The road back to the Tacoma Dome is almost complete.
The Camas Mean Machine flattened Arlington 62-6 in the first 4A state tournament football game in school history Saturday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“We played good defense, ran the ball well, made timely passes and converted some big third downs,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “We were able to be balanced and get everybody involved. That’s the trick.”
John Norcross drilled through the chunks of concrete left behind by his bulldozing offensive linemen to get into the end zone on the first two drives of the game.
“There’s no other line in the state I would rather run behind than the one we have right here in Camas,” Norcross said. “These guys get such a huge push off the ball.”
Opposing defenses have a pretty good idea of what’s coming when Norcross and Jason Vailea line up under center, but they haven’t been able to stop them from scoring touchdowns. There are just too many arms and legs to try and restrain.
“I respect these guys. They go hard on every play, and play every play like it’s their last,” Vailea said. “When these guys do something good, it makes my job a whole lot easier.”
As Norcross, Vailea and company plowed the road, Nate Beasley and Vince Huber smoothed it out.
Beasley broke loose for a 63-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, added a 21-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and picked off a deep pass by Arlington on the final play before halftime.
Huber delivered four touchdowns in the game. The senior crossed the goal line three times on runs of 20, 4 and 4 yards. He also took an interception back 22 yards into the end zone.
“Those plays were perfectly blocked,” Huber said. “Even if the blocks weren’t there, I wasn’t going to stop. I wanted to give it my all and punch it into the end zone for my team.”
Arlington crossed into Camas territory one time during the first quarter, but the Papermakers made a stand on fourth-and-four to get the ball back. The Eagles didn’t revert back to defense in time for the next play, and Beasley left them in the dust on a 63-yard gold rush.
A high arcing kick by Roldan Alcobendas left the Arlington kick returner vulnerable. Jordan Payne snared him at the 3-yard line, and the Eagles were in trouble.
“It just put us in good position,” Payne said. “We just had to go 20 yards, get another touchdown and put more points on the board.”
After Huber scored his first touchdown, Alcobendas kicked another high ball and Cole Zarcone clipped an Eagle’s wings on the 9-yard line. This set the Papermakers up with another short field following three defensive stops and a sloppy punt. Beasley then added his second touchdown.
“Our mindset was to never let up and see if they could keep up with our pace,” Huber said. “This is our time. We’re the class of 2013. Let’s finish strong and leave it all out there on that field.”
The stakes couldn’t be higher when Camas challenges Federal Way in the state quarterfinals Saturday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Both teams are 11-0, but only one of them will go to the Tacoma Dome. Kick off is at 5 p.m.
Norcross said all the Papermakers can do is keep playing Camas football. It’s worked for them so far.
“It’s great growing up and playing football for this city,” he said. “We lay it all on the line every play for our teammates, each other and our community.”