TACOMA — The Camas Papermakers started Saturday’s 4A State Football semi-finals ahead 14-0 over Skyline and had the early momentum.
But the Camas (12-1) talent wasn’t enough to slow down Skyline and their quarterback, Max Browne.
Skyline quickly took away Papermaker momentum as Browne completed 29 of 32 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns. Camas struggled with multiple turnovers.
As a result, Browne led his Sammamish-based team back to the 4A state championship game, to be held next Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. For Skyline (13-0) this is their sixth consecutive title game with a 51-28 win over the Papermakers.
Camas (12-1) lost its second consecutive semifinal game and go home in 3rdplace.
Emotions ran high throughout the game, particularly in the first few minutes of the game. Nate Beasley scored on a 24-yard touchdown early on, while Zach Eagle made a stunning 94-yard touchdown reception from Reilly Hennessey to make it 14-0.
Camas fans, who easily filled their side of the dome, and likely outnumbered Skyline’s fans 2-to-1, were euphoric. “We’re gonna do this!” yelled out one fan. “We’re gonna win this!”
|Camas QB Reilly Hennessey at the 4A State Semi-finals.
Skyline, though, had different plans.
By halftime, Skyline had a 10-point lead over Camas. And three quick touchdowns in the third quarter basically locked in their victory.
You have to hand to Camas, though, as they never gave up.
The Papermakers earned the next two touchdowns, and once again picked up the mojo. Camas QB Hennessey made a short touchdown run, which was followed by a 24-yard pass to Zach Eagle, making it 44-28 early in the fourth quarter. The Camas defense forced a three-and-out, and the Papermakers had the ball, trailing by 16 with 8:13 left on the clock.
Skyline answered back by forcing another Camas turnover. That sealed the deal.
Skyline scored its final touchdown of the game, got the field goal, and ran the score up to 51-28.
Hennessey said he was “proud of this team … and it was just so fun to be able to experience this with these guys.”
Skyline threw six touchdowns passes against the Camas defense that only gave up 16 points per game all season.
“It was frustrating,” said Hennessey. “I’m a little bit disappointed in myself.” He said he’ll learn from this experience.
Skyline threw six touchdowns passes against a defense that had given up just 16 points per game all season.
Hennessey completed 23 of 36 passes for 306 yards. Beasley rushed 19 times for 138 yards and his touchdown.
Browne completed his first 12 passes, and was 20 of 22 in the first half for 279 yards. Skyline’s Matt Sinatro threw two TD passes.
Part of this story, though, has to go the Camas community. It was fun watching car after car filled with Camas black and red gear travelling up I-5 to make the two-plus hour journey to Tacoma. Young families attended with their small children, while parents, siblings and relatives of the players cheered on their Papermakers. Camas High students were also numerous.
The Camas High School Marching Band did an amazing job, as did the cheerleaders.
Being Thanksgiving weekend, several alumni were in town to cheer on their Papermakers.
“I’m stunned at how this program has developed,” said alumni Robby Huckvale. “Look at all these people. We totally outnumber Skyline two-to-one. Just look at how we filled this place. What a town!”
“It’s so cool to see these fans,” said alumni Jeremy LeBaron. “It’s great to see such a successful team and town.”