|Jared Bentley scores the winning touchdown of Saturday’s game.|
by Ernie Geigenmiller
Photos by Blake Schnell
CAMAS — Papermaker Football fans got their money’s worth at Saturday’s playoff game against the Skyview Storm in a competition that saw plenty of turnovers, defensive scores for both teams, and a successful drive near the end of the fourth quarter that made the difference.
It was a playoff game that was a battle early on, as neither side left anything on the field. The top-ranked Camas Papermakers etched out a victory on their home turf at Doc Harris Stadium, taking the lead with just 2 minutes and 16 seconds remaining to beat rival Skyview 29-22 in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
|Bentley celebrates his TD with teammates.|
Both sides eagerly wanted to play Skyline next week in the quarterfinals.
Papermaker fans expected a routing like they did during the regular season, when Camas smashed Skyview 41-10, and the opening moments of Saturday’s playoff game looked to tell that same story. Papermaker Drake Owen returned the game’s opening kickoff, running 95 yards for a Camas touchdown. That happened in the first 17 seconds.
The Football Game Changed
But, the story quickly shifted.
Skyview answered back with a safety and an 83-yard touchdown pass to take a 9-7 lead before the end of the first quarter. Defense dominated the game, and offenses kept punting.
Papermaker Cooper McNatt changed the game with an interception, as Jordan Del Moral moved the ball 48 yards, with QB Liam Fitzgerald taking the ball the final two yards for their second touchdown, giving Camas a 14-9 edge.
|Running back Jordan Del Moral.|
That was the score at halftime.
Jack Colletto lit up the fans by returning an interception for a 94-yard touchdown. The score was Camas, 21, Skyview, 9.
But the Storm wasn’t finished.
An 80-yard touchdown pass to Travis Yajko put them within 5 points of the Papermakers. The Storm then took advantage of a Camas fumble early in the fourth quarter, pushing them to a 22-21 advantage. Camas fans got nervous. That was Camas’ fourth turnover.
And both teams would fumble the ball again later in the fourth quarter.
|Wide Receiver Hunter Bruno goes down.|
Jared Bentley, Hunter Bruno and Del Moral completed three consecutive first downs to bring the Papermakers to the 23-yard line with 2:23 left. Bentley caught the game-winning 23-yard touchdown pass from Fitzgerald, and both players connected again on the 2-point conversion to put the Papermakers up by seven.
|QB Liam Fitzgerald battled all night, but in the end made a 23-yard TD pass that sealed the victory.|
That gave Skyview football just over 2 minutes to respond, until McNatt nailed his second interception of the night – dashing the Storm’s hopes of a last minute drive. After a first down, Camas took a knee.
The undefeated Camas team travels to Sammamish next weekend to face Skyline (10-1) in the state quarterfinals.
|Wide Receiver Sean Ramage.|