In a Friday night match-up between two state football powerhouses, Camas controlled the battle for the first three quarters.
Then, in the final minutes of the game, held Sept. 21 at Doc Harris stadium in Camas, everything changed.
The Bellevue Wolverines made an incredible comeback, scoring 24 points in the final minutes and getting a 41-yard field goal in the final four seconds, to beat the Papermakers 38-35.
The turn of events began after the Wolverines blocked a punt, setting up a touchdown.
Then, with 4:49 seconds left in the game, Bellevue recovered an onside kick, scoring again with a 53-yard run by quarterback Drew Fowler, and tying the game 28-28.
The Wolverines scored another rushing touchdown, taking the lead 35-28, after Bellevue intercepted Camas quarterback Andrew Boyle’s pass just two plays into the next Camas drive.
The Papermakers kept fighting. Boyle threw a bomb to junior receiver Jackson Clemmer, who scored his second touchdown of the night, tying the game 35-35, with just over two minutes left on the clock.
Papermaker fans were going wild in the stands as the Camas defense played tough, forcing Bellevue to punt.
And then, just as the clock ticked toward what appeared to be overtime, the Wolverines intercepted a Camas pass with just 25 seconds left. In two plays, Bellevue managed to get into position to kick the game-winning field goal, just as the clock ran out.
The loss stunned Camas fans, but was a lesson for many of the players.
“It sucks. We should have won that game, but it’s all about doing the little things right,” Camas senior Luc Sturbelle said.
Sturbelle caught three touchdown catches from quarterback Andrew Boyle in the first half of the game against Bellevue. In total, he caught eight passes for 143 yards and Boyle threw for 292 yards and five touchdowns.
“Luc was ballin’ tonight,” senior receiver and linebacker Shane Jameson said. “Sometimes games just go like that. But, we know we’ll get some of those (games) back in the future.”
The Wolverines didn’t throw a single pass Friday night, but the team, which has captured 11 state titles since 2001, rushed for 469 yards.
It was a hard-fought battle against the Wolverines, and 295-pound Camas junior Caadyn Stephen, who plays left tackle on offense and nose guard on defense for the Papermakers, was in the middle of that fight all night long.
“It was tough,” Stephen said. “But, we have to go back to the workshop and get things right, and use this game as motivation to win the next one.”
Camas football head coach Jon Eagle rarely talks about moral victories, but told his team they can play with anyone and they showed that to everyone on Friday night.
“We just didn’t finish it like we are capable of,” Eagle said about the last-minute loss to Bellevue. “That’s something we can work on — to keep our composure and play like we know we can play.”