Day After Report: Week 8

Week 8 for the most of the big schools turned into blowout city, while one 2A school picked up its first win in thrilling fashion. And in Class 1A, Stevenson has a new best friend: Ridgefield.

Playoff possibilities:
Things are very simple in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League. Skyview and Union play each other for the league title. Winner gets the No. 1 seed and a home game in the state qualifying playoff, while the loser is No. 2 and goes on the road. Meanwhile, Heritage and Evergreen play each other for the No. 3 seed. Winner is in the playoffs, loser is not.

Things are relatively easy in the 3A GSHL, but there are a couple of variables. First, Kelso (4-1 in league) is at Camas (5-0). Now we understand there are very few who expect anything other than a Camas victory in that one. But the undefeated Papermakers still must play and win the game to become the No. 1 seed. If Kelso surprises Camas, there could be a three-way tie for first place if Mountain View (4-1) also wins. If Kelso wins and Mountain View loses, Kelso would be the top seed. 

OK, that was the reporter in me, with the facts. Now for the columnist in me with an opinion, a prediction: Camas is going to win, which will make a game at Columbia River High School even more important.

So now I’m back to reporter mode. The Thunder are playing the Chieftains (3-2), who are hoping to get to 4-2 and drop the Thunder to 4-2. And with Kelso’s loss to Camas (again prediction), that would leave three teams tied for second. (By the way, I am not predicting a River victory. Just reporting what the Chieftains are hoping to accomplish.) If all this happens, there must be some sort of tiebreaker because only two of those three teams can make the playoffs. If Mountain View wins, it is a simple case of first, second, and third: Camas at 6-0, Mountain View 5-1, Kelso 4-2, and Columbia River in fourth at 3-3. 

In the 2A GSHL, R.A. Long and Mark Morris, both 3-0, play each other for the league title. Loser will get the second seed. And that’s it. 

The Trico League has to be the wildest of the bunch. Toledo was cruising to the league title before running into Ridgefield. The Spudders topped Toledo to improve to 4-2. Toledo fell to 5-1, and Stevenson’s victory put the Bulldogs at 5-1, as well. All three teams play teams lower than them in the standings in Week 9. If all goes to standings, Toledo will still get the No. 1 seed, based on its victory over Stevenson, but Stevenson would be considered co-champion. La Center, meanwhile, is 4-2 and also hopes to get to 5-2 next week. If that is the case, all four teams would make the playoffs.

Coverage plan:
We have a preliminary plan that is subject to change. I (Paul Valencia) will be at McKenzie Stadium for a short write-up and stats from the first game, Evergreen vs. Heritage for the No. 3 spot in the 4A GSHL. Then I will cover the Skyview-Union clash with the main story for our feature game of the week. … We will have another reporter in Camas for the 3A GSHL title game. Probably Paul Danzer, but he might have to fight another reporter for that assignment because everyone loves the new Doc Harris Stadium. … We will have a reporter at the Mountain View-Columbia River game. … We will know more as the week progresses.

Also for Championship Week, look for features on Camas, Skyview, and Union. We are hoping to have a story on each program, one on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and one on Friday.

Camas 63, Fort Vancouver 0: 
The Papermakers looked very much like their state ranking. 

Highlight video: This is very important. Whoever is in charge of getting Addison Owen some attention from colleges, I have some advice for you. Parents, coaches, whoever, do whatever you can to get the video of Owen’s hit on that Fort Vancouver running back early in the third quarter. You know the one, when the ball carrier ran toward the sideline, appeared to have the corner against another Papermaker, and then within a nanosecond was on the ground. Owen, the safety, used Troy Polamalu-like speed to blow up the play. That one play is all that is needed for some college coach to take notice.

Not a bad average: The Camas starting offense did not get on the field until 2:28 remained in the first quarter. They weren’t on the field for very long after that, either.

Camas scored six touchdowns in its next six possessions, using a total of 15 plays. The Papermakers gained 365 yards in those 15 plays. My head was spinning. That’s 24.3 yards per play.

Quarterback Logan Grindy was 8 of 11 for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Zack Marshall, Camas’ leading rusher, had two carries on the night. He gained 83 yards.

Interesting start: Fort Vancouver kicked off to begin the game and used a surprise onside kick to keep the ball away from the Papermakers. The Trappers even drove to Camas’ 24-yard line, thanks to a pass interference penalty. But on a pass play on fourth-and-two play, the Fort receiver was fighting to get a first down when Damon Kosaki stripped the ball from him and took off running the other way. The ball never actually touched the ground. Kosaki just took it out of the receiver’s hands. Some did not even know it happened until they saw Kosaki sprinting the other way, 73 yards for a touchdown.

Then, after Camas kicked off to Fort, the Trappers picked up two first downs and ran 10 plays before punting. The Trappers were using the slow-down approach, waiting to snap the ball until just before 25 seconds elapsed.

And with the way the Camas starting offense played, no wonder.

Skyview 48, Columbia River 13: 
This rivalry went Skyview’s way in the final three quarters. 

Kiggins Bowl was good to a couple of winning QBs: Already noted Logan Grindy’s big game for Camas. Well, Skyview’s Kieran McDonagh was superb in the second game of the doubleheader at Kiggins.

McDonagh completed 13 of 14 passes for 215 yards and four touchdowns. His four TD passes came in the second quarter when the Storm gained control of the game. 

Phillips improvises: Skyview kicker/punter Nick Phillips had an interesting night. On one of his many extra points, an inaccurate snap broke up the timing with the holder. Phillips had to stutter-step, then kicked the ball almost from a standing-still position. The ball still made it over the crossbar.

