CAMAS — Before his team took the field for its Class 4A state preliminary game on Friday, Camas coach Jon Eagle tried to impart a sobering thought on his players.
It didn't work.
Or maybe it did.
Frankly, with these Papermakers, it's hard to tell.
"I told the players before the game, 'This could be our last game together,' " Eagle said. "They just looked at me like, 'Are you crazy?' "
Then the Papermakers went nuts on Monroe, routing the Bearcats 55-20 in a game that wasn't nearly that close.
"I guess they weren't ready for their season to be over," Eagle said.
The highlight for Monroe may have come on the opening kickoff, when the Bearcats surprised Camas by recovering an onside kick.
The euphoria from that play did not last long as Monroe's first play from scrimmage resulted in an interception by Michael DiGenova.
Six plays later, Camas was up 7-0.
Six plays after that, it was 14-0.
It got up to 49-0 by halftime.
"We just looked internally this week," quarterback Reilly Hennessey said. "Then we just got focused on taking care of things we needed to, working to get better."
Hennessey completed 15 of 19 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns.
Running back Nate Beasley rushed for 140 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns, taking his last carry with 6:58 left in the second quarter.
James Price caught six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
"We're just going to working on getting better every Monday through Thursday, and then come out on Friday and do what we do best," Price said.
The Papermakers will get an extra day to get better this week as they will host Cascade of Everett in the first round of the 4A state tournament next Saturday.
"I thought our offense executed really well," Eagle said. "Our run defense was lights out, and our pass defense was better than it was last week. That was a real point of emphasis for us this week in practice.
"Our pass rushing was excellent. But we did have four turnovers, so we'll have to fix that."
True, Camas committed four turnovers, but all four occurred after the Papermakers were up 49-0. Monroe tallied most of their points against Camas' reserves.
If there was some bad news for Camas it was that tight end Dylan White left the game with a hand injury.
"We'll just have to wait and see," Eagle said. "If it's just a break, they can put a cast on it and could be back next week. But if they have to put a pin in there, he'll be done for the year."
In the meantime, the Papermaker will keep plowing ahead, while Eagle tries to keep his players from looking to far ahead.
"We just got keep working on getting better, as cliché as that sounds," Eagle said.
Cliché or not, it appears the Papermakers are listening to their coach.
CAMAS 55, MONROE 20
Monroe 0 0 7 13—20
Camas 28 21 0 6—55
C — Nate Beasley 11 run (Caleb Lightbourn kick)
C — Zach Eagle 22 pass from Reilly Hennessey (Lightbourn kick)
C — James Price 28 pass from Hennessey (Lightbourn kick)
C — Price 14 pass from Hennessey (Lightbourn kick)
C — Beasley 5 run (Lightbourn kick)
C — Beasley 11 run (Lightbourn kick)
C — Brian Kelly 1 run (Lightbourn kick)
M — Gabe Moore 3 pass from Andrew Zimmerman (Tanner Ohlsen kick)
C — Kelly 29 pass from Hennessey (kick failed)
M — Hunter Bingham 33 pass from Zimmerman (Ohlsen kick)
M — Shanden Mixayphone 27 pass from Zimmerman (kick failed)
RUSHING — Monroe: Jacob Jerome 5-22, Mckinley Braa 8-13, Moore 9-12, Zimmerman 5-8, Bingham 1-(-5). Camas: Beasley 13-140, Jordan Del Cole Zarcone 7-40, Moral 2-24, Kelly 4-20, Liam Fitzgerald 1-4, Hennessey 1-4.
PASSING — Monroe: Zimmerman 14-29-1-168. Camas: Hennessey 15-19-1-318, Fitzgerald 0-3-1-0.
RECEIVING — Monroe: Moore 8-59, Bingham 3-55, Mixayphone 1-27, Robbie Schab 1-19, Cody Kennedy 1-8. Camas: Price 6-138, Michael DiGenova 3-85, Kelly 3-63, Eagle 2-25, Jorden Payne 1-11.