Defense makers

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Cooper McNatt picks off a pass in open space and returns it for a touchdown Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium. This was one of five interceptions that helped the Camas football team beat Battle Ground 42-6.

The defense makers on the Camas football team turned five interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked extra-point kick into a 42-6 victory against Battle Ground Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.

“It came down to heart and conditioning,” said Camas senior lineman Jaron Webb. “Battle Ground has one of the better offenses in the league. It feels so great to be able to hold them to six points.

“I’ll remember how intense we got,” he added. “At one point, we were playing with the most energy we’ve had all year.”

Cooper McNatt picked off two passes for the Papermakers. He returned the second one for a 35-yard touchdown to give Camas a 21-6 lead in the second quarter after neither team scored any points in the first quarter.

“It felt great,” McNatt said. “I just turned around and saw my teammates. Everyone was getting excited. It was surreal.”

McNatt credits his interceptions to preparation, repetition and film study in practice.

“Our coaches always tell us games are not won on Fridays, it’s Monday through Thursday. I can honestly say, that’s true,” McNatt said. “The preparation and work we put into practice makes those plays possible.”

Hunter Bruno had a 34-yard interception return and a 55-yard catch and run. Both of these plays led to Papermaker touchdowns.

Bruno capped off his night by snagging a 27-yard touchdown pass from Liam Fitzgerald over his shoulder. He carried the ball and two defenders into the end zone with him.

“I dropped the one before that. I told Liam I wasn’t going to let another one go,” Bruno said. “In my mind, I had to make that catch.”

Bruno became the most productive receiver in this game. He finished with six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald also fired two touchdown passes to Jared Bentley. Jordan Del Moral added two touchdown runs.

Webb, Luke Grindy and Michael Matthews led the tackling effort for the Papermakers. Sedric Ruiter and Drake Owen intercepted passes, and Blake Roy recovered a fumble. Tanner Howington helped Camas block the extra-point kick after Battle Ground’s only touchdown of the game.

“It was a dog fight. It was fun,” Matthews said. “It’s the type of game we love to be in. The fans were really into it.”

The Camas, Union rivalry game returns to Doc Harris Stadium Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

“I love playing here,” Webb said. “You don’t have a heartbeat if you can’t get excited at this place.”