Five interceptions, three returned for touchdowns, propelled the Papermakers to a 64-6 victory at Davis High School, in Yakima, Friday.
Michael Matthews finished the game with four touchdowns on two runs in front of the goal line and two picked off passes near the end zone. He gave credit to the pressure cookers on the front line.
“It’s hard for anybody to throw the ball when you have those huge monsters in your face,” Matthews said.
“Sometimes the ball just bounces your way. It kind of happened like that on defense,” he added. “Offensively, I didn’t have a bunch of yards rushing but I got the ball down in the red zone and felt like I just did what I needed to do to get it in the end zone.”
Camas jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Matthews and a 54-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Rushall from quarterback Jack Colletto. Davis scored its only touchdown of the game before the first quarter ended, but the Papermakers blocked the extra-point kick.
Camas racked up 31 points in the second quarter. Matthews delivered three touchdowns on a 5-yard run, a 10-yard interception return and a 14-yard interception return.
“We’ve always known he’s capable of big plays like that,” said Camas head coach Jon Eagle. “Not only does he have a nose for the ball on defense, he has a nose for the end zone on offense.”
Christian Nghiem caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Colletto and Michael Boyle kicked a 32-yard field goal to give the Papermakers a 45-6 lead at halftime.
Tyler McClellan and Eli Bashir earned touchdown runs in the third quarter. Trevor Bentley added a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Eagle said the Camas football players were prepared for the 175-mile road trip to Yakima and rose to the occasion from the opening kickoff.
“It was a good test for us to get on a bus and go that far, be out of our comfort zone and perform, and I thought we did,” he said.
The Papermakers are preparing for an even bigger test on Friday, when they travel 370 miles to play Coeur d’Alene High School.
“It’s going to be a challenge against a top ranked team in Idaho,” Eagle said. “We like to take our show on the road.”
“This week will tell whether we are up for the challenge or not,” Matthews said. “All we can do is play our best, practice our hardest and get prepared for Friday.”
Matthews and his teammates are chasing dreams together. Every mile on the road and inch on the field brings them closer.
“We’re really trying to enjoy the trip because we know there’s no many of them,” Matthews said. “You sit next to all your buddies and everyone’s interacting on the bus. It’s fun being out with your brothers like that.”