Day After Report: Week 12
Practice on Thanksgiving Day, one of the greatest rewards in high school football.
If your team is practicing on Thanksgiving in the state of Washington, your team is playing in the state semifinals.
Camas is used to this. The Papermakers will practice on the holiday for the third consecutive season after advancing to the Class 4A semifinals with a 47-28 win at Eastlake in the quarterfinals Saturday.
Unfortunately for Mountain View and La Center, those players have to spend Thanksgiving with their families. … Wait. That did not sound right. … I mean: Unfortunately for Mountain View and La Center, their seasons ended a week before the holiday break.
Clark County football is down to one team going into the final two weeks of the season. No surprise to anyone, actually. We know there are no guarantees in playoff football, but honestly, everyone associated with this game figured Camas would be here.
The Papermakers have earned the right for the hype.
So this briefer-than-usual Day After Report salutes Mountain View and La Center for making it to the state quarterfinals and gives thanks to the Papermakers for giving us more holiday cheer.
(Note: Yes, I know my Day After Reports are usually posted before now. Yes, I know it is Monday. But Sundays are reserved for time with family, the Raiders, and the rest of the NFL, and not necessarily in that order. Plus, technically, after writing my story, then eating dinner and watching UW-OSU football at Buffalo Wild Wings in Federal Way, I did not get home from my assignment on Saturday until after midnight. You know, that means it was Sunday. And that means today, Monday, truly is the day after. Live with it!)
CAMAS 47, EASTLAKE 28
Whoa, it was a five-point game late in the third quarter.
Something about this place:
I’ve now been to Sammamish two times in my life. Two times in two weeks, in fact. I love that place. After all, I’ve been there two times and I’ve seen two great football games. Yeah, I really love that place.
Last week, Eastlake and Union combined to score nine touchdowns. Not once did any team have more than a seven-point lead. Great game.
This week, Eastake got to within five points of mighty Camas late in the third quarter. The Papermakers would get the next two touchdowns, but still, a great football game. Especially considering Camas had not been tested all season.
Brad Hansen can really throw the ball:
We were told that Camas linebacker Brad Hansen was lost for the season with an ACL injury. Clearly, the Camas Papermakers were just trying to fool everyone. There was Brad Hansen throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday night.
Oh, you think it was Reilly Hennessey? Whatever. Reilly Hennessey wears No. 4. The dude throwing the rock Saturday was wearing No. 5.
(Well, we think so, anyway. Those Camas road jerseys make it difficult to read the numbers.)
OK, OK, it was Hennessey. Apparently, his No. 4 jersey was damaged earlier in the season and he had to find a different number. Brad Hansen was not needing his jersey, so there you go.
Still, it would have been funny if no one had told the Seattle Times guy! Brad Hansen, what a game!
Where did Camas go?
First off, Eastlake had a lead in this game. That was unusual against Camas. The Wolves scored on the first play from scrimmage, a 70-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
But the most bizarre thing came next. Camas needed 14 plays to go 72 yards and took more than four minutes to score on the ensuing possession. Fourteen plays? Four minutes? That’s like three or four touchdowns by Camas standards this season.
On the next possession, Camas needed seven plays to go 52 yards for a touchdown.
Oh the humanity. Who are these guys?
Later, after Eastlake tied the game at 14, the Papermakers we are used to seeing showed up.
Enough of this few-yards-at-a-time garbage. Hennessey found Zach Eagle for a 78-yard touchdown pass, the second play of the possession. Boom, just like that, Camas had the lead again. Then, 59 seconds later, Eagle was in the end zone again, on a defensive touchdown.
Seriously, coach Jon Eagle had no problem with the long touchdown drives. He said that a lot of people take it for granted how good the offense has been this season. But now in the Elite Eight at state, well, there are some pretty good teams here. The games are not supposed to be easy. Sure, there will be big plays, but there also will be drives that take a long time. The Papermakers hope they score on enough of them to win the next two games.
1,100 yards and counting:
Defenses might have slowed each other down at times, but the statistics showed that offenses ruled this game.
Camas put up 532 yards of offense, 240 on the ground and 292 through the air. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Eastlake, though, topped that number, gaining 570 yards of offense. The Wolves had 331 through the air and 239 on the ground.
Still, there was defense:
Eastlake might have gained a bunch of yards, but not enough when it mattered.
