CAMAS — The Camas Papermakers got a little bit better between week one of this high school football season and week two.
In beating Federal Way 49-6 on Friday at Doc Harris Stadium, the Papermakers tackled well and rode a strong performance from their offensive line to win by a margin that is sure to get noticed around the state.
But Camas coach Jon Eagle was quick to note that the margin of victory was deceptive.
“Federal Way was not full strength. A lot of their better players did not play. Had those guys played this would have been a much closer outcome,” Eagle said.
The Papermakers’ defense certainly came to play.
They contained the Eagles most dangerous weapon — the speedy Chico McClatcher — and harassed quarterback D’Jimon Jones. McClatcher finished with 109 yards rushing, but except for a pair of 21-yard bursts, was mostly bottled up. He only had seven yards in the second half.
“I thought we tackled well. Better than last week against a real explosive team,” Eagle said.
Linebackers Reid Conlee and Gabe Lopes helped lead the charge. Conlee agreed that tackling and focus were keys this week. The key was reading and waiting on the play to develop, Conlee said.
“Just do your job and let everyone else do their job,” Conlee said. “And when you get (to the ball) wrap up.”
The Camas defense set the tone early, forcing a fumble on the third play of the game to set up a quick touchdown. Quarterback Liam Fitzgerald hit a wide-open James Price from 19 yards out on the Papermakers’ second offensive play.
After a fourth-down sack stopped a promising Federal Way drive, Camas needed five plays and an Eagles’ facemask penalty to cover 67 yards for a 14-0 lead. Bryan Kelly ran 32 yards for that score.
Improved offensive line play led the way for a Camas offense that totaled 354 yards — 168 on the ground and 186 through the air.
“We stayed on our blocks. We finished. We executed well,” tackle Alex Walker said of the improvement from the opening 16-14 win over Chiawana. “We all did our job, didn’t worry about anyone else, and stayed together as a line and worked hard.”
Walker said he particularly enjoyed pulling to block for Cole Zarcone on a short touchdown just before halftime. Fitzgerald was shaken up on the previous play, so Price took the snap and handed to Zarcone for the back’s second touchdown of the quarter.
The Papermakers (2-0) entered Friday’s contest ranked No. 3 by the Associated Press and No. 5 by the Seattle Times. The Eagles (0-2) were ranked No. 8 by the AP and No. 3 by the Seattle Times, but were missing several key players. A first-half leg injury to starting running back and defensive back Eric Auelua added to the visitors’ struggle.
On the first play of the second half, Fitzgerald threw an interception. But a roughing-the-passer penalty erased that turnover and Camas scored five plays later. The key play was a 28-yard catch and run by Hunter Bruno that took the ball to the 3 and set up Kelly’s second score of the night.
At 35-6, the outcome was certain, and even if this was not a full-strength Federal Way, Friday’s result was a nice forward step for a Camas team again thinking big.
“We have high hopes for this team,” Walker said as fans mingled with players. “Look at this crowd around here. They expect a lot from us.”
Camas 49, Federal Way 6
Federal Way 0 6 0 0 — 6
Camas 14 14 14 7 — 49
Cam — James Price 19 pass from Liam Fitzgerald (Caleb Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Bryan Kelly 32 run (Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Cole Zarcone 20 run (Lightbourn kick)
FW — Chico McClatcher 3 run (kick blocked)
Cam — Zarcone 2 run (Lightbourn kick)
Cam — Kelly 2 run (Lightbourn kick)
Zarcone 16 run (Brendan Geignenmille kick)
Cam — Matt Thomas 8 pass from Vinny Gennaro (Michael Boyle kick)
RUSHING — Federal Way: Chico McClatcher 22-109, Eric Auelua 5-16, D’Jimon Jones 12-46, Damani Thomas 1-4, Jamon Chambers 5-20, Chris Williams 6-(minus 1), James Black III 1-0, Ben Koler 2-(minus 8). Camas: Bryan Kelly 7-65, Cole Zarcone 8-61, Liam Fitzgerald 4-5, Jordan Del Moral 7-13, Austin Stevens 2-6, Stephen Jesmer 1-2, Reid Conlee 3-16.
PASSING — Federal Way: Jones 3-9-1-15. Camas: Liam Fitzgerald 12-22-0-178, Vinny Gennaro 1-2-1-8.
RECEIVING — Federal Way: Bobiono Sims 2-19, McClatcher 1-(minus 4). Camas: James Price 6-79, Jared Bentley 3-45, Matt Thomas 1-8, Tanner Halcumb 1-20, Hunter Bruno 2-34.