Day After Report: Camas 37, Union 20

(Note: Just some words on this one game for now. My colleagues might post another Day After Report for other games. But I’ve got to get this done, then off on a little vacation.)

The Papermakers dominated on the stat sheet, and ended up with a 17-point win, but this was close a few times.

Nolan Henry update: If you read my report often, you know how much respect I have for Union quarterback Nolan Henry. He is one of the nicest people I have met in this game. Clearly, he is respected by a lot of people, too.

When he went down with that scary injury just before the half, both sides in this rivalry were worried.

About 20 or so minutes later, when he was being taken off the field via stretcher, he waved to the crowd. Union and Camas students started chanting his name.

The rivalry is between schools, colors, perhaps even zip codes, but there is a ton of respect regarding the individuals who are in the uniforms. This was a great example of sportsmanship.

(By the way, I just noticed Tim Martinez also wrote notes regarding Nolan. I will post those at the bottom of this report.)

Best news of the night is Nolan said he is feeling better. Just finished messaging him on Twitter at about 2:15 a.m., and he gave me the OK to share with you what happened.

“I was out cold for like 2 and half minutes, I guess. Pretty scary,” he said.

From my vantage point in the press box, I thought he was out because he wasn’t moving. But I did not tweet this because I prefer not to get into specifics regarding high school athletes and this type of an injury. At least not until I hear from the athlete or the family.

We did see Nolan sit up a few minutes after the hit. Clearly, though, the medical staff told him to get back down on the turf. No need to take any chances, not with a head injury.

“When I woke up, I was ready to go back in like nothing happened and everyone acted like I was crazy…I kind of was,” Henry said.

“Glad I’m doing alright though. God is good and He has a plan for me!”

Henry also praised his teammates for working hard in the second half. He said he feels blessed that he will be able to get back on the field soon.

Best of luck Nolan.

And a shout out to all the fans at McKenzie Stadium who said a prayer or had a good thought and/or chanted for Nolan.

Wow: Liam Fitzgerald was off his game. Well, for a few minutes anyway. The Camas quarterback was 1 for 7 for 14 yards to start the game.

It’s how you finish, though, right?

Fitzgerald ended up 25 of 36 for 288 yards and a touchdown. In a rain storm.

Imagine what he could do in a dome? (Whoops, forget I said that. Not supposed to look that far ahead. Wait a minute. I’m not a coach. I can look as far into the future as I want!)

Hey Liam! Sorry I missed you on the field after the game. I looked, and I looked, and I looked. Even left messages for you with a couple of your teammates and the unofficial official team photographer of The Camas Papermakers. Hope you got the message that I wanted to chat with you.

But because of the long delay in the game for Nolan’s injury, I was really battling a tight print deadline. So I interviewed a few of your teammates, looked for you some more, then had to start writing.

But please know you were in demand. That’s what happens when you throw for 288 yards on a stormy night against your rivals with first place on the line.

I see you, too, Blake Roy: I write every week about James Price. Because, well, he’s James Price. A few other guys score a lot for the Papermakers, too.

But there is one guy who gets the ball plenty, but does not necessarily score. Instead, he sets up scores with his first-down catches over the middle, in traffic, knowing he is about to take a hit. Tight end Blake Roy had five catches for 85 yards against Union.

Those five catches? All for first downs.

And he has been doing that all season. I don’t believe he has a touchdown yet this season, but he does have a 17.8 yards-per-reception average going on … for a tight end. That’s getting the job done.

Statistically speaking: Union cut the Camas lead to two on two occasions in the first half. A 16-point deficit was cut to 10 in the second half. Yet the numbers showed Camas dominated this game.

Cole Zarcone had 176 of Camas’ 239 yards rushing. Then there was the 288 yards passing from Fitzgerald and his receivers. Union was held to 180 yards of offense.

Defensively, Reid Conlee had back-to-back tackles-for-loss for the Papermakers. Manase Nguamo had a strong pass rush that hurried one of Union’s passes. Almost all night, the Camas defense came up big.

Two of Union’s touchdowns were set up with short fields after an interception and a fumbled snap/blocked punt.

Streaking! Time to update the streak numbers. Some day, these streaks will end. All streaks come to an end. But not this week.

Funny story about streaks. The Prairie girls basketball team went more than 10 years without losing to a Clark County team. The coach of that team, Al Aldridge, always told me that I couldn’t wait for the streak to end so I could write about it. That would be a huge story, after all.

I told him it really didn’t matter. It was a story regardless. Either the team’s 10-year streak would continue, which was a big story anyway, or the streak would end, which would also be a big story. (By the way, you probably don’t have to remind anyone here that it was Camas that ended up stopping that basketball streak.)

Anyway, the big story either way rings true with the Camas football streak. One of the Union coaches made fun of me earlier in the week, saying I wanted Camas to win because the streak would continue. Like I told Aldridge years ago, huge streaks, or the end of huge streaks, are always stories. I don’t care who wins.

So about this streak … Camas has now won 26 consecutive league games dating back to its days in the 3A Greater St. Helens League. The Papermakers won league titles in 2010, 11, 12, and 13, and are on their way to another in 2014. … The team’s last loss to a Clark County team came in September 2011 against Skyview when Camas was still a 3A team and that was a non-league game. Since then, Camas has won 19 consecutive games against Southwest Washington opponents. … The closest game in that stretch was 17 points on Friday against Union. … Since the start of 2012, the Papermakers are 32-2, with the two losses coming against state champions.

OK, just past 3 a.m. now. Time for Tim Martinez’ notes:

Titans will bounce back: Union coach Gary McGarvie told his team that they were going to watch the  film of Friday’s loss to Camas on Saturday. And they were going to move on.

“You can do two things from a loss,” he said. “You can sit back and go ‘Wow, they’re just better than us.’ Or you can really look at yourself and say ‘What can we do to get better?’ And that’s how we’ve always done it. That’s how I did it when I was at Linfield, and that’s how we treat it here. We’re going to get better. That’s what we have to do.

“For us, it’s a go-to-work mentality. And tomorrow, we’re going to go back to work, and Monday we’re back at practice. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Nolan Henry Part II: McGarvie’s report that quarterback Nolan Henry would be OK was a relief to many Union fans. An even better report came from the player himself.

Henry tweeted out late Friday: “Thanks to everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers! CAT Scan came in clear and I’ll be back as soon as I can. Love you all!

Henry suffered concussion-like symptoms late in the first half when he was slammed to the turf after attempting a pass.

Henry was motionless for a while, then appeared to sit up briefly, bringing a cheer from the Camas fans who were closer to the play. Officials had Henry lay back down again as a precaution until emergency services arrived.

After Henry was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field, fans on both sides of McKenzie Stadium began chanting “No-lan Hen-ry! No-lan Hen-ry! No-lan Hen-ry!”

So on a night when both Union and Camas fans performed various chants and stunts meant to antagonize the other side, sportsmanship and class provided the most memorable moment of this rivalry game.

Back to me, your host, Paul Valencia: Started and ended this report with Nolan Henry and the crowd supporting him. That was not by accident. Grateful to hear the news about Nolan Henry and thrilled to showcase one incredible gesture by both crowds.

Great atmosphere Friday night.



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