Union claims Class 4A GSHL football title with win at Camas

Titans come back from 13-0 halftime deficit to edge Papermakers 14-13

CAMAS — The Union Titans ended the greatest set of winning streaks in Clark County high school football history Friday night at Doc Harris Stadium.

Gone is the 58-game regular-season win streak for the Camas Papermakers.

Gone is the 22-game overall winning streak.

Gone is the 41-game league win streak for Camas.

Here and now are the Union Titans, the 2017 Class 4A Greater St. Helens League champions.

Jojo Siofele scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 3:41 to play, giving the Titans the lead, and the Union defense shut out Camas in the second half of a 14-13 victory.

Union (8-1, 4-0 GSHL) will host a state qualifying playoff game next week. Camas (8-1, 3-1) will hit the road for its Week 10 playoff.

 

Union running back Jojo Siofele (26) scored the winning touchdown on a 5-yard run with 3:41 left in the game Friday as the Titans defeated Camas 14-13 to claim the Class 4A GSHL football championship. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union running back Jojo Siofele (26) scored the winning touchdown on a 5-yard run with 3:41 left in the game Friday as the Titans defeated Camas 14-13 to claim the Class 4A GSHL football championship. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

“That was for the whole Union community, for my family. For my brothers on the team, for my mom and dad. Everyone,” Union quarterback Lincoln Victor said. “It’s not about the win for me, it’s the way we came together. We became one tonight. We were meant to do something special, and this is just the start.”

Union trailed 13-0 at the half.

Victor found Aiden Nellor on a 19-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, then Siofele got the go-ahead score, along with the two extra points from kicker Alex Koga.

“It’s an honor,” Siofele said of becoming the first team to beat Camas in a league game since Union did it in 2009. “I’m so proud. We focused on the details. We got it done.”

 

Camas running back Semisi Schultz (44) scored both of his team’s touchdowns in Friday’s 14-13 loss to Union at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz
Camas running back Semisi Schultz (44) scored both of his team’s touchdowns in Friday’s 14-13 loss to Union at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

Union coach Rory Rosenbach credited Camas for its incredible streak, and his players for achieving their goal.

“I know how hard they worked for it,’’ Rosenbach said. “They know what it takes to beat a team that is well coached and disciplined like Camas. It takes a lot to beat a team like that. That’s the real deal.”

Before the offense could get going, the Union defense had to slow down the Papermakers.

“This isn’t an individual effort. This is a family,” Union linebacker Riley Miller said. “That was how we were going to get it done.”

The turnaround started when Camas opted not to kick a field goal on fourth and 2 from the 4-yard line. The Union defense stuffed the running back for no gain midway through the third quarter.

 

Union defender Tiernan Stanley (25) tackles Camas wide receiver Drake Owen (21) during Friday’s game at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union defender Tiernan Stanley (25) tackles Camas wide receiver Drake Owen (21) during Friday’s game at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

“Just a flashback to last week versus Skyview,” Miller recalled, noting the four-down, goal-line stand against the Storm. “It was do or die. We came together as brothers and played as a team.”

Camas would get the ball four more times — and never picked up another first down.

“It was surreal. To shut this team down just shows how good our defense can be. It’s a wake-up call for the rest of the state,” Miller said.

The Union defense held Camas to 41 yards in the second half.

A long punt return by Braedon Ensley got Union in position for its first score. Still, it was fourth-and-12 from the 19-yard line with 10 minutes to play in the game, and Union had to go for it. Victor found Nellor for the score.

“I don’t really remember it. Just a blur,” Nellor said of scoring the actual touchdown.

Union quarterback Lincoln Victor (5) attempts a pass during the Titans’ 14-13 victory over Camas Friday at Doc Harris Stadium. Victor engineered Union’s second-half comeback as the Titans overcame a 13-0 halftime deficit to claim the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League football title. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union quarterback Lincoln Victor (5) attempts a pass during the Titans’ 14-13 victory over Camas Friday at Doc Harris Stadium. Victor engineered Union’s second-half comeback as the Titans overcame a 13-0 halftime deficit to claim the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League football title. Photo by Mike Schultz

He does remember how the play worked.

