State football: Camas, Ridgefield fall in quarterfinals

Camas drops Class 4A quarterfinal football game against Kamiakin, while Ridgefield loses to Squalicum in 2A quarterfinal
Camas drops Class 4A quarterfinal football game against Kamiakin, while Ridgefield loses to Squalicum in 2A quarterfinal

It is the end of the high school football season for Clark County programs as the final two schools fell in the quarterfinals

There will be no Thanksgiving Day football practice for Clark County high school teams this season.

Camas, the No. 5 seed in the Class 4A state quarterfinals, fell to No. 4 Kamiakin 35-14 in Kennewick on Saturday afternoon.

About an hour later, the season ended for Ridgefield, the No. 5 seed in the Class 2A quarterfinals. Squalicum, the No. 4 seed, pulled away in the second half for a 63-38 victory in Bellingham.

It is the first time since 2015 that a county team has not reached at least the state semifinals.

There also will be a new Class 4A state champion. Camas won the crown in 2019, the last time there was a WIAA state playoff.

The Papermakers had their moments Saturday. After falling behind 14-0, the Papermakers responded with back-to-back touchdowns to tie the game.

Taylor Ioane found Connor Murphy on a 26-yard touchdown pass to get Camas on the board.

Later, Sam Speer blocked a Kamiakin punt, setting up the Papermakers at the Kamiakin 32-yard line. The next play, running back Jon Schultz was in the end zone to tie the game. Speer, by the way, had an amazing half for the Papermakers. The linebacker recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass to go with his special teams play.

Kamiakin, though, would get the go-ahead touchdown right before the end of the first half.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Braves took a two-touchdown lead early in the fourth quarter. They secured the victory with a late score, advancing to the state semifinals.

Camas finished 7-5. The Papermakers were 0-4 with that murderer’s row of a schedule. Remember that schedule? Camas played Central Catholic, Jesuit, West Linn, and Clackamas. Of those four teams, three have advanced to Oregon’s semifinals. Clackamas lost in second round of the playoffs … to Jesuit.

After that stretch, the Papermakers won seven in row, including a victory over Tumwater in a non-league game, and wins over Skyview and Union to claim the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League title.

Schultz, who had an incredible finish to his senior season, rushed for 108 yards in his final game with the Papermakers.

Kamiakin’s Henry Mercado completed 24 of 37 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown. Payton Graham had eight receptions for 88 yards, plus he rushed for two touchdowns.

In all Kamiakin outgained Camas 404 yards to 161.

In the 2A quarterfinals, Ridgefield traveled to Bellingham and kept close with Squalicum for a half. But a nightmare start to the second half did in the Spudders.

Squalicum scored on its first play from scrimmage in the third quarter to take a 35-17 lead. A minute later, the Storm intercepted a Ridgefield pass and returned it for a score. That gave Squalicum two touchdowns in 73 seconds and a 42-17 lead.

Ridgefield responded right away, but Squalicum got the next three touchdowns to go up 63-24.

The Spudders got the final two touchdowns, saving some pride, and thinking of the future. Landon Kelsey, a freshman, scored three touchdowns for the Spudders.

Plus, Ridgefield football has to be feeling good about what it accomplished this season. The Spudders conquered the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League, ending Hockinson’s long reign. This season, it was all about Ridgefield, winning 11 games in a row before Saturday’s loss in the elite eight.

Note: Bryan Levesque contributed to this report.

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