Birthday boys Liam Fitzgerald and Jordan Del Moral played like men Friday.
On his 18th birthday, Fitzgerald threw for 258 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Camas Mean Machine to a 51-16 shredding of the Union Titans at Doc Harris Stadium. And the day after he turned 18, Del Moral rushed for 274 yards and scored three touchdowns.
“Let’s play like men today,” Del Moral said. “There’s no better gift than being with the guys and beating your rivals. This is what you live for.”
The Papermakers rolled along to a 38-3 lead at halftime. Blake Roy capped off a 71-yard opening drive with a 5-yard touchdown catch from Fitzgerald. It all started when Roy tipped a pass up to himself between two defenders and came down with the ball in his hands.
“The same thing happened last year. It felt like deja vu,” Roy said. “Liam gave me a great ball. I just tried to bring it down.”
Del Moral then broke loose for a 72-yard touchdown run. At first, he appeared to hit a road block at the line of scrimmage before crashing through and running free.
“That was just great blocking by the O-line,” Del Moral said. “Alex Davis hit the hole perfectly, and I was able to take off. After that, I just hope I don’t get caught.”
Michael Boyle kicked a 21-yard field goal to give Camas an 18-0 advantage in the second quarter. Union got on the board with a 39-yard field goal, before the Papermakers scored three more touchdowns.
Hunter Bruno dove out and caught a 10-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone. After dropping a few passes earlier in the game, Bruno said he needed that kind of catch to redeem himself.
“Liam came back to me, I gotta make this play,” Bruno said. “It’s fun playing for the crowd and putting on a show for them. It makes me want to play a little harder.”
After runs of 53 and 17 yards, Del Moral used three more carries for a total of eight yards to cross the goal line. Sean Ramage intercepted a pass to give the Papermakers one more possession before halftime. Jared Bentley then caught a 12-yard pass from Fitzgerald in the end zone.
A 70-yard touchdown drive by the Titans took 8 minutes, 16 seconds off the clock at the start of the third quarter. Camas fumbled the kick off return, Union had the ball again, but missed a 41-yard field goal try.
Fitzgerald fired a 35-yard pass to Bentley, a 23-yard pass to Bruno and a 6-yard pass to Drake Owen to set Del Moral up for his third touchdown run.
“Jordan ran great tonight,” Fitzgerald said. “His running opened up the pass game. Everything was just clicking.”
The Titans returned the kick off for 72 yards, and eventually scored another touchdown.
Owen caught a pass on the Union 20-yard line to set up another scoring opportunity for the Papermakers. Fitzgerald scrambled away from the charging Titans, extended the play to the right and connected with Bentley in the end zone again on a 21-yard touchdown pass.
“I was running around, just trying to get open,” Bentley said. “Liam is so good. He makes things happen for us. I was just lucky to get open on that play.”
Camas (7-0, 4-0) collides with Mountain View Friday, at McKenzie Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. A win would give the Papermakers the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
“Mountain View is a great team. We are going to have to battle. They want it just as bad as we do,” Roy said. “Skyview, Battle Ground and Union are all great teams. We’re just finding different ways to win games.”
The Papermakers have a lot to play for in the coming weeks. Whatever happens, this final victory against their rivals will always be special.
“We all grew up looking forward to this game,” Roy said. “It’s bittersweet. We’re glad to beat them, but it’s sad that we may never get to play them again.”