Day After Report: Camas clubs Federal Way


The Federal Way Eagles never knew what hit them.

And the Camas Papermakers never really knew their true potential until Saturday.

Oh, they knew they could win. They expected to win. They figured on going to the Class 4A state semifinals. But they could not have believed they were going to crush the Eagles like they did.

Seriously, anybody think it would go like that? Anybody think it would be a running clock in the second half? I heard some optimistic fans say Camas by 21, or Camas by double digits. But no one said Camas would be up by as many as 41 at one point in the first half.

Here is some food for thought: Federal Way is really good at football. It’s just Camas is a lot better at the game.

More food for thought: Camas will need to be just as good Saturday in the semifinals. I don’t guarantee anything, but I doubt anyone will predict Camas will be up by 41 points in the first half over Skyline. If that happens, I’ll be asking the WIAA to schedule a 4A/3A title pitting Camas against Bellevue.

Now for more thoughts and notes from Saturday’s epic performance from the Papermakers.

Journalist problems: One of our colleagues in the media had to cover a college game in McMinnville, Ore., and then get to Camas for the Federal Way game to cover that for a paper up north. He knew he’d be late. He never dreamed there would be no point in showing up to the game.

When he walked into the press box, Camas had 51 points. And it was still in the first half.

That was quick: Federal Way, which averaged 45 points per game coming into the quarterfinals, went three-and-out on its first possession. Seven plays later, Camas scored on a Nate Beasley 22-yard run.

(Note: I saw the video from that play later. Seriously, I could have gained 10 yards on the play. Nothing against Beasley. It’s a compliment to the offensive line. The right side of the offensive line had pushed the Federal Way defensive line 10, 12 yards downfield. Of course, I would have fainted after running 10 yards, and I’m pretty sure Camas would have been penalized for having a 41-year-old in the backfield, but you get the point. The blocking was incredible.)

Federal Way only had the ball for two plays on its next possession. A sack, and then another sack. The second sack also was a forced fumble. (Believe it was Nick Gadbaw with the sack and forced fumble.) Camas recovered. Two plays later, quarterback Reilly Hennessey was in the end zone on a short TD run for a 14-0 lead.

At the time, we had no idea the game was over. We just figured it was a great start for the Papermakers. Many of us expected Federal Way to right the ship, so to speak, make it competitive. Never happened.

That was really, really quick: So later, after a Federal Way field goal, Camas responded with a seven-play, 93-yard touchdown drive to go up 21-3. Think that was bad for the Eagles? Just wait.

The Eagles went three-and-out again, then Camas went 61 yards on five plays, with John Norcross scoring on a 6-yard run. That came with 6:55 left in the second quarter.

Two plays later, a bad snap with Federal Way in shotgun formation, then a mad scramble, led to the ball rolling out of the end zone for a Camas safety. The Papermakers needed just three plays to score another touchdown after Beasley returned the ensuring kick 47 yards to the 24-yard line. That was three scoring plays in a span of 96 seconds. The game went from 21-3 to 37-3 just like that.

“Three hours ago, I was thinking this was going to be a three-point game,” Camas lineman Drew Clarkson said.


Beasley the Beast: Nate Beasley had a really good regular season. He’s having an even better postseason. For the season, he is averaging better than 7 yards per carry. He has 23 rushing touchdowns now in 12 games. In the last three games — all postseason games — he has averaged better than 10 yards per carry and has rushed for nine touchdowns. After his 249 yards Saturday, he has 546 yards in those three games.

Mr. Consistent at QB: Reilly Hennessey is completing better than 70 percent of his passes in the playoffs. Saturday, he was 12 of 15 for 142 yards and two touchdowns. His first six completions went to different receivers. The guy just knows what he is doing back there.

After Saturday’s win, he was just thrilled for all of his teammates.

“I’ve been playing with these guys since the third, fourth grade,” he said. “I’m the luckiest guy to be playing with my best friends and to be playing in the Tacoma Dome with my best friends.”

He also appreciated the weather. That 80-percent completion performance might not have happened had it been an afternoon game. It rained all day, but barely rained at all after kickoff.

“I was so thankful for how the weather turned out,” he said.

Speaking of quarterbacks: Camas takes on defending champion Skyline, a team that just happens to have what many consider the top-ranked high school quarterback in the country. Max Browne is heading to USC, presumably in chase of a Heisman Trophy one day. But now, Browne just wants a second consecutive state championship.

Hennessey said with the Camas coaches doing their thing to prepare the players, this team has the potential to become a state champion. But before getting a title shot, the Papermakers must win Saturday in the semis.

“We get to test that against Skyline. I’m really excited to see how good we are, to see if we can go up against the best,” Hennessey said.

My prediction: Ha! I don’t do predictions. That’s Tim Martinez who does predictions. Still, I get asked to predict these games, and my immediate response is to channel Clubber Lang from Rocky III.

Reporter: “Clubber, what’s your prediction for the fight?”

Clubber: “Prediction?”

Reporter: “Yes, prediction.”

Clubber (staring into the camera): “Paaaaaiiiiiiiinnnnnnnn.”

Oh, I crack myself up.

Congrats to the Papermakers. Second year in a row in the state semifinals.

I have features scheduled to run in Thursday, Friday, and Saturday’s papers. Then, of course, we’ll have reporters at the game.

I love this!

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