The Graham-Kapowsin faithful expected nothing like this.
Surely they knew the drive southwest on Interstate 5 would take a few hours, that Camas’ Doc Harris Stadium would be packed and there’d be a towering inflated Papermaker instead of G-K’s blowup Eagle.
But a season-ending 55-6 loss on Friday?
“We expected them to be good — there was no doubt in our minds we knew they were going to be good,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said. “We felt like they are the best team by far we’ve seen all year. By far. All the way around.
“But we felt like we could match up with them.”
The fifth-ranked Eagles (9-2) made mistakes that Kurle said they hadn’t made all year in the loss to second-ranked Camas (11-0), which advances to the 4A state quarterfinals to play Skyline next week.
Camas’ offense was nearly untouchable. It scored five touchdowns on 17 plays in the first half.
Senior quarterback Jack Colletto completed 10 of 16 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, he ran five times for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and on defense he picked off a first-half pass in the red zone.
Camas took a 48-6 lead with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter following its second interception — triggering the 40-point running-clock rule.
“We had no idea that we were going to win like that,” Colletto said. “We had a great week of practice. I was happy that it translated into the game, and we were fortunate it turned out the way it did.
“But Graham-Kapowsin is a tough team. And they were physical all game long.”
The loss marked the end of an era for Eagles senior Foster Sarell, the offensive lineman who gave Graham national attention — and led University of Washington coach Chris Peterson to fly a helicopter above Art Crate Field — for his 6-foot-7, 315-pound frame and gifted foot speed.
He was at a loss for words after the game.
“I don’t really even know what to say. I thought we were really well-prepared and I was pretty confident,” said Sarell, who is considered by multiple national recruiting services to be the top offensive line recruit in the nation.
“I just couldn’t ask for a better four years, though. I really enjoyed it.”
Just as he finished saying that, a Camas coach approached him.
“You’ve got some of the best feet I’ve ever seen,” the coach said. “I’ve been coaching for a long time. Seriously the best feet.”
“Thank you. Congrats,” Sarell responded. “Go win state for us — please!”
If Camas keeps playing like it did Friday, it’s hard to imagine it won’t.
Colletto hit Cooper McNatt for a 5-yard TD on Camas’ first possession.
Graham-Kapowsin answered after converting a fourth-and-2, getting a pass interference call on a flea-flicker attempt and scoring on Micah Smith’s 2-yard TD run.
But then Camas’ Colletto hit Drake Owen, who ran 44 yards before the ball popped out of his arm at the G-K 15. The ball kept rolling before Michael Matthews pounced on it in the end zone.
That was the start of the Papermakers’ 49 unanswered points.
“All the tape I watched I saw a great defense, obviously a great offensive line, a quarterback who can throw, a great running back — we played pretty well,” Camas coach Jon Eagle said. “That’s our best performance for the year. But I did not see this coming. I thought it was going to be a barnburner.”
Sarell said this felt like last season’s final game, when Lake Stevens and Jacob Eason, who is now the starting quarterback at the University of Georgia, beat the Eagles in the state quarterfinals, 49-14.
Two years ago, G-K reached the state semifinals before losing to Chiawana.
Kurle didn’t have much to say to his players afterward — other than that he loved them.
“We had a good year, we just got beat and we got embarrassed — so what do you say?” Kurle said. “You just tell them you love them.”
But he expects to be watching Sarell play again pretty soon.
“It was really tough — I’ve known him forever,” Kurle said. “But he’s the one kid where I know he’s going to keep playing for a long time. It’s sad, but I’m also excited to see how he does from here on. I want to see him reach his goals, and I know he will.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
NO. 5 GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN
NO. 2 CAMAS
C - Cooper McNatt 5 pass from Jack Colletto (kick failed)
GK - Micah Smith 2 run (kick blocked)
C - Michael Matthews fumble recovery (Michael Boyle kick)
C - Christian Nghiem 11 pass from Coletto (Boyle kick)
C - Colletto 32 run (Boyle kick)
C - Colletto 64 run (Boyle kick)
C - Matthews 4 run (Boyle kick)
C - Elias Bashir 34 run (Boyle kick)
C - Hunter Crandall 5 run (Boyle kick)
RUSHING – Graham-Kapowsin: Micah Smith 19-65; Brandon Becker 3-18; Aaron Olmos 5-8; Dylan Morris 9-(-26). Camas: Jack Colletto 5-125; Michael Matthews 8-24.
PASSING – Graham-Kapowsin: Dylan Morris 14-17-2-125. Camas: Jack Colletto: 10-16-0-176.
RECEIVING – Graham-Kapowsin: Tre Mason 8-52; Jeremiah Kekoa 1-25. Camas: Drake Owen 3-83; Ryan Rushall 3-64.