CAMAS — A decade ago, a win like Friday’s would have sparked real celebration in Camas.
Back then, Camas High School had never qualified for a state playoff football game, so a win like the 43-12 thumping of the South Kitsap Wolves would have been something special.
But the only real surprise for No. 3-ranked Camas (10-0) in the state preliminary playoff round was that it won’t face fourth-ranked Kentwood in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
Arlington surprised Kentwood 21-14, meaning it will make the trip to Doc Harris Stadium next week for the round of 16.
Arlington will be greeted by a revved up crowd and a team that knows it is capable of something special.
The Camas defense — as it has all season — introduced itself quickly to the visitors from Port Orchard, giving the Papermaker offense the chance to put away the Wolves before halftime.
“Every big game we’ve had so far this season, I feel like we’ve benefitted from coming into the game thinking it’s just another faceless opponent,” Camas quarterback Reilly Hennessey said. “We’ve just got to play our game and do what our coaches tell us.”
As much fun as Hennessey had while completing 16 of 23 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, the junior might have enjoyed watching the Papermaker defense even more.
On the third play of the game, Camas safety Zach Eagle intercepted South Kitsap quarterback Kevin Whatley. On the next play, Hennessey haned off to Nate Beasley who went 33 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
Two plays after the kickoff, Camas’ Adam Dawson tackled Wolves running back Adam Gascoyne in his own end zone. Two minutes into the game it was 9-0, and even though Camas didn’t score again in the first quarter, the Papermakers had control.
“Our defense has played well all year,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “They give us great field position. They play physical. They play fast. We really center our whole team around our defense.”
South Kitsap had one first down and 27 bet yards in the first half. Camas had 338 yards and a 36-0 lead after 24 minutes.
“When our defense plays well it gets our offense rolling and we get in a good rhythm. It was a spark and we fed off that,” said Zach Eagle, who caught nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Both Zach Eagle and his father/coach said that the success of this team is as much about quick thinking as quick feet.
“We play with a lot of passion,” Zach Eagle said. “Our coaches put us in the right positions to make plays and we just continue to try to get better.”
“Our kids are fast because they’re smart and they know where we’re going,” Jon Eagle said.
Camas is going to the 16-team state playoffs, and their seventh all-time — all since 2003.
Such success is not to be taken for granted.
“Definitely it means something,” Hennessey said. “We’re carrying on a tradition. We’re driving on a road that others have paved for us, so it makes it fun that we can do our part and keep carrying on the tradition of Camas football.”
CAMAS 43, SOUTH KITSAP 12
South Kitsap 0 0 6 6–12
Camas 9 27 7 0–43
Cam — Nate Beasley 33 run (Roldan Alcobendas kick)
Cam — Safety, Adam Dawson tackles Adam Gascoyne in end zone.
Cam — John Norcross 1 run (Pass failed).
Cam — Beasley 9 run (Alcobendas kick)
Cam — Zach Eagle 38 pass from Reilly Hennessey (Alcobendas kick)
Cam — Jorden Payne 16 pass from Hennessey (Alcobendas kick)
Cam — Beasley 61 run (Alcobendas kick)
SK — Nick Stoner 23 pass from Cooper Canton (pass failed)
SK — Thomas Simpson 23 pass from Canton (pass failed)
RUSHING — South Kitsap — Bryce Broom 7-6, Adam Gascoyne 3-10, Marshaud Dewalt 2-8, Li’i Kalima 2-4, Kevin Whatley 7-(minus 13), Cooper 2-(minus 16). Camas — Beasley 16-178, Vicente Huber 12-36, Cole Zarcone 5-14, Bryan Kelly 4-44, Hennessey 3-6, Norcross 1-1, Jordan Payne 1-7.
PASSING — South Kitsap — Whatley 2-11-2-13, Canton 8-11-1-159. Camas — Hennessey 16-23-0-225, Jake Peebles 1-1-0-(minus 2).
RECEIVING — South Kitsap — Thomas Simpson 4-77, Whatley 7-47, Nick Stoner 2-35, Gascoyne 1-12, Marshaud 1-1. Camas — Eagle 9-118, Beasley 3-23, Norcross 1-15, Huber 1-23, Payne 1-16, Nick Napier 1-(minus 2).