More than 6,000 fans witnessed another classic chapter in a storied rivalry between the Camas and Union high school football teams Friday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“There’s something special when an entire community is able to rally around a single thing,” said CHS senior defensive back Taylor Adams. “For the entire community to rally behind this team, it creates an experience for us that is indescribable. It’s something we will carry with us and compare to for the rest of our lives.”
The Camas players and coaches say they aren’t wasting any more time dwelling on Friday’s 14-13 loss to Union. All the Papermakers are thinking about now is getting back to the state tournament, and making another run for that golden football trophy.
“We’ll learn from this, no question. It’s been a long time since we had a loss and then we had a game after that. It’s been like seven years,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “I’m proud of the coach’s effort and I’m proud of the way the kids executed. We just needed a little bit better work in the second half. Too many three-and-outs.”
Eagle thanked the many football fans from Camas and Vancouver who came out to support their high schools in a big game for the league championship.
“It’s really great for the sport, and it’s neat for our community to be able to host something like this,” he said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we’re still playing football.”
In true Camas fashion, even the standout players gave credit to the entire team for their accomplishments.
Semisi Schultz rushed for two touchdowns to give Camas a 13-0 advantage, but he said those points wouldn’t have been possible without the offensive linemen piercing holes in the Titans’ armor.
“All the credit to them. They did it all for me to get those touchdowns,” Schultz said. “I just followed them. That’s all I did.”
Adams intercepted two passes on defense for Camas, but he said those picks wouldn’t have been possible without the other 10 Papermakers on the field making their marks.
“When somebody makes a play, it’s not necessarily that guy who does it all. It’s the whole team that makes it possible for that guy to make that play,” Adams said. “There were 10 other guys who did their job so that I could get that interception for the team. Those are team interceptions. They’re not individual interceptions.”
After Camas scored its second touchdown, Union blocked the extra-point kick, which turned the game on a dime. Camas faced a fourth-and-one in front of the goal line. Instead of attempting a field goal, the Papermakers elected to go for it and couldn’t get the first down.
Camas needed those three points after the Titans put together two long touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to take the lead with less than four minutes left in the game.
The Papermakers, on the other hand, couldn not gain a first down in the fourth quarter. Eventually, time ran out.
This will go down as another unforgettable chapter in the Camas-Union rivalry. And the story is far from over.
“I think we’re going to come back stronger because of this,” Adams said. “We’re just happy to have the opportunity to play at state, represent our community, and maybe just take a little bit of a different road to the championship.”
Camas (8-1) faces Auburn-Riverside (8-1) in the first round of the playoffs Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
“Our eyes are still on the prize,” Adams said. “They have not deterred us at all.”