Camas faces big test against Coeur d’Alene, top-rated quarterback

Colson Yankoff will head to the University of Washington next season

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It doesn’t take much time in film sessions for Camas football coach Jon Eagle to identify Coeur d’Alene’s strong suits.

One player certainly stands out.

The Vikings possess perhaps the top quarterback prospect in the Northwest in senior Colson Yankoff. The University of Washington commit stands at 6 feet, 3 1/2 inches, weighs 200 pounds and runs a 4.73 40 meters, according to 247Sports.

And he may be the best quarterback prospect to visit Clark County in the last decade when Camas hosts Coeur d’Alene on Friday at 7 p.m. at Doc Harris Stadium.

“We don’t say this very often, but he’s a guy who can beat you by himself,” Eagle said. “He’s got a group of players around him who are pretty good, too.

“I’ve been doing this a long time. There are not many quarterbacks that we’ve coached against that can do the things this guy can do. He’s one of the best I’ve seen. He looks like a dang high school kid playing against a bunch of middle schoolers.”

Sure, the Papermakers have seen Yankoff. He had 475 yards passing and 73 yards running the ball last season when Camas beat the Vikings 49-30 on the road in northern Idaho. Those are numbers he’s replicated many times, earning him Gatorade Player of the Year in Idaho last year.

Last year Yankoff amassed 3,129 passing yards and 27 touchdowns through the air and an additional 968 yards and 26 touchdowns on his feet. He initially committed to Oregon, but changed course after coach Mark Helfrich was fired and committed to UW.

Yankoff missed the first two games of the season rehabbing from knee surgery in mid-May, but returned in strong form.

“He looks good,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said of Yankoff’s knee. “He’s running around, getting better each week.”

Camas knows shutting down Yankoff is a feat not many have done. Eagle told the team as much.

“Understand that you’re not going to completely stop anybody,” he said, “you just have to try and contain and make them earn it, make them execute, don’t give them any big plays and I think we’ve done a good job of trying to do that.”

But that was last year. Camas fields a lot of new faces this season. Eagle said before the season the roster may require “patience.” Then the Papermakers rolled past Central Catholic of Portland and Sherwood (Ore.) on the road, and returned home to throttle A.C. Davis of Yakima to post a 3-0 record approaching the last game of non-league competition.

It has the pollsters looking. Camas is the No. 1 team in Class 4A, per the Associated Press high school football poll.

“We’ve got pride, too, we want to try to beat a better team,” Eagle said. “This is Washington versus Idaho. We want to show well.”

Eagle agrees with the notion that the early season tests have helped prepare Camas for Coeur d’Alene. Especially at positions with a lot of new faces, such as the offensive line. Eagle and quarterback Kyle Allen have both credited the line early.

“They’re very green,” Eagle said, “but I’m very pleased with the job they’ve been doing, they’re getting a lot better. We can do more things. Sometimes you’re limited by your protection and what you can do.”

The Vikings know Camas has just six returning starters from the team it saw last year. But they also know the success that accompanies the program.

“They’re definitely got new guys, but Camas is Camas,” Amos said. “They’re well-run, well-coached, kids play hard, disciplined. That’s the reason we schedule them. They’re one of top teams in Washington.”