Day After Report: Week 1, Part I

So who do you think had the most impressive win of Week 1? 

Could it be Mountain View’s decisive victory over rival Evergreen? What about Washougal and Ridgefield topping bigger schools in games that went down to the wire? Certainly Camas has to be in the discussion. The Papermakers not only won, but they found victory in a statewide showcase of football at a special venue.

Or what about impressive losses? Sounds strange, but was there a team that lost, yet still played well or at least showed some potential.

That what we football fans do. There is only one game a week, so we have a lot of time to consider what we saw and try to figure out what will happen.

The Day After Report tries to help the fan with a little bit more insight than previously reported. Here is Part I of Week 1’s Day After Report.  

(Oh, and yeah, it’s called the Day After Report because this usually posts the day after the Friday night football games. Fortunately for me, there were two Saturday games in Seattle to cover, so I get an extra day. If you must be picky, and your team played Friday, just call this the Day After the Day After Report.)

The quest for Qwest: Win or lose, the athletes who played at Qwest Field on Saturday said it was special.

“When I made it here at first it was kind of cool but I was more focused on the team,” Camas lineman Odin Coe said of his first impressions of Qwest Field in Seattle. “Then we walked out to the field, and I was like, ‘Whoa, man, we’re here. It’s game time.'”

“It was a great experience,” added Camas defensive back Damon Kosaki, who had an interception on the NFL field. “It was cool looking up, seeing the stadium.”

The Papermakers won their game. A few hours later, Union was on the losing end of its game. 

Still, it was a memorable day for the Titans.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been here,” Union running back Brandon Brody-Heim said.

The Titans also had the added bonus of playing into the night. Their game kicked off about an hour later than scheduled.

“I was hoping it would get dark enough for the lights to be turned on,” senior linebacker Zak Browning said. “And it did. Pretty sweet.”

Logan Grindy passed for 211 yards and a touchdown, Zach Marshall rushed for 67 yards and three touchdowns, and the Camas defense was simply awesome in a victory over the Blazers.

Defenders of Emerald City: Timberline had some success moving the ball in the first half, totaling 238 of offense. Yet, the Blazers only had nine points.

And the Camas defense can hardly be blamed for Timberline’s first touchdown. Camas had stopped a fourth-and-goal play from the 1-yard line, only to see the Camas offense fumble on the next play, giving the Blazers back the ball. So that was an easy touchdown for the Blazers.

Late in the half, the Timberwolves had a 72-yard drive ending with a 20-yard field goal for a 9-6 lead at the break.

The second half belonged to Camas, though.

The offense got clicking, beginning with an 11-play touchdown drive to open the third quarter.

Sure, the Blazers scored right away on special teams with a kickoff return, but the Timberline offense did nothing the rest of the day, gaining just 85 yards in the second half.

“We came out with the emphasis of doing your job,” Kosaki said. “Everyone play as hard as you can and do your job.”

Coe said it was just a matter of first-game rust, that first half. By the second half, that rust was gone.

The victory also builds the confidence of a team that already felt good coming into the season.

“This team, we’re just really focused,” Kosaki said. “We feel like we can play anybody, and we want to keep getting better every day.”

Passing the credit: Logan Grindy was solid, one again, starting his third season as Camas’ quarterback. He was 20 of 33 for 211 yards, including 13 of 18 in the second half. 

But he first gave credit to his offensive linemen and then his receivers for his numbers.

“There were only one or two dropped balls,” Grindy said. “That just makes my job a lot easier.”

Grindy threw a perfect fade pass to the corner of the end zone, finding Brent Hill for a 16-yard scoring toss to make it 22-15 midway through the third quarter.

“It’s nice having a guy like Brent who can blow past people and outjump them if he has to,” Grindy said.

Who’s that guy? Zach Marshall got one carry in the first half — and he scored a touchdown. (Hey, that’s a pretty good average, one touchdown for every touch!) On his third carry of the game, he scored another touchdown. (Uh oh, the average is falling!) And on his seventh carry of the game, he had his best run, a 19-yard touchdown.

“Left and right, I was just looking around, trying to get in the end zone,” the junior running back said. “The blocker had the last guy, and I got outside of them and scampered in.”

Marshall, who is in the main rotation in Camas’ running back-by-committee strategy, ended up with 67 yards on 12 carries and three TDs.

Coe said Marshall’s strength is his strength. 

“Whenever I’m in the (the weight room), he’s there,” Coe said. “He works out with the defensive linemen. He can squat three times his weight.”

