Camas defends Doc Harris

John Norcross scooped up two fumbles and returned them for touchdowns

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Camas High School football coaches and players congratulate John Norcross after his second touchdown Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.

It didn’t matter if John Norcross was playing offense or defense Friday night at Doc Harris Stadium, he found a way to get his hands on the football for Camas.

After Timberline tied the score in the third quarter, the Papermakers had a receiver open on the left side of the field. Kyle Goodnow caught a pass from quarterback Tony Genarro, but he lost possession when he was hit. Shadowing Goodnow and his defender, Norcross didn’t hesitate. He picked up the hot potato, and ran it 25 yards to the end zone for game-changing touchdown.

“Coach Eagle teaches us to play to the whistle,” Norcross said. “I saw the ball, didn’t hear a whistle, picked it up and headed for that end zone.”

A few plays into the fourth quarter, it was Norcross again bringing the crowd to its feet on defense. Without so much as a bounce, the junior snagged the fumbled football and dashed 42 yards back for another touchdown. What once was a 6-6 tie turned into a 20-6 victory for the Papermakers.

“I was running for the ball. It popped out and fell right into my hands. Just go,” Norcross said. “It was a total team effort tonight. Two times in a row, I was in the right place at the right time and lucky enough to get in that end zone.”

After the game, the Papermaker football players and coaches could not stop rubbing Norcross for good luck.

“Here’s a guy who starts both ways for us, who is a silent leader and just goes about his business,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “He really is kind of a cornerstone for our team, just as a person.”

Norcross also took a few snaps at quarterback. And he scored two touchdowns without recording a catch or a rush.

“I’m surprised he didn’t go behind the stands and sell some hot dogs,” Eagle said.

Camas took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on the leg of Roldan Alcobendas. The junior kicked a 34-yard field goal, and then a 43-yarder through the uprights. He also pinned the Blazers deep in their own territory on punts throughout the game.

“[Alcobendas] is a tremendous weapon for us,” Eagle said. “We had to lean on our defense tonight, and they came through for us big time.”

Camas opens league against Mountain View Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Kick off is at 7 p.m.

“It’s always entertaining at Doc Harris,” Eagle said. “We are thrilled to be able to beat a top 10 team, but I think the kids are smart enough to know we have a lot of things to work on.”