Later in the game, a bouncing snap on a punt attempt left Phillips in an awkward position. The extra time needed to gather the ball allowed for the defense to get closer to him. Instead of panicking, Phillips used an abbreviated kicking style and got the ball away.

Oh so close for Chon: Columbia River’s first of six turnovers was a fumble recovered by Skyview’s Albert Chon. The defensive lineman scooped up the ball at the 46-yard line and was off to the races. Well, he lost that race. He still put his team in position to score, but let’s face it, it’s always fun to see a defensive lineman to score. And when one comes so close, well, it’s kind of a downer.

Don’t have to tell Chon about it. He knows. He knows. Oh my, he knows. He was tackled at the 5-yard line. Just five more yards to glory.

“It’s my only regret I have the entire game,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “I wanted that so bad.”

River can run: The final score might not show it, but the Chieftains were in this game for a while. Columbia River led 13-7 after the first quarter, and while the Chieftains defense had trouble stopping the Storm, the Chieftains also found out they could run the ball against Skyview. 

The Chieftains picked up two first downs on their first drive of the game before that fumble that Chon recovered. Columbia River then scored on its next two possessions, rushing for 125 yards on those first three possessions. Sophomore Remick Kawawaki ended up with 118 yards and a touchdown.

But the Skyview defense was opportunistic, forcing three turnovers in the first half, all three leading to touchdowns.

More for Mo: Mo Morrison (there’s that name again) had two interceptions. He said he has eight this year. Someone in the press box said he had 10 this year. I’m going with what the player told me. Either way, that’s a lot of picks.

Union 48, Evergreen 0: 
No surprise here as the Titans prepared for their Week 9 battle with Skyview. 

More of the same for Titans: The Union Titans picked up their third shutout of the season and for the third consecutive game got the gap to more than 45 points. Union’s defense has now gone 270 minutes, 22 seconds of game time without allowing a touchdown. Going into Week 9, the Union defense has not allowed a TD since Week 3.

The Something’s Gotta Give Bowl: Skyview has won the past two Class 4A Greater St. Helens League titles. Union has won the past two 3A GSHL titles. Now in the same league, there is only room for one champion. The Skyview-Union game is the second game of a doubleheader at McKenzie Stadium. My advice: Get there early. Heck, get there real early and watch the first game. Two for the price of one, and you ensure a good seat.

Mountain View 58, Hudson’s Bay 0:
The Thunder pick up their sixth win of the season.

Getting it done: Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson reminded his players that they had not accomplished anything yet going into this game. The Thunder were 5-2 entering the contest, the same amount of wins the team had the past two seasons. Well, now the Thunder have made it to six wins. And if they get to seven, they will lock up a playoff spot. If the Thunder happen to lose next week, they will likely be in a tie for second place and still have a shot at the playoffs. … Mountain View’s six wins are the most in the program since the Thunder went 7-3 in 2005.

Kelso 28, Prairie 14:
Hilanders do what they had to do.

Falcons miss out on chance: Prairie had to win this game to have any hope of finishing in a tie for third place. Instead, the Falcons will not make the playoffs. Kelso, on the other hand, improved to 4-1 in league and will face 5-0 Camas next week.

Hockinson 14, Woodland 10: 
Fantastic finish for Hawks. 

Homecoming heroics: The Hawks got a touchdown pass from Jess Krahn to Conner Perry with 25 seconds left in the game to win in this battle of winless teams. The Hawks, who start three freshmen, drove 75 yards for the winning score. Not a bad way for Hockinson to claim a victory in homecoming week.

Mark Morris 50, Washougal 13:
The Monarchs got the big victory to improve to 3-0 and set up a showdown with R.A. Long for the 2A GSHL title. But we tip the cap to Washougal for being in a big game. The Panthers fell to 1-2 in league, but their four overall wins is double what they earned last year. And it had to be cool for the Panthers to put themselves in position to play for a playoff berth this week. This is progress at Washougal.

Ridgefield 28, Toledo 14:
If there was any doubt, there is no doubt anymore … The Spudders are back.

The Spudders gave their playoff chances a huge boost and handed Toledo its first league loss. Oh, and in the process, helped Stevenson to a possible league championship.

The Spudders expect to get to 5-2 in the Trico League next week when they take on 0-6 Ilwaco. A fifth league win would guarantee a playoff spot. By the way, the Spudders went 1-8 last year.

Dylan Young led the attack again. The running back had 108 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 tie.

Stevenson 42, Kalama 6:
After losing to Toledo earlier this season, the Bulldogs needed some help in order to catch Toledo. The help arrived Friday with Ridgefield’s victory.

Now, Stevenson, 5-1, must beat White Salmon, 1-5, to claim at least a share of the league title. Toledo would still get the No. 1 seed with a win, but the Bulldogs can be called champions with a win next week. That would be a remarkable feat for the program.

Christian Morris and Kevin Jaco each rushed for more than 100 yards in the victory over Kalama.

La Center 52, White Salmon 35:
Wildcats in position for playoffs, too.

Ryan Kulla rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns in a wild contest that featured 87 points. La Center led 24-21 at halftime but then scored the first three touchdowns of the second half to pull away from White Salmon.

La Center plays Kalama in Week 9. A win will guarantee a playoff spot. A loss would likely end La Center’s season.

OK, gotta get some sleep. NFL starts in six hours. Can’t wait for Week 9. And I’m hoping I’m still doing this through 14 weeks, with a Southwest Washington team or two playing into December.

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