Finishing a chapter in football

Annual all-star event raised funds for Shriner's Hospital

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Bobby Jacobs breaks loose from a defender's grasp and scores a touchdown for the American all-stars in the Shriner's Freedom Bowl Classic Saturday, at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver.

Bobby Jacobs turned and burned with a football in his hands for the last time.

The Washougal High School graduate scored two touchdowns, added a 2-point conversion and earned Offensive MVP honors to help the American all-stars defeat the Nationals 40-18 in the 2014 Southwest Washington Shriner’s Freedom Bowl Classic Saturday, at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver.

“As the only kid from Washougal in this game, I feel proud to take MVP and make a name for my small town,” Jacobs said. “I just wanted to leave it all out there with no regrets. I felt like I did that. I played as hard as I could.”

Jacobs leaves the game of football behind to begin an internship with the Boeing plant in Gresham, Ore. He hopes to turn this opportunity into a successful career.

“It’s just another thing to set my mind towards,” Jacobs said. “I’m just going to keep pushing and do the best that I can. It’s important to work hard in everything, not just sports.”

On the day before leaving for Eastern Oregon University, Jorden Payne reunited with Camas Papermakers John Ashford, Adam Dawson, Jason Vailea, Matt Walser and Dalton Wunderlich for one more week of high school football.

“This was the last page in the high school chapter of life. College is the next one,” Payne said. “I’ve been playing on the field with my brothers since I was a little kid. No matter what, they’re family to me.”

In the game, Payne recovered a fumbled kick off and delivered a 2-point conversion run for the American all-stars. He also gained new friendships with players he only saw as rivals before this week.

“This one game summed up all the memories I made in high school, middle school and elementary school,” Payne said. “I just feel blessed to be able to put on these pads and play a game that brought the community together. Not just in Camas, but in Southwest Washington as a whole.”

The fourth- and fifth-grade Camas Cardinals, from Clark County Youth Football, beat the Vancouver Mustangs 12-7. Ryan Niziol caught a touchdown pass from Justin Taylor in the first quarter.

“The only reason I scored is because our team practiced,” Niziol said. “They did all the hard work for me.”

The Cardinals trailed by one point until Jarius Phillips shook off a few defenders on a 40-yard run and reached the end zone for a touchdown with two minutes left in the game.

“I just scored the touchdown that put us ahead. It was a relief,” Phillips said. “We feel honored to be picked to play in The Shrine, especially after what Camas High School did last year. We proved that Camas is still good.”

The Cardinals are Jackson Knuth, Jadon Popp, Brian Hoff, Nathan Farra, Kellen Patterson, Ryan Niziol, Jack Martin, Tyler Vigil, Jacob Burkholder, Tyler Schiffman, Kevin Simpson, Jarius Phillips, Gavin Toliver, Nathan Criddle, Justin Taylor, Parker Shattuck, Brock Thornburg, Andrew Sauer, Owen McGuire, Mason Parker, Joshua Gagnon, Garrett Perkins, Luke Jamison, Tommy Taylor, Owen Brown, Quaid Miholen, Adam Schembs, Owen Jacobs-Brown and Kellen Mason.

Head coach Jim Phillips said the Camas players worked hard in the heat for the past two weeks to learn a new offense. The Cardinals also fought back to win this game in 90-degree temperatures.

“I think they learned perseverance. They’re a tough group,” said coach Phillips. “We fought through a lot of bumps and bruises because of the heat, but they never gave up. They did what they needed to win this game and I’m super proud of them.”