SAMMAMISH — The Camas Papermakers passed their first real test of the season Saturday, and they made some Clark County high school football history in the process.
Zach Eagle scored four touchdowns, Reilly Hennessey threw for 292 yards, and the Papermakers fought off Eastlake in a 47-28 victory in the Class 4A state quarterfinals.
Top-ranked Camas (12-0) became the first team from Clark County to reach the state semifinals in three consecutive seasons. The Papermakers will face Bellarmine Prep in the Tacoma Dome next week, date and time to be determined.
They got there by surviving this road trip to Sammamish, by thriving under their first pressure situation of 2013. After 11 blowout victories, the Papermakers had to secure this win in the final 14 minutes of the game.
“People were always asking, ‘What happens when you have to play the fourth quarter? What happens when you have to play the fourth quarter?’ We proved we can play just as fiery in the fourth quarter,” Hennessey said.
The Wolves scored back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter to pull within five points at 33-28.
Nate Beasley answered for the Papermakers, scoring on a 15-yard run with less than two minutes left in the period. Camas’ defense then held Eastlake out of the end zone, getting two fourth-down stops along the way.
Beasley would burst free for a 52-yard run to set up the final score of the game, a 5-yard run from defensive lineman/sometimes-fullback Jason Vailea to seal the victory with 2:52 left in the game.
“This is what a real football game looks like,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “There was a little bit of a panic on the sidelines. ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ I had to tell them this is what a real football game looks like. It was good for us to have to battle.”
Zach Eagle caught nine passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored the first Camas TD of the game on an 11-yard, fourth-down run. On defense, he was there when a fumble came his way. He scooped it up and returned it 19 yards to the end zone.
“I’m so blessed just to be out here,” Zach Eagle said. “Just happy to be at the right spot”
He, too, said this was a test the Papermakers needed to take, and pass.
“Our guys, for the most part, stayed calm. We know what we can do,” he said. “We also know nothing is guaranteed.”
Hennessey completed 19 of 26 passes for 292 yards and three scores.
“When we scored that last touchdown, I felt something deep down I haven’t felt in a while,” Hennessey said. “I’m definitely not satisfied. We have greater goals than just to get (to the dome). But against a very good team that gave us a heckuva run, I couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”
Eastlake’s Drew Lewis rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Blue Thomas was 26 of 47 for 331 yards and a touchdown.
Still, in a game statistically dominated by offense, the Camas defense stepped up in key moments.
Beasley — who rushed for 164 yards — is known more for his offense. But he had several big hits from his safety position and forced the fumble that Eagle scored a touchdown on to give Camas a 13-point lead late in the first half.
“Before this game, I was just kind of getting in the way of passes,” Beasley said of his defense. “Something clicked for me. The playoffs. Different environment. Different field. I saw my opportunities, and I tried to do as much as I could.”
Michael Johnson and Jorden Payne each had red zone interceptions for the Camas defense.
And in the fourth quarter, Eastlake tried — and failed — on two fourth-and-short situations. Defensive linemen Matt Walser and Vailea seemed to be part of every big play for the Papermakers.
“We just played our ball,” Vailea said. “We just played Camas football. We didn’t want to think it over too much.”
It is all about trust, Walser said.
“We had to revert back to what we know, back to the basics,” Walser said. “We each have our job and we have to trust each other to do our jobs.”
The Wolves (9-3) gave the Papermakers something to think about right away, when Lewis scored on a 70-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
Camas bounced back with a 14-play drive that ended with Eagle on a reverse that fooled everyone, tying the game at 7.
James Price made sure his feet stayed in the end zone as he dove to catch a pass from Hennessey to make it 14-7.
Lewis, though, would tie the game for Eastlake on a 10-yard run with 3:12 left in the second quarter.
Then Eagle attacked.
He caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from Hennessey at the 2:28 mark of the second quarter, and then he was in the end zone again 59 seconds later on the fumble return.
Eagle took a swing pass from Hennessey and raced 38 yards to make it 33-14 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter, giving the Papermakers what seemed like a comfortable lead.
It did not stay comfortable.Eastlake would get the next two touchdowns. Lewis’ 17-yard run with 2:49 in the third made it 33-28.
Camas closed it out with the game’s final two touchdowns, keeping its perfect season alive.
The Papermakers are going back to the dome. They worked for it, too.
CAMAS 47, EASTLAKE 28
Camas 14 13 13 7–47
Eastlake 7 7 14 0–28
E — Drew Lewis 70 run (Jakob Grasst kick)
Cam — Zach Eagle 11 run (Michael Boyle kick)
Cam — James Price 11 pass from Reilly Hennessey (Boyle kick)
E — Lewis 10 run (Grasst kick)
Cam — Eagle 78 pass from Hennessey (Boyle kick)
Cam — Eagle 19 fumble return (kick blocked)
Cam — Eagle 38 pass from Hennessey (pass failed)
E — Joe Longcore 10 pass from Blue Thomas (Grasst kick)
E — Lewis 17 run (Grasst kick)
Cam — Nate Beasley 15 run (Boyle kick)
Cam — Jason Vailea 5 run (Boyle kick)
RUSHING — Camas: Beasley 22-164, Cole Zarcone 4-19, Hennessey 8-26, Eagle 2-26, Vailea 1-5. Eastlake: Lewis 23-201, Thomas 15-41, Justin McOmber 1-(minus 3).
PASSING — Camas: Hennessey 19-26-0-292. Eastlake: Thomas 26-47-2-331.
RECEIVING — Camas: Eagle 9-202, Price 5-49, Jorden Payne 1-11, Beasley 3-12, Michael DiGenova 1-18. Eastlake: Garret McCorkle 2-35, Justin McOmber 1-6, Lewis 9-80, Gage Casal 10-151, Longcore 2-21, Austin Hooker 1-17, Eric Uhlar 1-21.