The Camas High School (CHS) football team is one of four teams remaining in the 4A state tournament and will play for a berth in the state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 30, against Mount Si High School.
The semifinal contest will kick off at 1 p.m. at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver, the third straight state playoff game in Clark County for the Papermakers.
CHS quarterback Blake Ascuitto said that the team’s seniors love to play at McKenzie Stadium because they’ve been playing there since their Pop Warner days.
“Our goal is to go there and roll straight through to the championship game,” Ascuitto said after the Papermakers beat Puyallup High School (PHS) 56-27 on Saturday, Nov. 23, in a quarterfinal contest.
Now CHS is focused on a Wildcats team that beat No. 3 seed Lake Stevens High School 24-22 on Saturday, Nov. 23.
“They beat a really good Lake Stevens team and have a really good quarterback and are a fun team to watch,” CHS coach Jon Eagle said. “Man, if I’m in Clark County and want to see a good game, I definitely want to be at McKenzie Stadium on Saturday.”
CHS defense limits high-powered attack
The Vikings entered the Nov. 23 game with a reputation for a high-powered offense.
“We went into the game not knowing exactly how their offensive line would match up to our defensive front,” Eagle said. “All the things we thought might work certainly did.”
The stellar play of the Papermakers’ defense kept the ball in the hands of their offense.
“We watched a lot of film, and knew that they were more of an offensive team, so we weren’t worried about our own offense,” Ascuitto said. “It was more about how our team did on defense, and our defense did great.”
The CHS offensive line gave Ascuitto plenty of time to run plays, and on the first two series he threw touchdown strikes to senior Charlie Bump and Jackson Clemmer, who caught all six passes thrown his way for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Bump caught seven passes for 83 yards.
“We just came out firing,” Bump said. “Blake looked as comfortable as I’d ever seen him, and our game plan was pretty good. We attacked on offense and our defense held up pretty good.”
When PHS adjusted to stop the Papermakers’ passing attack, the CHS running game took over. Randy Yaacoub scrambled 30 yards for a score in the second quarter, and Jacques Badolato-Birdsell followed up with a 54-yard touchdown sprint of his own.
Badolato-Birdsell rushed 20 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns, and Yaacoub had a career-best 158 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. None of that would’ve happened if it wasn’t for the outstanding play of the offensive line, according to Eagle.
“Our guys are tough to stop,” he said, “and they make everything go.”