There appears to be a wide gap between No. 2 in the state and No. 3.
About 17 points and 347 yards worth of a gap.
Camas, No. 2 in the AP’s Class 4A state ranking, led start to finish Friday night and beat No. 3 Union 37-20 at McKenzie Stadium in one of the most anticipated regular-season high school football games in Southwest Washington history.
Camas (7-0) improved to 4-0 in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.
Union (6-1) fell to 3-1.
Cole Zarcone rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns, and Liam Fitzgerald passed for 288 yards, throwing the ball through a constant rain storm.
“This is really special,” Zarcone said. “The O-line did a great job. We had great play calling from Coach (Jon) Eagle, and we just worked together as a team. It’s a blessing to have this outcome, for sure.”
Fitzgerald started the game getting adjusted to the wet conditions, completing just one of his first seven passes. Then he completed 24 of his next 29 passes.
James Price had 11 receptions for 123 yards and a 23-yard touchdown.
“He is just a phenomenal football player,” Price said of Fitzgerald. “The way Liam has progressed so far is unbelievable. You knew he would be a star. He’s already a star. He’s only a junior, so you know he’s only going to get better. He can make any throw in the game, and he can do it on the ground, too.”
In all, Camas outgained Union 527 to 180.
The Papermakers jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never trailed against their biggest rival.
“This means a lot,” Camas offensive lineman Chase Lea said. “This has history. It’s a big deal to us. We could lose a game to Skyview, but if we beat Union, it’s big. They’re a great team. Well coached.”
Not that Camas has lost to any teams in Southwest Washington in a while.
This was Camas 26th consecutive league victory, dating back to their days in Class 3A.
“We execute Monday through Friday. That’s how we beat people,” Lea said. “That’s our philosophy. We know our assignments. We trust each other. Trust is key in this game.”
Camas opened the scoring on a safety when Union’s long snap went out of the back of the end zone. The Papermakers then made it 9-0 on Zarcone’s first touchdown, an 8-yard run.
Union would pull within two points on two occasions.
Caleb Browning scored on a 5-yard run after Jack Bauer intercepted a Camas pass to make it 9-7.
Camas responded, going up 16-7 on a short Zarcone TD run.
Then Bauer found the end zone for the Titans on a 7-yard run.
Fitzgerald threw a perfect deep ball to Price, who made a diving catch in the end zone with 25 seconds left in the second quarter for a 23-14 halftime lead.
Camas got the first touchdown of the second half — a Zarcone run — to take even more control of the contest.
Browning brought the Titans within 10 points, but Camas closed out the game with an 11-play, 68-yard touchdown drive. Bryan Kelly scored on a 2-yard run for the final margin.
“That’s a big thing for the Camas Papermakers — finishing the game. It’s a point of emphasis this year,” Price said. “Start-to-finish, 100 percent.”
The Papermakers have been finishing off a lot of Southwest Washington opponents in recent years.
This was one of the bigger games in memory, but the same result.
Camas victorious again.
CAMAS 37, UNION 20
Camas 9 14 7 7—37
Union 0 14 0 6—20
Cam — Safety, Union snap out of end zone
Cam — Cole Zarcone 8 run (Caleb Lightbourn kick)
U — Caleb Browning 5 run (Jonathan Granados kick)
Cam — Zarcone 2 run (Lightbourn kick)
U — Jack Bauer 7 run (Granados kick)
Cam — James Price 23 pass from Liam Fitzgerald (Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Zarcone 3 run (Lightbourn kick)
U — Browning 1 run (run failed)
Cam — Bryan Kelly 2 run (Lightbourn kick)
RUSHING — Camas: Zarcone 25-176, Kelly 16-54, Fitzgerald 6-6, Reid Conlee 1-3, Union: Browning 21-90, Bauer 8-33, Henry 2-(minus 19), Jordan Lawson 3-18, Tommy Strassenberg 1-9, Team 1-(minus 10).
PASSING — Camas; Fitzgerald 25-36-1-288. Union: Henry 1-5-0-42, Lawson 3-8-0-18.
RECEIVING — Camas: Blake Roy 5-85, Jared Bentley 9-80, Price 11-123. Union: Keithen Shepard 1-42, Tyler Dionne 3-18.