CAMAS — The game of the year in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League turned into just another Friday night for the Camas Papermakers.
Another runaway, that is.
Not a running clock, though. That was a first for the Papermakers in Washington this season. But still, Camas was never threatened after scoring the game’s first 24 points.
Nate Beasley rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown, Reilly Hennessey threw two touchdown passes to James Price and rushed for two more touchdowns, and the top-ranked Papermakers whipped rival Union 44-6 in front of a packed Doc Harris Stadium.
Just as impressive for Camas (7-0, 3-0), the defense stuffed Union’s offense for most of the night.
“It’s just an amazing feeling to do this against a strong team like Union,” defensive lineman Jason Vailea said. “Coming into this game, I was expecting a close game. Watching Union on film, they are on point with everything. I guess it wasn’t their night. I know they work hard. I guess we worked harder.”
Camas held the region’s leading rusher, Leon Siofele, to 82 yards on 24 carries, and 29 of those yards came in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter with Camas up by 38 points.
In fact, the Titans (5-2, 2-1) finished with 142 yards of offense and did not hit the century mark until the final five minutes of the game.
“The whole defensive team, and the coaching staff, tip our hats to them,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “They really slowed down a pretty good team and a really good running back.”
The Titans hardly knew what hit them when Camas went 99 yards on three plays on its first drive of the game. Hennessey found Price open on a 28-yard touchdown pass.
“Coming out here with the fans, playing for this city, scoring for this team, it’s a blessing,” Price said.
The Titans then fumbled the ball away on their next play from scrimmage, setting up a field goal from Camas’ Caleb Lightbourn for a quick 10-0 lead.
Hennessey made it 16-0 early in the second on a 5-yard quarterback keeper. After another Union punt — the Titans had four punts and a turnover on their first five drives — Vailea used his 6-2, 245-pound frame to bust into the end zone from a yard out. The two-point conversion made it 24-0.
Beasley had 114 of his yards by halftime.
“Last year, they shut down the run,” Beasley said of the Titans. “This year … we had some smash-mouth football. We just hoped for the best and today, that happened.”
Cole Zarcone added 79 yards as the Papermakers rushed for 321 yards.
“Coach Eagle said Union was going to try to stop the pass and we were going to have to run the ball,” Zarcone said. “The O-line stepped up and did amazing.”
Hennessey completed 13 of 18 passes for 180 yards. He had a great view of the rushing attack, too.
“They are a very, very scary front to go against,” Hennessey said of his linemen. “We like putting the ball down, handing it off, and seeing what those guys can do.”
The Titans did put together an eight-play, 48-yard drive to score with 27 seconds left in the first half. Siofele found the end zone on a 2-yard run to make it 24-6.
Camas, though, scored 58 seconds into the second half — a 16-yard pass from Hennessey to Price — to end any suspense. Beasley would add a 7-yard touchdown run late in the quarter.
Hennessey would cap the scoring with a 1-yard run with 5:19 left in the game.
“They are as advertised,” Union coach Cale Piland said. “They’re physical. They play fast. This is a great learning experience for us.”
But Piland told his Titans that there is a lot of football left to play. Union now is focusing on finishing second in the 4A GSHL.
The Papermakers are two games away from a perfect regular season, two wins away from another 4A GSHL crown.
And if a 38-point margin of victory is a close game, well, yeah, like Piland said, the Papermakers are as good as the hype.
CAMAS 44, UNION 6
Union 0 6 0 0–6
Camas 10 14 14 6–44
Cam — James Price 28 pass from Reilly Hennessey (Caleb Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Lightbourn 27 FG
Cam — Hennessey 5 run (kick failed)
Cam — Jason Vailea 1 run (Price pass from Hennessey)
U — Leon Siofele 2 run (pass failed)
Cam — Price 16 pass from Hennessey (Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Nate Beasley 7 run (Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Hennessey 1 run (kick failed)
RUSHING — Union: Siofele 24-82, Nolan Henry 7-(minus 15), Alex Berfanger 3-11, Nate Kuratli 1-0, Caleb Browning 2-14. Camas: Beasley 16-189, Cole Zarcone 11-79, Hennessey 9-24, Vailea 2-6, Brian Kelly 5-27, Jake Peebles 1-(minus 3), Team 1-(minus 1).
PASSING — Union: Henry 9-12-0-46, Siofele 1-1-0-4. Camas: Hennessey 13-18-0-180.
RECEIVING — Union: Ethan Beniga 3-28, Browning 1-(minus 4), Zach Caston 2-7, Henry 1-4, Siofele 3-15. Camas: Price 4-67, Jorden Payne 1-11, Zach Eagle 6-87, Michael DiGenova 1-9, Slav Mikhalets 1-6.