The Camas Papermakers and Union Titans were on pins and needles during the first 40 minutes of soccer Friday, at McKenzie Stadium.
Both teams had opportunities, but shots on goal sailed wide or were defended and recycled.
Ten minutes into the second half, Camas burst through the seams when Erik Brainard served the ball up on a silver platter and Danny Wing connected with a beautiful header into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, Bennett Lehner finished off another assist by Brainard and the Papermakers rolled along to a 2-0 victory against their rivals.
“I was just feeling it today,” Brainard said. “All my crosses were on.”
Brainard had the best seat in the house watching the first goal go in. Wing seemed to be suspended in mid-air, waiting for the ball to get to him off Brainard’s foot.
“It was a beautiful ball by [Brainard],” Wing said.
“I just touched it by the defender,” Brainard said. “I’m glad [Wing] got on the end of it.”
Lehner described the second goal as textbook. Brainard had the hot foot again. All the captain had to do was steer the ship and send the ball into the net.
“That’s what we practice every day,” Lehner said. “When you see it correlate to the game, you know people are listening and doing their jobs.”
Lehner also chipped in on the first goal by drawing the attention of the defenders and passing the ball to Brainard to make a play over the top.
“That actually started with our defenders,” Lehner said. “Brennan [Smith] stuffed that guy in the back, played it up to Toby [Pizot] and we were off to the races.”
Wing was happy to contribute to this victory after missing the Skyview game with a sprained ankle. The Storm defeated the Papermakers before spring break, but Camas bounced back with wins against Union and Battle Ground move up to first place in the 4A Greater St. Helens League by three points.
“It feels great to be back out here working hard and helping the team succeed,” Wing said. “This was a must-win game. We couldn’t afford another loss or even a tie.”