Day After Report: Camas semifinal
The Camas fans will not dwell on this loss. They will celebrate the season. I’ll start with the accomplishments, then give a few more notes on the final game of the season for the Papermakers.
O’DEA 21, CAMAS 13
Papermakers go where no Papermaker football player had gone before.
The Papermakers won their second consecutive Class 3A Greater St. Helens League title, winning every league game by an average margin of 41 points.
The Papermakers won two state playoff games. A year ago, Camas won its first state playoff game in program history.
The Papermakers made it to the dome, the final four. Again, no other football team from Camas can claim that.
Zack Marshall was named the offensive player of the year for the 3A GSHL.
John Norcross was named the defensive player of the year for the 3A GSHL.
Tony Gennaro, in his only season as the starter, finished with 31 touchdown passes and more 2,500 yards passing.
Zack Marshall was a 50-50 decision to play in the game because of an injured leg.
Of course he played. He’s tough.
He got in the game and looked like the typical strong Marshall we have come to expect. He had 51 yards on six carries, plus he had a reception for five yards. But late in the first quarter, he came out of the game, shaking his hand.
It wasn’t his leg that took him out of the contest. He had dislocated a thumb. Marshall injured his thumb trying to stiff-arm a tackler and got the thumb caught in the player’s facemask.
“I’m proud of him for battling,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said.
While one player cannot make or break an entire football team, Marshall is the “straw that stirs the drink,” Eagle said.
With Marshall in the backfield, it is easier on the quarterback as the defense must respect the run. The receivers have more space to get open, too. The defense must respect Marshall. Without Marshall, the offense is a bit more predictable.
Sophomore running back Nate Beasley had a strong performance in the reserve role, rushing for 76 yards.
Yet, it was clear, the offense was different without Marshall.
Zack Marshall also knows how to block. He picked up a blitzing linebacker and stuffed him just before Gennaro was going to be sacked. Instead, Gennaro found Zach Eagle for a 13-yard pass on a third-down play to keep a drive alive.
Camas fans are used to seeing its defense dominate. Of course, the deeper a team goes in the playoffs, the better teams one faces. That was the case in this contest.
O’Dea was the dominating team at the line of scrimmage.
Camas kicked a field goal with 2 minutes, 14 seconds left in the third quarter to pull within a point at 14-13. At that time, the Papermakers had all the momentum, with a 10-point third period.
But speaking of time, it turned out the Papermakers did not have enough time.
Really? But there were still two minutes left in the third quarter? Not enough time?
Yep. Because O’Dea owned the time from that moment.
The Irish used more than 7 minutes to go 83 yards on 13 plays on its next possession. Interestingly, they could have used a lot more time, but they broke a 30-yard touchdown run on that 13th play. That means the Irish “only” went 57 yards on the first 12 plays. Three yards here, seven yards there, four this time, five the next time, and so on and so on.
O’Dea went up 21-13 with 7:05 on the clock.
Camas set up, after the ensuing kickoff, with 6:58 remaining in the game. A three-and-out later, O’Dea took over with 5:47 on the clock.
O’Dea again ruled the line of scrimmage and ruled the clock. The Irish converted two fourth downs and never gave the Papermakers a chance to score. Eleven plays later, the game was done.
The Papermakers had their chances, especially early.
Camas got to the O’Dea 20-yard line on its first possession, but an interception killed that drive.
The Papermakers had an 11-play drive on its next possession, but failed to get a first down on a fourth-and-10 play from the O’Dea 30-yard line.
Camas kept the pressure on the O’Dea defense on the next drive, this time getting a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line. But the Papermakers had to settle for a Roldan Alcobendas field goal.
Another long drive from Camas on the next drive ended on another interception.
Camas finished the half with a missed field goal from 47 yards out.
“To me, the whole thing was missed opportunities,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “In all those scoring opportunities, we ended up with three points.”
End this on a good note:
Camas’ lone touchdown came on a sweet pass from Tony Gennaro to Jonathan Warner, who got behind the defense. It turned into a 55-yarder and cut the O’Dea lead to 14-10 early in the second half.
“It was surreal. I just caught it and ran into the end zone,” Warner said. “I didn’t even realize I scored a touchdown here until I got to the sideline.”
Thanks to the Camas Papermakers for giving their fans a great ride to the final four and for giving us in the media so much cooperation. That is appreciated. Wish we could have written about you another week.