The opening kickoff at the brand new Doc Harris Stadium was just as the Papermakers dreamed it would be, with thousands of fans screaming at the top of their lungs and sheets of rain falling from the sky.
“I’m going to look back at this night when I’m 80,” said senior lineman Eric Clay. “This is something I’m going to love and cherish forever,”
There was not an empty seat on the Camas side Friday, as the Papermakers thumped league rival Columbia River 42-6. Senior quarterback Logan Grindy ignited the offense with three touchdowns. Junior running back Zack Marshall scored twice on a 96-yard kick return and a 47-yard touchdown run.
Senior wide receiver Miguel Salamanca had an 11-yard touchdown pass to go along with a fumble recovery in the end zone.
“There was a scrap under the pile, but I was able to hold on to it,” Salamanca said. “It felt great. I never thought my first touchdown of the year would be on a fumble.”
Senior wide out Kyle Ervin had some nice grab and runs for first downs. He also had a 22-yard touchdown catch.
“Playing in this new stadium is incredible. It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Ervin said. “Raining like it did tonight is what football is all about. We were soaked to the bone, but you got to play through it and we did.”
The Camas defense delivered some thunderous hits all night long. Kamari Brown, Clay, Odin Coe, Jeremy Faulkner, Kaika Gunderson, Brent Hill, Alex Hows, Damon Kosaki, John Payne, Addison Owen and Salamanca were all over the opposing quarterback, running backs and receivers.
“I’ll always remember that first defensive series of the game in the rain. It just does something to you,” Clay said. “The fans never stopped screaming, and that just made it more intense when you made a play.”
“This game was a big turnaround for us,” Salamanca said. “If we can keep climbing, we should be at the top of the mountain at the end of the year.”
Head coach Jon Eagle was proud of the Camas football players for not getting distracted by the grand opening spectacle, and working hard together to become a better team than the week before.
“It was a magical night for our school and our community,” Eagle said. “For us to be able to play well on top of it only makes the night more memorable.”
The Papermakers hope the magic continues this week, when they host Skyview Friday at Doc Harris. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“It might be a non-league game, but getting the opportunity to play a tough team like Skyview is going to be special,” Clay said. “Winning that game would boost our confidence.”