Camas’ Michael Johnson intercepted a deep pass on a third-and-5 play from the Camas 35-yard line late in the first quarter. Eastlake was trying to tie the score at 14 at the time.
Eastlake surprised the Papermakers with an onside kick to open the second half. But the Wolves did not get any momentum on that drive because Jorden “Here Comes The” Payne intercepted an Eastlake pass in the the end zone.
Camas would eventually take a 33-14 lead, but the Wolves responded with two touchdowns in a row to get within five points with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
Eastlake’s next three drives ended on loss of downs, loss of downs, and a punt. The Wolves did get 75 yards on their final drive of the game, but they were down by 19 points by then. Plus, they were stopped at the 1-yard line on the final play of the game.
Remember that guy?
I wrote a column last week about the Eagle family returning to Sammamish. They lived there for a few years a while back.
A lot of people from Eastlake appreciated the article, telling me before the game how much they liked the Eagle family. I’m sure they still like the Eagles today, but they probably wish they moved to Idaho or something.
Coach Jon Eagle’s team beat Eastlake and one of the best players on the field was Zach Eagle. The younger Eagle scored four touchdowns — two receiving, one rushing, and one on defense.
You saw the flag, I saw the flag, but don’t believe your eyes:
One of the biggest plays of the night was the defensive touchdown by the Papermakers. Eagle got credit for the touchdown, but it was a monster hit by Nate Beasley that caused the fumble.
As soon as the ball came out, though, the closest official threw his penalty flag. The play continued, Camas scored the touchdown, but then the Papermakers worried about the penalty. Was it helmet-to-helmet contact? For those few seconds, that’s all most of us thought it could be because the flag came immediately after the hit.
Nope, the official grabbed the wrong piece of equipment. He told the referee that he meant to throw his bean bag that indicates a fumble. There was no penalty.
Camas defensive lineman Jason Vailea is often used as a running back near the end zone. Kind of hard to stop a guy that big.
It turns out, Vailea also is an accomplished rugby player. So late in the game, he scored on a 5-yard run. He was actually stopped a bit short, but never hit the ground, falling on top of bodies and stretching out the ball into the end zone.
Then he pounded the ball to the ground two or three times.
After all, can’t score in rugby without downing the ball past the line.
Not satisfied just yet:
Amazing. Awesome. Incredible. Whatever you want to describe it. The Camas Papermakers have reached the state semifinals for the third consecutive season. That is an accomplishment. However, none of the Papermakers are happy with just another trip to the dome.
There is a checklist in the weight room at Camas:
League title: Check
12-win season: Check
Make it to the dome: Check
Two items are left unchecked, though. Win in the semifinals and then win a state title.
The Papermakers, who lost in the semis the past two seasons, are not done yet.
“It’s not enough,” Nate Beasley said. “We’ve been to this point before. It’s all about going further than we’ve ever gone. We’re not just a rumor.”
O’DEA 63, MOUNTAIN VIEW 20
Thunder’s run ends in the quarterfinals.
This one was over early. O’Dea jumped the Thunder with 14 quick points, then added two more first-quarter touchdowns. Then three more for a 49-0 lead in the second quarter.
These things can happen. O’Dea is a great football team.
Still, congrats to the Thunder for reaching the Elite Eight. Fantastic season.
Also, I thought it was cool that the three leading rushers for Mountain View all scored touchdowns. Nicholas Wright broke free for a 47-yard TD late in the second quarter. Preston Jones got one in the second half. Then the coaches called Austin Mace’s number for the final touchdown, a cool moment for the 3A Greater St. Helens League’s offensive player of the year.
What a finish for Wright, by the way. He ended up with 766 yards rushing this season, but 547 since week 9. He had eight of his 12 touchdowns in the last four weeks.
MOUNT BAKER 63, LA CENTER 33
Wildcats were close for a bit.
At one point, it was 21-19. The Wildcats were right there, late in the second quarter. But it was all Mount Baker in the second half.
Still, another season, another trip to the quarterfinals for La Center football.
“We could have put our heads down and quit, but we didn’t,” La Center coach John Lambert said, referring to the second half against Mount Baker.
Instead, La Center scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
“That says a lot about our guys and the character we have,” Lambert said. “I love these guys like my own sons.”
That’s it for today. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. My Raiders lost a tough one Sunday, but I will still be watching on Thanksgiving. Football. Food. Football. Life is pretty good.