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Sept. 25, 2020

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For Camas, it’s Asciutto to Clemmer

Familiarity fuels postseason run for seniors

By , Columbian staff writer
3 Photos
For Camas quarterback Blake Asciutto, left, having a reliable receiver such as Jackson Clemmer has been a key to success (Sam Wilson/for The Columbian)
For Camas quarterback Blake Asciutto, left, having a reliable receiver such as Jackson Clemmer has been a key to success (Sam Wilson/for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

CAMAS — Understanding the relationship between a quarterback and receiver goes deeper than playbook familiarity.

That’s why the main ingredient Blake Asciutto and Jackson Clemmer speak of when it comes to their connection also echoes in unison: trust.

“That is ultimately what makes it,” said Clemmer, Camas’ 1,000-yard receiver.

And they have it. The paths to how the seniors caught on to breakout senior seasons differs.

Clemmer is Southwest Washington’s only 1,000-yard receiver in a big year coach Jon Eagle saw coming back in the summer.

Then there’s Asciutto, who’s rise to starting quarterback came on late in his high school career — and late in his senior season — and has done nothing but flourish this past month.

Together, the senior duo has Camas heading into Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game against Bothell seeking a fitting ending to the team-coined “Revenge Tour.” Kickoff of Saturday’s championship game is 4 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

Through separate interviews, Asciutto and Clemmer drew similar conclusions on their successes. When it comes to the quarterback-receiver duo, chemistry through friendship fuels their on-field connection.

Their time in football together isn’t as long as it is, say, basketball, where Asciutto and Clemmer are returning varsity hardwood players.

With Asciutto, confidence continues to blossom since taking over as Camas’ starting quarterback in the regular-season finale. Not just in himself, but in teammates and coaches, he said.

“Once we got that going, that’s when I started doing a lot better,” the quarterback said.

Late-season action is Asciutto’s specialty. Quarterback injuries had him thrusted into action in Week 8 games as a junior and senior.

This season, it happened Oct. 22 when starter Jake Blair broke his collarbone against Skyview in the third quarter.

The following week was Asciutto’s first-career varsity start with the league title at stake against Union. That game, Asciutto went 7 for 11 passing for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

In five starts, he’s completed 66 percent of his passes (68 of 103) for 1,155 yards and 10 touchdowns.

That’s no surprise, said Clemmer.

“He’s really stepped up,” the receiver said. “… I think Blake has filled the role perfectly.”

And so has Clemmer as a go-to, sure-handed down-field target. In Clemmer’s case as Eagle noted, while many 6-foot-6 basketball players exist, there’s fewer ones at that height are receivers.

Enter Clemmer.

A two-way player at receiver and safety, Clemmer surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in last week’s 35-14 state semifinal win over Mount Si. He scored Camas’ opening touchdown on the first play from scrimmage for an 80-yard touchdown pass from Asciutto. He now has 41 catches for 1,068 yards and 16 touchdowns in 13 games.

No defensive back this season has matched Clemmer’s size, and Asciutto knows that advantage.

“I’m confident in him that I can put it up wherever,” he said. “Either he’ll go get it, or if he can’t, he’s going to be the first one touch it.”

Most times, it is a catch. Just as it is catching on as a quarterback-receiver duo.

Said Clemmer: “We’re together most of the year, and it’s just having trust in each other and believing.”