Papermakers to play Bothell for state championship

CHS rolls to semifinal win over Mount Si

Onto the finals. Camas High School football players raise the No. 1 sign after beating Mount Si High School at McKenzie Stadium on Nov. 30.

Camas High School quarterback Blake Asciutto (center) hands off to Jacques Badolato-Birdsell, with wide receiver Jackson Clemmer in the foreground, on Nov. 30 in Vancouver.

Camas High School students and fans show their colors with red chalk on a near freezing afternoon at McKenzie Stadium on Nov. 30.

Camas High School senior Randy Yaacoub finds a hole made by the Papermakers' offensive line during their 4A state tournament semifinal game at McKenzie Stadium on Nov. 30. Yaacoub rushed nine times for 53 yards against Mount Si. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

Camas High School senior Jackson Preston takes down a scrambling Mount Si quarterback Clay Millen at McKenzie Stadium on Nov. 30. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

With a strong east wind and temperatures in the 30s, Camas High School quarterback Blake Asciutto saved most of his passing for when the icy breeze was to the Papermakers' backs in a 4A state tournament semifinal game against Mount Si. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

Camas High School senior Blake Asciutto uses the east wind to his back to throw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Clemmer on the Papermakers' first offensive play against Mount Si High School in a 4A state tournament semifinal game at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver on Nov. 30. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

Camas High School senior quarterback Blake Ascuitto lets out some bottled-up emotion after the Papermakers beat Mount Si High School to advance to the 4A state championship game. At left: Camas senior Randy Yaacoub finds a hole during the 4A state tournament semifinal game at McKenzie Stadium on Nov. 30. Yaacoub rushed nine times for 53 yards against Mount Si. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

Camas High School sophomore Logan Silva tackles Mount Si High School quarterback Clay Millen on Saturday, Nov. 30, at McKenzie Stadium. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

Camas High School junior Jacques Badolato-Birdsell escapes a tackle for a big gain against Mount Si High School on Nov. 30 at McKenzie Stadium. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

Camas High School junior Jacques Badolato-Birdsell follows his blockers for his third touchdown against Mount Si High School on Nov. 30 at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver. (Wayne Havrelly/Post-Record)

A more fitting end couldn’t have been scripted for the end of the Camas High School (CHS) football team’s self-proclaimed “revenge tour.”

When the Papermakers (13-0) march onto the field at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma on Saturday for the 4A state championship game, they will face Bothell High School (BHS), the team that ended CHS’ 2018 season in a Week 10 playoff game.

“Obviously it’s everyone’s dream to get (to the championship game), but few teams actually get there, and (playing Bothell) is just like the topping to a wedding cake,” Papermakers wide receiver Jackson Clemmer said after Camas beat Mount Si 35-14 on Nov. 30, in a state tournament semifinal contest at Vancouver’s McKenzie Stadium. “It’s just perfect — exactly what everyone wanted.”

The Cougars (11-2) beat Woodinville High School, their KingCo rival, 31-21 on Saturday, Nov. 30, to advance to the finals. BHS won the 4A state championship in 2014, two years before the Papermakers won their first state title.

“Bothell is a great program,” CHS coach Jon Eagle said. “They’re fun to play, and a very good team.”

For Papermakers quarterback Blake Ascuitto and other seniors, winning a state championship is a goal they set together as freshmen in 2016 after watching their older teammates win a state championship.

“It’s what we’ve dreamed of — me, Jackson, Charlie (Bump), Randy (Yaacoub). We’ve played together forever and always dreamed we’d be just like the 2016 class and go to the state championship and win it,” Ascuitto said.

“Honestly, I think every dude will play their hearts out,” Bump said. “I mean, it’s our last game as seniors, and there are 33 of us (seniors), and we are going to give it all we’ve got.”

CHS vanquishes Mount Si

An icy cold east wind howled across the field at McKenzie Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 30, but the conditions where exactly what the Papermakers expected.

“We knew it was going to be a cold game, so being able to practice the whole week in the east wind really helped us, and luckily for two of the quarters the wind was at our backs,” Clemmer said.

After winning the coin toss, the Papermakers gave Mount Si the first possession to have the wind at their backs. The Wildcats started with an impressive opening drive, led by junior quarterback Clay Millen, son of former University of Washington and National Football League quarterback Hugh Millen. Mount Si capped the 80-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

The decision to play with the wind to its backs had an impact on Camas’ first offensive play. Ascuitto used the wind to throw a touchdown strike down the sideline to Clemmer.

“That’s what got it started,” said Clemmer, who caught four passes for 110 yards. “No credit to me. Everything was about the quarterback making a perfect play and the line blocking perfectly.”

Imposing its will on the Wildcats’ defensive line, the Papermakers’ offensive line made some big holes for junior Jacques Badolato-Birdsell, who finished the game with four touchdowns and 150 yards rushing on 28 carries, and Yaacoub, who had 53 yards on nine carries.

After the game, Badolato-Birdsell couldn’t say enough about the impressive play of the offensive linemen, especially during the final drive, when Camas ate up the clock and closed out the game with Badolato-Birdsell’s fourth touchdown run.

“That last drive, (Mount Si) literally knew what we were running every time,” Badolato-Birdsell said. “We ran at least 12 running plays and they still couldn’t stop it. The o-line created holes and I just took my opportunities. Now the adventure continues.”