When Zach Eagle was little, he ran the footballs from the sidelines to the line of scrimmage.
“I just the loved the whole atmosphere,” he said. “The game, the crowd and the band.”
After watching his fair share of heartbreaking losses and come-from-behind victories, Eagle would go to sleep and dream about catching game-winning touchdowns for Camas.
Fast forward to the present. Eagle is a 17-year-old high school junior. He stands 5 feet, 9 inches and weighs 170 pounds. And every Friday night, he lines up with the Papermakers as a wide receiver and a defensive back.
“It’s fun playing the game I love with my friends. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid. It’s where I always wanted to be,” Eagle said. “I think about all the hard work it took to make it out there. All the practices and the time lifting weights. It definitely pays off.”
Camas defeated Auburn Mountainview 45-14 Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Eagle intercepted two passes to set the Papermakers up for touchdowns. The first one was on a 13-yard run by Nate Beasley. The second one came off a 44-yard swing pass from Reilly Hennessey to Vince Huber.
“I was just at the right place at the right time both times,” Eagle said. “Once we get the ball, we want to put pressure on the other team and score. And then our defenders just want to keep getting the ball back.”
John Norcross struck gold for Camas by crossing the goal line in the first quarter. Roldan Alcobendas beat the defensive press for the ball and kicked a 52-yard field goal. Jack Beall snagged a 6-yard touchdown pass from Hennessey. Beasley and Huber added two touchdowns to give the Papermakers a 45-0 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Auburn turned two Camas turnovers into touchdown drives.
The Papermakers are going to Lakewood Friday. Their opponent, Lakes, lost 35-14 to Skyview last week at Kiggins Bowl.
“Lakes is a good team. They have a lot of good athletes,” Eagle said. “It’s going to be a good opportunity for us to travel on the road together and play a top team.”
Camas then hosts Skyview for its first 4A Greater St. Helens League football game Friday, Sept. 28.
“We just want to take this momentum into league. Skyview is going to be a tough test,” Eagle said. “They got us last year. If we can get a win this year, it would be really exciting.”
Skyview defeated the Papermakers 31-10 last year at Kiggins Bowl and went on to play for the 4A state championship. Camas rebounded and reached the 3A state semifinal game. It’s a league game this time, and the Papermakers have the home field advantage.
“We love it at Doc Harris,” Eagle said. “The fans have a lot to do with how we play. We feed off their energy.”