With relentless defense and smash mouth offense, the Papermakers won the biggest football game in Camas with a 44-6 victory against Union Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“We knew it would be a fight coming out of the gate,” said offensive and defensive lineman Matt Walser. “This was a really good test for us. They exposed our flaws and showed us ways we can get better.”
Union was the first team to hang with Camas long enough to prevent a running clock. Papermakers Matt Danis, Adam Dawson, Michael DiGenova, Jason Vailea and Walser made life difficult for the Titans all night long.
“Be relentless. You got to swarm and tackle with your teammates,” Dawson said. “That’s what Camas football is all about. We try and get that three-and-out and score quick.”
The Camas defense did its job out of the gate. The offense started on their 1-yard line after an excellent punt. Nate Beasley and the Papermakers came out blazing on two big runs. A Union defender was penalized for grabbing Beasley’s facemask, which moved Camas into scoring position. Quarterback Reilly Hennessey then fired a 28-yard touchdown pass to James Price.
Hennessey and Price hooked up again on a 2-point conversion pass in the second quarter and another touchdown in the third.
“I was definitely hyped up off the crowd’s energy and it kept me surging throughout the whole game,” Price said. “Camas vs. Union is more than just a football game. It’s an inner-city rivalry. When I came to Camas as a little kid, I was excited to play football. It’s amazing to be a part of such history.”
Caleb Lightborn kicked a 27-yard field goal for the Papermakers, following a fumble recovery by Vailea. Hennessey and Valiea delivered touchdown runs to give Camas a 24-0 lead. Union got on the scoreboard with a touchdown run before halftime. Danis broke up the 2-point conversion try by pressuring the quarterback.
The Papermakers got even right after the break on three quick pass plays. Hennessey hit Zach Eagle on the fly for 14- and 34-yard catches. Price then caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Hennessey.
Union had no answer. Trevor Wochnick chopped down the running back and Danis led an assault on the quarterback. The Titans got the ball back only to turn it over on downs. DiGenova wrapped up the scrambling quarterback and Eagle swatted away a pass down field.
Camas showed great resolve on the next series. Beasley ran in a touchdown, only to have it called back for holding. The third penalty on this drive forced the Papermakers to go 39 yards to get a first down, which they did on a catch by Price and two runs by Beasley. Beasley crossed the goal line again on a 7-yard touchdown run. This time, it counted.
Beasley looked up in the grandstands before the game started and didn’t see an empty seat in the house. Then he turned around and saw that the visitor section was also filled.
“You realize you’re right in the middle of it,” Beasley said.
The Papermakers played their hearts out for Camas Friday, and they won the biggest game of the season so far.
“When you’re out on this field, nothing else matters than your friends, your coaches and your community,” Dawson said.
“Our band, our fans, our stadium and our community is the best,” Walser said. “I love being a Papermaker.”