The Camas football Mean Machine was clicking on all cylinders in a 49-7 victory against Sherwood, Oregon, Friday night, at Doc Harris Stadium.
All it took was seven offensive plays in less than six minutes from the start of the game for the Papermakers to build a 21-0 advantage.
“I didn’t see this coming at all,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “The challenge is, when everybody’s telling these guys ‘you’re so good,’ will they come out and continue to get better? Don’t get tired of the grind. Keep doing the film. Keep doing the average ordinary things correctly.”
Camas received the opening kickoff. Quarterback Jack Colletto tossed a 15-yard pass to Dylan Ingram and then Michael Matthews broke free for a 55-yard dash and dive into the end zone for a touchdown.
“We ran through that play in practice,” Matthews said. “I barely got touched, the O-line blocked it so perfectly. It’s just proper planning.”
Will Schultz sacked the Sherwood quarterback on first down and the Papermakers got the ball right back on a punt. Drake Owen reached out and snagged a 32-yard pass from Colletto before getting tackled in front of the goal line. Matthews carried the ball into the end zone again for his second touchdown.
On the third possession, Colletto saw open space created by his offensive linemen and took off on a 44-yard touchdown run.
“We had to come out strong against this team because they had their best players up front,” said senior lineman Dakota Napierkowski. “We had to hammer them hard in the beginning to get them tired.”
Napierkowski was thrilled to see the first three drives of the game end with Camas touchdowns.
“That’s what we work for,” he said. “That’s what we’re supposed to do. Make a big enough pocket so that the other guys can do their jobs.”
Colletto capped off the first quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Papermakers punted for the first time in the second quarter. Sherwood fumbled the ball on the return and Ryan Kempf recovered it for Camas. Ryan Rushall then snagged a 13-yard touchdown pass from Colletto.
Sherwood scored a touchdown before halftime. Matthews and Cooper McNatt caught touchdown passes from Colletto to jump start the running clock for the Papermakers in the third quarter.
“We can’t just put up 21 and just think the game is over,” Matthews said. “I was proud of our team. We stayed on the gas until we got that running clock. I think that shows what this team can do.”
Camas goes to Yakima to face Davis High School Friday. On Sept. 23, the Papermakers play at Couer d’Alene, Idaho. And then, the league games start.
The journey is just beginning for these Camas football players and coaches. Linebacker Tanner Howington recites the words of coach Eagle — it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
“It’s easy to be good for a little bit, but it’s hard to be good all the way through league, playoffs, all the way to December,” Howington said. “We have to focus on continuing to get better and making sure we don’t lag.”
Howington looks forward to chasing championships with his teammates who have become like brothers to him.
“I’ve been playing football with these guys since I was on the school yard. It’s crazy to think it’s my senior year and that it’s almost all over, but hopefully we can make the best out of it,” Howington said. “No regrets. Always in the weight room, always practicing as hard as we can and playing to the best of our abilities.”