CAMAS — John Norcross was the Papermaker on the spot Friday, and his two fumble recoveries proved to be the difference for the Camas football team
Norcross scored touchdowns off two fumbles — one by a teammate, one by an opponent — to lead Camas to a 20-6 win over Timberline of Lacey in a non-league season opener at Doc Harris Stadium.
“I was just in the right place at the right time, I guess,” the junior linebacker/tight end said.
Late in the third quarter, Norcross was trailing a pass play to a teammate at the Timberline 30 when the ball popped out. Norcross alertly picked up the ball on a bounce and raced the final 25 yards for a touchdown, giving Camas a 13-6 lead.
“Coach (Jon) Eagle is always telling us to the play to the whistle,” Norcross said. “And that’s what I did. I was following my good friend Kyle Goodnow when I saw the ball come loose. There was no whistle, so I just grabbed the ball and ran.”
Camas quarterback Tony Gennaro, who passed the ball to Goodnow on the play that began at the Timberline 44-yard line, was pleasantly surprised.
“I saw (Goodnow) go down, and I thought the play was over,” Gennaro said. “Then I see Norcross heading for the end zone. But that’s the way things went for us. We just battled and took advantage of the breaks we got.”
Norcross grabbed another fumble early in the fourth quarter — this time while playing defense — snatching the ball out of midair and returning it 42 yards for the clinching touchdown.
“I was just lucky to be in the right spot,” Norcross said. “But this was really a team effort.”
Eagle applauded the effort of his defense, particularly as the offense struggled at times against the Timberline defense.
Gennaro completed 17 of 26 passes for 154 yards, but running back Zack Marshall was limited to 21 yards on 16 carries.
“We definitely have some things we need to work on,” Eagle said. “But that was at Top-10 team over there. Timberline is a very good team. We knew defense was going to a strength of ours. And for the most part, we bent but didn’t break tonight.”
The Camas defense forced three turnovers from Timberline — all on fumbles.
Camas started the game by driving 43 yards after the opening kickoff to set up a 34-yard field goal by Roldan Alcobendas. After stopping Timberline on downs on its first possession, the Papermakers took a 6-0 lead on a 43-yard field goal by Alcobendas.
CAMAS 20, TIMBERLINE 6
Timberline 0 0 6 0— 6
Camas 6 0 7 7—20
C — Roldan Alcobendas 34 FG
C — Alcobendas 43 FG
T — Spencer Crump 2 run (kick failed)
C — John Norcross 25 fumble recovery (Alcobendas kick)
C — Norcross 42 fumble return (Alcobendas kick)
Rushing — Timberline — Crump 15-82, Anthony Parks 8-27, James Segura-Mitchell 11-16, Jeff Winstead 1-(-8); Camas — Zack Marshall 16-21; Vincente Huber 2-15, Tony Gennaro 6-8; Reilly Hennessey 1-(-2).
Passing — Timberline — Segura-Mitchell 5-12-0-32, Chris Macneil 3-8-0-28; Camas — Gennaro 17-26-1-154.
Receiving — Timberline — Justace Buhl Brennan 2-32, Asan Neil 2-3, Levi Lambert-Wilson 1-6, Brandon Wetzel 1-4, Spencer Crump 1-2 Segura-Mitchell 1-(-1); Camas — Connor Maloney 2-51, Norcross 3-36, Kyle Goodnow 1-19, Jonathan Warner 4-17, Jack Beall 1-14, Marshall 5-9, Zach Eagle 1-9.