“We ran the same route earlier, and I was wide open,” Nellor said. “I told Lincoln, ‘Next time, look for me.’ He looked for me.”

After another Camas three-and-out, Union took over at its own 27-yard line, then went 73 yards on 10 plays. There was a 26-yard pass from Victor to Darien Chase, and a 14-yard run from Siofele. Victor ran for 11 yards to get a first down at the 10, then Siofele had back-to-back 5-yard runs for the score. Siofele finished with 100 yards on 26 carries.

“I just give it all up to my linemen. It’s all them,” Siofele said. “I’m proud of them, proud of how we played. That took a lot of heart.”

Camas got the first big play of the game in the first quarter when quarterback Kyle Allen found Ryan Rushall for an 84-yard pass to the 4-yard line. Two plays later, Semisi Schultz was in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Taylor Adams intercepted a Union pass, setting up Camas at the Union 38-yard line.

Eight plays later, Schultz scored again, this time on a 3-yard run. The extra point was blocked, though, leaving Camas with a 13-0 lead.

There was a bizarre vibe at halftime in the Union locker, Nellor said. He acknowledged a lot of players were down, way down, after falling behind and not scoring in the first half.

“But we pumped them up. We were only down 13,” Nellor said. “We played a little music to get us hyped up again. Then we just kept firing.”

Camas lost the ball on downs after Union’s go-ahead touchdown. Union ended up punting the ball back to Camas, but the Papermakers had  just 31 seconds left and were at their own 10-yard line. There would be no miracle finish for the Papermakers, who lost the ball on downs again.

That left one more play, victory formation for the Union Titans. Victory formation against Camas for the first time in years in league play.

“Back-to-back losing seasons, and then to come back, go 8-1, league champs, this means the world to me,” Nellor said. “I love every single one of these guys.”


UNION 14, CAMAS 13

Union 0 0 0 14 — 14

Camas 7 6 0 0 — 13

First quarter

C – Semisi Schultz 2 run (Andrew Boyle kick)

Second quarter

C – Schultz 3 run (kick blocked)

Fourth quarter

U – Aiden Nellor 19 pass from Lincoln Victor (Alex Koga kick)

U – Jojo Siofele 5 run (Koga kick)

Individual statistics:

RUSHING: Union: Siofele 26-100, Victor 13-67, Braedon Ensley 2-4, Dustin Nettles 2-(minus 3), Elijah Jones 1-1, Team 1-(minus 2). Camas: Will Schultz 5-5, Kyle Allen 7-10, Drake Owen 1-3, S. Schultz 10-41.

PASSING: Union: Victor 9-22-2-140. Camas: Allen 11-19-0-149, S. Schultz 1-1-0-2.

RECEIVING: Union: Ensley 2-18, Darien Chase 5-96, Nellor 1-19, Nettles 1-7. Camas: Owen 4-26, Ryan Rushall 4-108, Ja’Michael Shelton 1-5, Shane Jamison 1-5, S. Schultz 1-5, Allen 1-2.


Week 8 scores

Team Score Team Score
Union 14 Camas 13
Skyview 63 Heritage 21
Battle Ground 28 Davis 20
Kelso 26 Hudson’s Bay 24
Mountain View 55 Evergreen 3
Prairie 63 Fort Vancouver 0
Hockinson 49 R.A. Long 6
Columbia River 52 Ridgefield 21
Woodland 51 Mark Morris 7
Santiam Christian (Ore.) 28 Washougal 18
La Center 30 Castle Rock 0
Seton Catholic 35 Vernonia (Ore.) 32
King’s Way Christian 28 Benson (Ore.) 22

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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