A nearly flawless first half of football led the Camas football team to a 49-6 victory over Bethel Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“It was our best effort as a team this season,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “We played lights out on defense and really executed on offense. Sometimes a plan just comes together.”
There was still seven minutes left in the second quarter, and Jordan Del Moral already had four touchdowns.
“Four is a little new for me. It’s all about the team getting points,” said the Camas High School senior running back. “It’s fun to be the guy who scores, but in the end we are just trying to win the game.”
Del Moral said he was the beneficiary of great quarterback play. Liam Fitzgerald threw a barrage of passes to Jared Bentley, Hunter Bruno, Del Moral, Drake Owen and Blake Roy. Del Moral’s touchdown runs were for 4, 1, 5, 9 yards.
“They had some big boys on their side. Our offense stepped up to the line. I was following them the whole game,” Del Moral said. “Playoffs is a whole new level. We’re playing the best teams in the state. We could fall off at any time. We have to stay focused until the end of the season if we want to make it far in the playoffs.”
Sacks by Jaron Webb and Luke Grindy forced Bethel into a fourth and 28 on its first offensive series. David Aarhus, Michael Matthews, Manase Nguamo and Sedric Ruiter also swarmed the Braves on defense.
“I love going out there and battling with my brothers,” Webb said. “When we’re all in on a play like that, we can all get excited together.”
Bethel went three and out on its next two possessions, before finally putting together a sustainable drive. Bentley ended it by picking off a pass by the Braves in the end zone.
Owen joined the touchdown parade for the Papermakers. The sophomore snagged a pass from Fitzgerald and turned it into a 43-yard mad dash across the goal line.
A 51-yard interception return for a touchdown by Roy gave Camas a 42-0 lead before halftime.
“I felt like it was in slow motion,” Roy said. “All of my teammates set up perfect blocks. They were impeccable. There was nothing more I wanted to do than get it in there.”
Bethel moved up the field at the beginning of the third quarter, only to be turned around on an interception by Jack Colletto.
The Braves scored a touchdown with seven minutes left in the game. The Papermakers responded with one more drive into the end zone. Colletto took the snap, plowed into the defender and tumbled across the goal line.
“The energy was there from the beginning. It’s what we’ve always wanted,” Roy said. “I don’t think we could have had a better performance together.”
Roy said the tempo in practice before this first playoff game changed. After losing in the first round of state a season, the Papermakers are determined to rise to the challenge every day.
“That’s the mentality, to show that we’re ready and we can do it,” Roy said.
“I’m looking forward to winning on Monday, and coming back and winning the next day,” Webb said. “We’re not trying to get tunnel vision. We’re just working hard and enjoying the moment.”
Camas and Skyview will clash for the second time this season Saturday, in the first round of the state tournament. Kickoff is at 4 p.m., at Doc Harris Stadium.
Eagle wants to see the Papermakers improve, not plateau.
“That’s the challenge,” he said. “To continue to work to get better. Can you improve on all the little things? Attention to detail is the key to success.”