Chasing the dream

Papermakers are one win away from playing in the Tacoma Dome

timestamp icon
category icon Sports
Kennedy runs into the Camas bulldozers Friday night, at Doc Harris Stadium. The Papermakers won 48-14 to return to the state quarterfinals.

The Papermakers became a well-oiled machine Friday, in their 48-14 victory over Kennedy Catholic at Doc Harris Stadium.

For the second year in a row, Camas (10-1) is one more win away from playing football in the Tacoma Dome for the first time in school history. Standing in the way is Meadowdale (11-0), who comes to town to play the Papermakers in the state quarterfinals Saturday at Doc Harris Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

“We want to win this game and do something Camas has never done before, and that go to The Dome,” said senior running back Zack Marshall.

“We just want to be known as our own class,” he added. “Coming out of the tunnel before [Friday’s] game, we were all talking about fifth-grade football memories. These guys are my brothers. When we get together, it’s a family. We play with that tight bond, and it shows.”

Marshall carried the football 55 yards on four plays to score a touchdown 40 seconds into Friday’s game. After a 5- and a 3-yard run, Marshall snagged a shovel pass from senior quarterback Tony Gennaro, shook off a couple of tacklers and kept going for a 41-yard dash down the field. He then finished off the drive on a 6-yard sprint into the end zone.

On the next offensive series for Camas, Marshall caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Gennaro. He added a 3-yard TD run in the second quarter and a 43-yard TD catch from Gennaro in the third quarter. Marshall finished the game with 128 receiving yards, 90 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

“Our O-line was so crisp, and we ran everything to the ‘T,'” he said. “Our goal was to get into a rhythm, put points on the board, and keep rolling and going.”

Gennaro threw for 301 yards and five touchdowns. One of his best passes was caught by Jonathan Warner on a full sprint and dive across the end zone.

“I was on a backside corner route, but I was ready to go right just in case,” Warner said. “That was the just in case.”

Warner earned redemption on that 21-yard touchdown catch after dropping a few key passes in the game before.

“That game kept going through my head the whole week, but I finally had to let it go,” he said. “That play showed I had gotten it out of my head.”

Gennaro also made a 5-yard touchdown pass to Zach Eagle in the second quarter, and added a 23-yard touchdown pass to John Payne in the third quarter.

“[Gennaro] doesn’t have the prettiest throw, but something happens when he steps on to the field. He becomes such a competitor,” said head coach John Eagle. “He has the phenomenal decision-making skills and the touch to go with it. He gets the ball where it needs to go.”

The Papermakers also won the joust on defense and special teams. Roldan Alcobendas buried the Lancers deep down the field on kick offs. Kamari Brown, Chris Galusha, Kyle Goodnow and Jason Vailea came through with some big tackles on defense. Galusha also blocked a punt by Kennedy, and Scott Feather recovered a fumble for Camas.

“It’s my last year. I only have so many hits left,” Galusha said. “I only have so much time left to step through those white lines. I want to give my best on every play.”

After Saturday’s final showdown at Doc Harris Stadium, the Papermakers hope to continue their adventure into uncharted territory.

“I’m really excited to be in the quarterfinals,” Galusha said. “We worked so hard for this in the spring and the summer. To be at the level we are at right now is more than I could have ever dreamed of.”