touchdown. He wanted to make sure he gave it all he had, even in the face of sure defeat.
A Camas running back had broke free and seemed to be on his way to a 45-yard touchdown run.
Nope, here comes Meadors. Not only did he chase down the ball carrier, he delivered a crushing blow to get the runner out of bounds at the 1-yard line.
Sure, Camas scored on the next play. But for one shining moment, Meadors and the Timberwolves proved they weren’t giving up on this night.
“That play right there is the one we’ll show,” Heritage coach Matt Gracey said, referring to the video study the coaches show players each week. “You don’t have any hope of winning, but you still play like you can win. If you do that enough times, things will turn around.”
Couple of other gems:
On Camas’ first drive of the game, Heritage defensive back Mekhi Belcha bounced off a blocker and brought down the ball carrier for a loss of a yard.
Late in the first quarter, the Camas offense went three-and-out. On one of the plays, Andrew Thom batted down a pass, forcing an incompletion.
Two journalists were in the same room in the press box and we both saw No. 17 catch a touchdown pass for Heritage. Or did we? No, we didn’t.
For one, it was foggy, and it was getting difficult to see the numbers on the jerseys. Still, how did we both miss it?
It was No. 7, not No. 17 with the touchdown. I confirmed it on the field after the game and told Neithan Stanley it would be correct in the game story.
After the game, Heritage coach Matt Gracey said the first half was a worst-case scenario. Yes, Camas is good, really good. And Heritage has not won a league game in years. But Gracey said it should not have been a 56-point difference in the first half. But once one thing went wrong, then another and another.
Here is how a half turns into a disaster for a team:
Heritage went three-and-out and then got a delay of game penalty prior to the punt. Then the punter was ruled down when he had to go low for an errant snap. Camas got the ball at the Heritage 2-yard line.
Another three-and-out led to a punt. Camas scored on a deep ball the next play.
Camas returned the next punt for a touchdown, even though the returner was in the grasp of a Heritage coverage man as soon as he retrieved the punt. The returner broke free and was gone.
Heritage lost fumbles on its next two possessions, with one being returned for a Camas touchdown.
Camas did not score after that second fumble and instead punted. Heritage muffed the recovery, and Camas got the ball again.
After a Camas turnover, the Timberwolves threw an interception that was returned 51 yards, setting up another Camas touchdown.
What did Matt Gracey think of his team’s Week 7 performance? “When we came out in the second half, when we got out of our own heads, that was some good stuff. The first half, the moment might have been too big. The mistakes were too much to overcome. Gotta go back to the drawing room, fix some mistakes, and try to make things better.”
No MVPs this week: “It’s not a week to focus on MVPs,’’ Gracey said. “It’s a week to focus on how we’ll get better.”
Thoughts on Week 8 vs. Battle Ground: “They’re a team that has improved every week,’’ Gracey said. “They have a really tough running game. They’re a punch-in-your-mouth team. We have our work cut out for us. … The two teams that haven’t won a league game, it’s going to be tough for either team to find an advantage.”