CAMAS – With two minutes to go, and the game firmly in hand, the host cheerleaders streamed a banner and ran down the aisles of the grandstands at Doc Harris Stadium.
It read: “Pack Your Bags, We’re Going to the Dome.”
Many folks might not know how good the fourth-ranked Camas Papermakers are – but they should. They walloped No. 2 Federal Way, 65-32, in a Class 4A quarterfinal game that wasn’t even that close.
Camas (12-0) will face No. 1 Skyline on Saturday in the semifinals at the Tacoma Dome.
The Papermakers scored twice in a 55-second span to grab a 14-0 lead in the first quarter – aided by an Eagles’ fumble.
And they poured it on in the second quarter, scoring 37 second-quarter points – including three touchdowns in just over a minute-and-a-half to take a commanding 37-3 lead with 5 minutes, 19 seconds to go before halftime.
“You don’t really expect to come out and beat guys like that,” said Camas tailback Nate Beasley, who finished 249 yards on 25 carries and scored five touchdowns. “It just kind of happens.”
The highlighted matchup was supposed to be how well Federal Way (11-1) could get its lightning-quick athletes in space, and tally big plays. It happened once – on Evan Elliott’s 80-yard scoring pass to Chico McClatcher.
Of course, the Eagles needed to keep the ball in their hands, too. They committed six turnovers, including four interceptions thrown by Elliott, the SPSL South’s first-team quarterback.
“Nine times out of 10 if that happens,” Elliott said of the turnovers, “you’re not going to win the game.”
The Eagles did move the ball, gaining 448 total yards – including 315 passing yards from Elliott, who completed 18 of his 37 passes.
“I am surprised by the outcome,” Eagles coach John Meagher said. “We certainly weren’t expecting this. That is a good football team, and they got us down early a little bit – and we struggled coming back from that.”
Now the Papermakers are off to Tacoma again. Last season in the 3A ranks, they lost to O’Dea in the final four.
They know they are the underdog – and a bit undiscovered outside Southwest Washington.
“It’s good to keep it quiet – people do not really know our style or the way we play,” Beasley said. “Skyline, they are kind of exposed and we know they are going to be the best competition we’ll face in all of our years at Camas.”Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@ thenewstribune.com @ManyHatsMilles blog.thenewstribune.com/preps