The Titans showed they can still hang with the best program in Washington. Union’s Tanner Nelson struggled at times in his first start at quarterback, but he also has some bright moments. Brody-Heim rushed for 94 yards in his first start.. 

Did I mention they were playing Bellevue, winners of seven of the past nine state championships?

Yeah, not an Oregon vs. New Mexico cupcake.

Drive time: Bellevue’s running game took over in the second half, two, three, four, five yards at a time. 

The first drive of the second half took more than eight minutes. The Wolverines went 61 yards on 14 plays, the biggest play being an eight-yard run. The rest of the plays were three, four, five yards, and on and on and on. The Wolverines punched it into the end zone for a 14-6 lead.

Third downs crushed the Titans on this drive.

An offside penalty on third-and-3 gave Bellevue a first down early in the drive. Then the Wolverines converted the next three third downs for first downs. And to cap the drive, the Wolverines scored on a third-and-goal play. 

Bellevue made it 20-6 with another long drive that took up almost half of the fourth quarter.

Turnovers: Both teams have several new starters, and it showed in the first half. The teams combined for six turnovers.

Potential: The Titans proved they could move the ball, picking up at least one first down on four of their five first-half drives. But turnovers and/or penalties ended scoring opportunities.

“A lot of people thought we wouldn’t be able to stay toe-to-toe with them,” Browning said. “We had a lot of opportunities. If we didn’t make those mistakes, we would have won the football game. It’s a confidence builder, but we can’t make those mistakes.”

The Titans’ lone touchdown came in the final minute of the first half. Nelson sneaked in from a yard out after a sustained drive. Nelson, by the way, finished with 33 yards rushing. Brody-Heim, meanwhile, nearly broke the 100-yard barrier in his first start, finishing with 94 yards on 17 carries.

After watching his team play its first game, Union’s coach is optimistic about the season.

“We’re not into moral victories and we wanted to win the football game, but this game definitely wasn’t a mismatch,” Cale Piland said. 

In my game story in Saturday morning’s paper, I was trying to point out that Skyview lost a similar game last year in the non-league schedule and rebounded to have a great season. So this program knows how to make adjustments. Not sure I made it clear in the game story — sometimes a writer misses his target — but I just thought, after watching the Storm open the season, that there was plenty of potential for good things.

New quarterback and team jitters: Kody Watts had some fine moments in his first start at QB for the Storm. He finished 15 of 31 for 208 yards and two touchdowns. 

He also was the victim of several dropped balls by his receivers. Then again, especially early in the game, he was off target on several of his throws.

Hey, it happens, coach Steve Kizer said.

“He was a little high (with his passes) at first, and then when he was on, we dropped them,” Kizer said. 

Those are things associated with first games, especially for players making their first starts. Kizer said it is nothing to worry about, long term.

Albert Chon returns: Albert Chon missed most of the 2009 season with a knee injury. He was back, and he was bad (that’s bad, in a good way). A defensive lineman, Chon had a sack and a tackle-for-loss in the first half for a total of negative-14 yards. 

“It feels amazing to be back, and I feel like I can get a lot better still,” Chon said.

Uh oh: The Storm probably don’t want to look at the third quarter, but we will.

After the teams battled to a 20-20 tie at halftime, the Bowmen took control in the third quarter.

And it was worse for Skyview than I originally published. On deadline, I missed some Sherwood yards while detailing the third quarter. After going over the play-by-play, the Bowmen had 184 yards of offense in the third quarter to Skyview’s 25.

Sherwood scored two touchdowns in the quarter, then scored early in the fourth quarter for a 42-20 lead.

5A vs. 4A: A comment left online for our story on Skyview’s loss noted that we should have explained the difference between Class 5A in Oregon and Class 4A in Washington.

Good point. While many fans already know the difference, it still should be noted in a story whenever a Washington team plays an Oregon squad.

Oregon’s 5A is generally considered the equivalent of Washington’s 3A. Oregon goes up to 6A but has no B classes. 

This does not mean Skyview was playing a weaker team, though — just a smaller school.

Sherwood is considered the favorite to win the state 5A title in Oregon.

Strong outings: Ellis Henderson had 140 yards receiving and two touchdowns, plus he had an interception on defense and blocked an extra point on special teams. … Parker Henry, returning to the lineup after missing the last seven games last year due to injury, rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown.


Gotta get ready for my fantasy football draft. I’ll have Part II of the Day After Report up either later tonight or Monday morning.  ….

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