CAMAS -- Canby’s multi-faceted running game never had a chance to get in gear on Friday at Doc Harris Stadium.
That gave the Camas Papermakers plenty of time to find their stride in their first home game of this high school football season.
The result was the second consecutive impressive win for the Papermakers over an Oregon opponent with high hopes.
Camas (2-0) scored one touchdown in each quarter to run away from the visiting Cougars (0-2) in a 31-7 non-league win. But it was the Papermakers’ defense blanking Canby until late in the fourth quarter that had to open some eyes.
“I thought that our defense, to hold a team like this to zero points for three quarters, was phenomenal,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said.
Canby used nine different backs in the game and tried to knock Camas on its heels with a combination of misdirection and power running. But all it netted the Cougars was 117 rushing yards, 67 of those on a late-game touchdown drive.
Canby quarterback Sam Stelk was sacked six times and netted negative 61 yards.
“It’s all about following our reads and listening to our defensive coaches,” Camas’ John Norcross said. “We are disciplined and just follow our reads, and it takes us right to the ball.”
Norcross also contributed on offense, scoring two short touchdowns on direct snaps.
“It’s awesome to get those,” Norcross said. “I’ve got Jason Vailea lead blocking. I’ve got a big offensive line that destroys people and really makes wide holes.”
The Camas offense was inconsistent during the first half, going three-and-out three times and struggling with its passing game. But the Papermakers produced touchdowns on scoring drives of 65 and 51 yards to lead 14-0 at halftime.
Vicente Huber powered his way to a 21-yard touchdown around the left side to cap an 11-play first-quarter drive. Norcross scored from a yard out 1:29 before halftime. Norcross took the direct snap and plunged over the goal line after bobbling the ball several times as he approached the goal line.
“I bobbled it and was able to get a lucky bounce off the ground and was able to score,” Norcross said.
The key play on that drive was a pass from quarterback Reilly Hennessey to Zach Eagle for an 18-yard gain on a third-and-9 play, a connection that ended a string of seven incomplete passes by the Papermaker junior quarterback.
Jon Eagle said Canby tried to take away the Camas passing game, so his team turned its focus to the ground, especially in the second half.
“In the third quarter I thought our offensive line (improved),” the coach said. “We asked them to establish something on the ground and they were able to do that.”
Drew Clarkson, part of the offensive line that helped the Papermakers total 194 rushing yards, said Friday’s game was a good lesson because of the stunts and blitzes used by the Canby defense.
“We were really focusing on our blocks and not freaking out when they did blitz and stuff we’re not used to,” Clarkson said.
In the second half, he added, “We just kept doing what we do.”
A 33-yard field goal by Roldan Alcobendas and a second Norcross touchdown made the lead 24-0 after three quarters. The fourth-quarter score was a 56-yard sprint by Nathan Beasley, who took a swing pass from Hennessey and dashed down the right sideline to make it 31-0.
Beasley finished with 85 yards rushing and 85 receiving. Huber added 81 rushing yards for Camas, which opened the season with a win at Oregon City a week earlier.
The defense kept erasing gaps and impressing the Camas coaches.
“They’re a tough running team,” John Eagle said of the Cougars. “I thought our defense played very well. We tackled well, we did our assignments well, and most of the time we controlled the line of scrimmage.”
CAMAS 31, CANBY 7
Canby 0 0 0 7-- 7
Camas 7 7 10 7--31
Cam -- Vicente Huber 21 run (Roldan Alcobendas kick)
Cam -- John Norcross 1 run (Alcobendas kick)
Cam -- Alcobendas 33 FG
Cam -- Norcross 5 run (Alcobendas kick)
Cam -- Nathan Beasley 56 pass from Reilly Hennessey (Alcobendas kick)
Cby -- Jacob McKinnon 2 run (Alejandro Sandoval kick)
RUSHING -- Canby -- Isaac Shrier 12-62, Jacob McKinnon 11-28, Brandon Wiscarson 6-16, Mike Caruso 6-34, Sam Bodine 1-10, Konnen Bell 5-6, Devon Fortier 2-16, Dominic Shorter 3-0, Jace Cates 3-5, Sam Stelk 7-(minus 61). Camas -- Nathan Beasley 15-85, Vicente Huber 10-81, Zach Eagle 1-3, John Norcross 3-12, Adam Dawson 5-31, Bryan Kelly 2-(minus 5), Reilly Hennessey 2-(minus-13).
PASSING -- Canby -- Stelk 7-17-0-69. Camas -- Hennessey 9-21-0-156.
RECEIVING -- Canby -- Bell 4-46, Caruso 1-16, Shorter 1-7, AJ Kyllo 1-0. Camas -- Eagle 3-39, Beasley 3-85, Michael Digenova 1-9, Jack Beall 1-10, Norcross 1-13.