CAMAS — The Camas Papermakers had an answer for almost everything thrown their way on Friday, yet a handful of plays down the stretch gnawed at them after the game.
In the team’s home opener at Doc Harris Stadium, Camas held a 28-27 lead in the fourth quarter over Glacier Peak after blocking what would’ve been a game-tying point after attempt.
Then came the ensuing kickoff.
Glacier Peak’s Ervie Nguyen kicked a low line drive that bounced off a Camas player and right into the hands of the Grizzlies, who went on to score the game-winning touchdown, a 3-yard pass from quarterback River Lien to Cooper Jensen.
Their 34-28 lead was safe for the remaining nine minutes.
The next Camas drive stalled inside the 10-yard line when a pair of shots to the end zone fell incomplete, turning the ball over on downs. By the time Camas got the ball back at its own 3-yard line, it had just 25 seconds and no timeouts left. Too little, too late.
“It comes down to a few plays,” Camas coach Jack Hathaway said. “In the schedule that we play, the opponents that we play, the style of play and where we want to be, it comes down to a few plays. We know that, and we got to make those plays. Tonight, I felt like we made some, but we had a few unfortunate things happen to us later in the game. Against a good program, a good team like that, that’s what happens.”
The Papermakers (0-2) welcome tough competition in their non-league schedule, and they’ve gotten it with games against 3A Yelm and 4A Glacier Peak in the first two weeks of the season. The important part is to grow from one week to the next. On the heels of a 44-14 loss in week one, the Papermakers certainly saw improvements in week two.
For each of Glacier Peak’s three scores in the first half, Camas matched them with three passing touchdowns from senior quarterback Taylor Ioane. The first two went to Trentson Swanson for 71 and 27 yards, respectively, and the third, a 43-yard catch and run by Zach Blair, tied the game at 21-21 with one minute left in the second quarter.
The Papermakers followed it up with a four-play drive finished off by a 48-yard touchdown from Ioane to Blair that gave Camas its first lead, 28-21, less than two minutes into the third quarter.
“I love this team,” Hathaway said. “They’re gritty, they’re passionate, they fight like crazy. We grew, and that’s what we’re most proud of.”
Last year, Camas opened 0-4 with a challenging slate against Oregon teams before running the table in the 4A Greater St. Helens League to capture a league title. Through two weeks of this season, the Papermakers are taking a similar, patient approach through the opening weeks of September.
“We challenged and they met the challenge,” Hathaway said. “That’s all we ask (of) the kids is to grow as players and get to where we’re playing championship level football. We know what it looks like, and sometimes teams, players need to be challenged.”
GLACIER PEAK 34, CAMAS 28
G. Peak 7 14 0 13—34
Camas 7 14 7 0—28
GP — Trey Leckner 1 run (Aiden Larsen kick)
C — Trenton Swanson 71 pass from Taylor Ioane (Swanson kick)
GP — Cooper Jensen 24 pass from River Lien (Larsen kick)
C — Swanson 27 pass from Ioane (Swanson kick)
GP — Jensen 30 pass from Lien (Larsen kick)
C — Zach Blair 43 pass from Ioane (Swanson kick)
C — Blair 48 pass from Ioane (Swanson kick)
GP — Leckner 8 pass from Lien (kick blocked)
GP — Jensen 3 pass from Lien (Larsen kick)
RUSHING — Glacier Peak: Chrisvin Bonshe 16-89, Roman Foster 20-28, Leckner 9-27, Lien 9-75. Camas: Titan Brody 12-97, Ioane 4-15, Reid Tennant 3-26.
PASSING — Glacier Peak: Lien 16-31-4-239. Camas: Ioane 15-26-4-278.
RECEIVING — Glacier Peak: Leckner 5-94, Gabe Russel 6-75, Jensen 3-57, Benjamin Williams 2-13. Camas: Swanson 5-128, Blair 4-108, Konnor Limnell 5-31, Sam Stark 1-1.