“I honestly didn’t know it was fourth down,” Nellor said in a recent interview. Nellor now plays tight end at Eastern Washington University. “I just knew I’d be open and there was one guy to beat.”
It wasn’t a pass Victor was particularly comfortable with that year. Union practiced it a lot, but Victor, a junior at the time, struggled completing it at that point in his career. Still, the coaching staff put faith in their quarterback.
“He’s built for those moments because of the way he prepares himself and the belief he has in his guys,” Rosenbach said. “I don’t know if I’ve had a better leader in my 20 years of coaching.”
After a three-and-out by Camas, Union marched down the field and Jojo Siofele scored on a 5-yard sweep with under 4 minutes left. The extra point gave Union the 14-13 victory.
Despite the late-game heroics, it was a pair of plays from Dustin Nettles — one good and one bad — that proved difference makers. Nettles blocked an extra point attempt in the second quarter. He then jumped offside on a fourth-and-6 field goal attempt in the third quarter. It forced Camas to go for it on fourth-and-1, when Union stuffed the attempt.
“If they get the first down, that game is realistically over,” Rosenbach said. “It left the door open for us.”
Camas didn’t record a first down the rest of the game and its seven year run as a league champion came to a close. In front of a raucous crowd of 7,000, the Titans — who faced a running-clock defeat the year before — took down the behemoth.
“With what it meant to our program, it’s one of the biggest successes I’ve been a part of,” Rosenbach said.
Original game story
For Nellor, the 2017 Union-Camas game ranks a close second behind EWU’s 2018 national championship game.
“I remember the game starting off with the national anthem and the fireworks going off,” Nellor recalled. “That was like the sound of a horn to start a battle.”
Union lost to Sumner in the first round of the state playoffs in 2017 before going undefeated in 2018 to capture the 4A state championship.