Evergreen got under Camas’ skin, but then the Papermakers showed their resolve.
“It was psychological warfare out there, from the very first down to the final horn,” said senior wide receiver James Price.
“Sometimes, we handled ourselves well. Other times, we let it get to us,” added senior linebacker Gabe Lopes. “It was a good lesson for handling that kind of a game in the future.”
The game turned ugly at Doc Harris Stadium Friday when the Plainsmen antagonized the crowd after Camas senior Dane Santos had to be helped off the field following a late hit. Santos suffered a severe knee injury and was sent to the hospital. He is scheduled to have an MRI Wednesday.
Camas fumbled the football after a series of flags and shouting matches.
“We have to worry less about what our opponents do and more about ourselves and how we react,” said head coach Jon Eagle.
The Papermakers settled down on the sidelines, stopped Evergreen on defense, got the ball back and erupted for a 49-7 victory.
“We got our fire and a lot of effort after what happened to Dane,” Lopes said. “That hurt all of us.”
“Sometimes things like that will motivate you to play at a different level,” Eagle added.
Cole Zarcone delivered a 53-yard touchdown run. Justice was served on the kick off when a bunch of Papermakers squashed the Plainsmen who taunted them after the Santos injury.
“When your brother goes down, you know who has your back in that situation,” Price said. “We had to rise to the occasion. It all starts by making the little plays. Little plays lead to big plays.”
Price turned a short pass by Liam Fitzgerald into a 57-yard touchdown. The Camas defense forced another punt with about 30 seconds left in the first half. That was more than enough time for Bryan Kelly to run for 43 yards, another 8 yards to the goal line and then bowl into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.
“It all starts with those boys up front,” Kelly said. “The offensive linemen are doing a great job, and we never give credit to our wide receivers. They get right in there and get physical. They become linemen when we’re running the ball.”
The Papermakers took a 43-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. Evergreen received the kick off to start the second half and marched down the field to score a touchdown. Jordan Del Moral bounced off a couple of defenders and scored the final touchdown for Camas.
The Papermakers scored 22 points in the first quarter. Kelly capped off the first drive of the game with a 4-yard touchdown run. Evergreen fumbled its first snap and Blake Roy recovered the football for Camas. Jared Bentley snagged a 7-yard touchdown pass from Fitzgerald. Santos caught a 2-yard touchdown pass by Fitzgerald after a 65-yard run by Kelly. Caleb Lightbourn kicked a 35-yard field goal.
Camas committed 12 penalties in the game. Afterwards, the players said they must keep their emotions in check. They cannot afford to make those mistakes in the weeks to come.
“Adversity really affects character in the sport of football,” Price said.
“We have to keep our composure when times get rough,” Kelly added. “We’ve got each other out there. All you need is your brothers right next to you.”