One of my biggest pet peeves is when any of my colleagues in the media describe something as "unbelievable."
Always find that strange, considering we media have readers, viewers, and/or listeners who are asking us to report the news to them in a truthful manner. So if the media is reporting something, but also calling it unbelievable, well, that's a problem then, right?
OK, I'm being a little bit of a jerk. I know the term "unbelievable" is just hyperbole, and when sports media people use the term it is not meant to be taken literally.
Anyway, so I watched a football game in the Tacoma Dome late Saturday, a state championship was on the line, and a team had a 13-point lead and the ball with 1 minute and 10 seconds left in the game.
And that team lost.
Sounds like the beginning of a "30 for 30" ESPN documentary: What if I told you ...
I covered the game from the dome, wrote my story, drove home and watched the game on TV again before going to bed Sunday morning. Well, I won't tell you it was unbelievable, but days later, I still am having trouble comprehending everything.
Unfortunately for the Camas Papermakers, it is all too believable.
In case you have been living on the moon and had not heard, the Chiawana Riverhawks stopped Camas on a fourth-and-short play to give the ball to their offense with 65 seconds left in the Class 4A state championship game. The Riverhawks scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner on the final play, for a shocking 27-26 victory.
So many things had to go wrong for the Papermakers in order for so many things to go right for the Riverhawks. I broke down a long list of things on the high school sports blog with my Day After Report. Go to 360preps.com to find the blog for that thorough report. Or just read some of the highlights here:
• Camas went 0 for 4 in red-zone opportunities. Four possessions. Zero points.
• Camas was without its best receiver (and all-league defensive back) Zach Eagle, who went down with a first-quarter injury.
• A game-sealing interception was likely missed because of an earlier injury to Dylan White, who was playing with a cast.
• A likely pick-six interception for a Camas touchdown turned into just an interception when a leg cramp brought down Michael Johnson.
• The kicking team missed three extra points and two field goals.
• The Camas offense was whistled for 10 false start penalties. On TV, I saw every infraction.
As you can see, some of this was bad luck that happens to every team, every season. Some of this was self-inflicted mistakes that happen to every team, every season.
It just happened to happen to a team going for a state championship and a perfect record. Imperfection happens.
But here is something that also needs to be highlighted: The Chiawana Riverhawks still made the plays at the end of the game to win the game. All of these things going against Camas, and the Papermakers still had a 13-point lead with the ball, with 70 seconds left.
Coaches, players, fans, and media always like to seek blame. I'd like to take the time to praise a team that made the plays to win in those final 70 seconds.
That was an incredible pass from Joey Zamora to Dre Dorton on the 57-yard touchdown bomb with 55 seconds left in the game. That was a fantastic onside kick, with the perfect bounce for the kicking team. Then it was a textbook, no-panic hurry-up offense that took advantage of a tipped pass, and later calmly spiked the ball to set up one more play to win the game.
And if you think about it, this is really a huge compliment to the Camas Papermakers. With all of those things listed above going against them, the Papermakers were still in position to win. The Riverhawks needed a sports miracle to beat the Papermakers.