The Camas High School football team exploded on the scene like a bundle of dynamite Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
As the Jesuit Crusaders came crashing back down to earth, The Papermakers celebrated a 47-14 victory.
Despite the hype surrounding this showdown between the number-one ranked teams in the largest classifications of Washington and Oregon, the boys in black lived up to their school’s legacy. The Papermakers kept rolling along.
“It’s a brotherhood out here. If one person succeeds, we all succeed,” said quarterback Reilly Hennessey. “What we do down here is for all the people in those metal seats up there. We put it all on the line for the city that loves us so much.”
Running back Nate Beasley turned 119 receiving and 41 rushing yards into five touchdowns. His night ended after a catch in the park from Hennessey. Beasley ran untouched for a 55-yard touchdown. Camas had a 47-7 lead, and that started the running clock.
“It always a great feeling to get out in the open. Once I see green, I’m already on my 40-yard sprint,” Beasley said. “I can’t say enough about the job my line does for me. They make those holes for me to run through.”
Offensive linemen Matt Danis, Chris Durrett and Matt Walser protected their playmakers. Alex Walker stepped up for injured captain Drew Clarkson.
Hennessey completed 14 of his 17 passes for 277 yards. He tossed three touchdowns to Beasley and one to James Price.
“I have one of the easiest jobs out here. I just catch it and throw it, or hand it off,” Hennessey said. “I’m out here with my best friends and my brothers. What more can I ask for? We have one goal deep in our hearts, to get better Monday through Thursday and show it on Friday for our loving fans.”
Wide receiver Zach Eagle made seven acrobatic catches for 118 yards. Although he never got in the end zone, Camas did seven times.
“However we can get it done, it’s a touchdown for Camas,” Eagle said.
Defensive linemen John Ashford, Adam Dawson, Michael DiGenova, Michael Johnson and Jason Vailea squeezed the juice out of Jesuit. Defensive backs Dylan White and Cole Zarcone intercepted passes. White took the ball back 50 yards for a touchdown.
“That was my biggest dream, right there,” White said. “I give it all to my D-line. Without their push, I never would have gotten that opportunity.”
White dedicated his touchdown to Clarkson, who battled back from stage 2 testicular cancer to be a part of the team. Clarkson did not play because of a hamstring injury, but his spirit remains in the hearts of his brothers.
“As soon as I crossed the goal line, I said, ‘this one is for you, Drew,’” White said. “I’ve known him since fifth grade, and he’s taught me a lot. I just wanted to leave it all out on the field for him, my teammates and my family.”
The battle between these two powerhouses lived up to the hype for about seven minutes. Reid Conlee made a great return for Camas on the opening kick off. Eagle snagged a catch for a first down and Beasley galloped into the end zone.
Jesuit marched right down the field and tied the game up. Beasley then caught a quick pass from Hennessey and glided into the end zone on a 54-yard dash.
“Practice does make perfect,” Beasley said. “We’re always putting the ball down and getting it going. Sometimes, we’re telling our coaches to speed it up.”
Camas still had not stopped Jesuit on third down until White came up with his interception return for a touchdown. That one play was like lighting dynamite. The Papermakers went on a 40-point scoring barrage before the Crusaders could finally answer the bell.
“It’s just awesome to be back out here playing football again,” Eagle said. “It barely feels like we even left. We just picked up where we left off last season.”
Mission accomplished for the Mean Machine. Canby is the next target.
“It’s a very rewarding experience just getting to be around these kids,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “For the next 48 hours, everyone is going to tell you how great you are. Are you willing to come back from that and continue to work hard? That’s the challenge.”