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Saturday, March 2, 2024
March 2, 2024

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Mount Si pulls off stunning 31-14 win over Camas in 4A state football playoffs

First-half woes sink Papermakers in season-ending defeat

By , Columbian staff writer

CAMAS — Momentum favored visiting Mount Si early in Saturday’s Class 4A state football playoff game against Camas.

When the Wildcats got a taste of the lead, it snowballed into something greater — something the Papermakers were never able to fully stop.

No. 14 seed Mount Si stormed through Doc Harris Stadium for a 31-14 win and dealt No. 3 Camas its first loss since the opening week of the season in September. The Wildcats (8-3), who will face No. 6 Kamiakin in the state quarterfinals, scored four first-half touchdowns and led by as many as 31 points before the Papermakers (9-2) responded with a pair of second-half touchdowns in the season-ending defeat.

“In the playoffs, you’ve got to play your best football,” Camas coach Jack Hathaway said. “I just feel for them (the players), and we gotta take some (responsibility) as coaches; we didn’t prepare them. You turn the ball over and you have a bad half of football, you go home in the playoffs.”

The Papermakers’ woes began with a pair of turnovers in the opening quarter that led to two Wildcats touchdown drives.

First, Mount Si’s Brock Gates intercepted a pass to set up the Wildcats for a quick 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Donavan to receiver Jack Taylor. Then, Camas coughed up a fumble and Mount Si capitalized with Donavan finding Jake Johnson for a 6-yard touchdown.

The Papermakers’ offense found itself stuck neutral against a Mount Si defensive line forcing constant pressure on quarterback Jake Davidson. Against the Papermakers’ experienced offensive line, that outcome came as somewhat of a surprise.

“We didn’t prepare well enough for them, switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 (defense) and our pass sets weren’t all good,” Camas senior left tackle Carson Osmus said. “I can take blame for that too; I’ve got to lead better. It’s one of those things where, when you come out kind of soft, it’s going to snowball. You can learn from that. If we had came out and punched them in the mouth, I think it’d be a different game. That’s how it goes, and they’re a good team.”

The nail in the coffin came on Mount Si’s drive late in the second quarter, set up by Donavan’s 28-yard pass to Jake Johnson, which led to Jesiah Willis’ fourth-and-goal touchdown plunge from inside the 1-yard line.

Trying to scrape together points before halftime, the Papermakers turned the ball over for the third time on a Johnson interception.

“We just weren’t hitting on anything, and just didn’t play well,” Hathaway said. “Too little, too late — it just comes down to that. There’s a bunch of kids that didn’t quit. They played their hearts out. We just didn’t play well enough.”

The Papermakers’ first score came on their longest play of the game: a 64-yard Trenton Swanson touchdown catch from Davidson in the third quarter. Swanson, the multi-faceted senior, finished with six catches and 122 receiving yards in his final game with Camas.

With starters staying in through the fourth quarter, Camas finished with one final scoring drive, finished off by a 29-yard Chase McGee touchdown catch from Davidson with 34 seconds left.

“It’s kind of like, what else do you have left?” said Osmus, a Washington State commit. “I’m lucky, I get to play at the next level, but a lot of guys, this is their last series of football, ever. … I think the idea (didn’t) set in for us until late in the second half.”

Camas finished the season with its most wins since 2019. After losing the season opener to 3A power Yelm, the Papermakers rattled off nine straight wins coming into Saturday. The team’s senior class, who started their high school careers during the 2020-21 COVID season, had their fingerprints all over this year’s squad.

“I think it’s the connection we had (during) COVID, that was our first season of high school,” Osmus said. “Our weights program is so fundamental for Camas. Every single morning we’re together and building together. We’re spending every night together too. It’s a special bond.”


Mount Si 14 14 3 0—31

Camas 0 0 7 7—14

First quarter

M — Jack Taylor 12 pass from Nate Donavan (Cooper Britton kick)

M — Jake Johnson 6 pass from Donavan (Britton kick)

Second quarter

M — Ryan Wilson fumble recovery (Britton kick)

M — Jesiah Willis 1 run (Britton kick)

Third quarter

M — Britton 26 field goal

C — Trenton Swanson 64 pass from Jake Davidson (Jackson Tyler kick)

Fourth quarter

C — Chase McGee 29 pass from Davidson (Tyler kick)

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Mount Si: CJ Rose 34-138, Nate Donavan 3-(minus 4), Jesiah Willis 9-27, Team 1-(minus 2); Camas: Jake Davidson 5-0, Reid Tennant 4-39, Titan Brody 3-7, Alex Hroza 4-7, Zuko Lopez 1-2.

PASSING — Mount Si: Nate Donavan 8-13-0-93 ; Camas: Jake Davidson 19-38-2-220, Grady Milholen 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING — Mount Si: Jack Taylor 2-18, CJ Rose 2-9, Dillon McCaffrey 1-42, Jake Johnson 2-28, Logan Knaevelsrud 1-2; Camas: Nikko Speer 3-23, Titan Brody 2-5, Trenton Swanson 6-122, Anthony Forner 3-8, Cole Parker 3-19, Chase McGee 2-43.