Papermaker machine rolls

Camas football team claims top playoff seed

With 10 new starters on the football field, the Camas High School football team is going back to the playoffs as a number-one seed.

“It’s incredible,” said senior lineman Tanner Aldridge. “It’s all due to the hard work we have put in since day one. We have dreams too.”

The Papermakers defeated Mountain View 52-21 Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium, to clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs. A win against Heritage this Friday would give Camas its third straight 4A Greater St. Helens League championship. Camas also won 3A GSHL titles in 2011 and 2010.

Quarterback Liam Fitzgerald fired three touchdown passes for the Papermakers Friday, and ran the football into the end zone. The first scoring drive for Camas came on five quick plays for 69 yards. Fitzgerald delivered first down passes to Cole Zarcone and Jared Bentley. James Price snagged a 43-yard pass down the field to set up Fitzgerald and Bentley for a 2-yard touchdown connection.

“It means a lot to this community to get this win on Senior Night, spread the ball around and get the seniors involved,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m very confident throwing the ball to James, Jared and all of my receivers. They just seem to come down with it, somehow.”

Price caught two touchdown passes for 26 and 20 yards. Bryan Kelly added two touchdown runs. Blake Roy, Alex Walker and Charles Bronson recovered fumbles. Zarcone added a touchdown run and Caleb Lightbourn kicked a 43-yard field goal.

“This game goes to our coaches, family, friends and our town,” Walker said. “Everyone is in their school colors, having a good time.”

Walker wants the Papermakers to finish off strong in league and carry the momentum through the playoffs.

“We still have that chip on our shoulder,” he said. “Everybody doubted us. It was this inner circle of brothers who believed. We all have this ‘us against the world’ mentality.”

Aldridge has been watching Camas football games since he was in second grade. All he wanted to do was put on this uniform and continue the dream of winning a state title.

“Those guys paved the roads we’re driving on. Now it’s our turn,” Aldridge said. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”