The beat goes on for the Camas football team, to the tune of 77-21.
Battle Ground scored a touchdown within the first three minutes of Thursday’s game at District Stadium. After that, it was all Papermakers.
Running backs Bryan Kelly and Cole Zarcone both delivered three touchdowns. Quarterback Liam Fitzgerald racked up 253 passing yards. James Price took an interception back to the house for six points. He also snagged four catches for 102 offensive yards.
“That O-line. They did it again,” Kelly said. “Every week, they work hard in practice and it shows every Friday and Thursday night.”
Lineman Chase Lea loves blocking for Kelly and company. Those “game day” breakfasts go a long way to building trust.
“Camas has had a great O-line for years,” Lea said. “It’s all about trust. You look to your left, you look to your right, and your friends are right there.”
It took the Papermakers less than 60 seconds to respond to Battle Ground’s initial outburst. Kelly shook two Tigers off his back and kept going down the left sideline for a 72-yard touchdown run.
“I remember getting one guy off me and then the other came. All of the sudden, I spun around and nobody else was there. It was wild,” Kelly said. “When somebody strikes, you want to strike back and quickly. It felt good.”
Blake Roy intercepted a Battle Ground pass, and Camas took over on the Tiger 26-yard line. Cole Zarcone turned two runs into a touchdown to give the Papermakers a 14-7 lead.
Camas would never trail again. Kelly charged up the middle like a lightning bolt and lunged across the goal line. Manase Nguamo caused and recovered a fumble, and Zarcone added another touchdown run. This gave Camas a 28-7 advantage before the end of the first quarter.
“It’s nice to be able to finish off those huge momentum shifts,” Zarcone said. “Positive play after positive play is what wins games. As long as we put points on the board and keep the other team from scoring.”
Battle Ground quarterback Gunner Talkington kept fighting. He took a shove from a Papermaker, but stayed on his feet and fired the football to the end zone. Parker Randle leaped up and caught the ball over his shoulder for an amazing touchdown.
Fitzgerald hit Jared Bentley on the fly for a 79-yard pierce to the heart. Bentley took the ball all the way to the 1-yard line before he was brought down. Fitzgerald carried the ball across the goal line to keep the momentum going for the Papermakers.
Fitzgerald completed a 40-yard pass to Price on fourth down to continue the next Camas drive. Price was pushed out of bounds on the 1-yard line. Zarcone zipped into the end zone for the third time.
Price turned his attention to defense and found a way to get into the end zone. It was as if he could see that pass coming a mile away.
“The coaching staff knows where to put us to make the plays,” Price said.
The Papermakers got the ball back one more time with 50 seconds left in the first half. Price snagged a 36-yard pass over the defender to bring Camas into scoring position. Fitzgerald found Kelly wide open on the left for a 25-yard touchdown as time expired.
Camas led 56-14 at halftime to kick start the running clock in the second half. Jordan Del Moral had two touchdown runs of 3 and 10 yards. Isaiah Ephraim added a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Papermakers are ready for the big showdown with Union Friday, at McKenzie Stadium. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.
“The rivalry between Camas and Union means the world to these people. It makes us want to work harder in practice, the film room and the classroom so we can all reach a common goal. And that’s taking down the Titans,” Price said. “No matter what, we’re a band of brothers. The Camas fans will be there for us, whether we win or lose. It gives us a lot of confidence and willingness to play our hearts out.”