VANCOUVER, Clark County — The Mount Si Wildcats celebrated even in defeat Saturday afternoon.
They did, after all, make it to the state’s final four.
“It was an unbelievable November. Just a phenomenal November for us,” Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune said. “We had no idea we were going to make as deep of a run as we did. It just goes to show you what happens when nobody gets the credit for success.”
Camas improved to 13-0 and advanced to the Class 4A state title game with the 35-14 win over Mount Si in a semifinal matchup at McKenzie Stadium. Camas will take on Bothell in the championship game next Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School.
Mount Si (10-3) saw its season come to an end, but with a third-place trophy and a belief in the future. The team has 11 seniors.
“We’ll be back,” Kinnune promised. “We’ll be back.”
For a few minutes, it appeared the Wildcats just might make it to December, too.
Quarterback Clay Millen was 6 for 7 for 63 yards as the Wildcats went 80 yards on 12 plays on the first possession of the game. Cole Norah scored on a 2-yard run for a quick 7-0 lead.
The lead lasted 11 seconds.
After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Camas quarterback Blake Asciutto found Jackson Clemmer wide open for an 80-yard touchdown to tie the game.
Jacques Badolato-Birdsell would get the first of his four touchdown runs later in the first quarter and Camas never trailed from there.
“They answered right back and put up another one,” Kinnune said of the quick-strike Papermakers. “Camas ended up playing defense with their offense.”
Camas made it 21-7 midway through the second quarter.
Caleb Dalgleish gave Mount Si some momentum with an interception, setting up the Mount Si offense at the Camas 25-yard line. Millen threw a touch pass to Aidan Dougherty, who lateraled the ball to Brayden Holt, who went the distance to make it 21-14 at halftime.
Millen would finish 19 of 31 for 161 yards.
Camas, which did most of its first-half damage through the air, went to the running game to open the second half with an 11-play drive, capped by a third Badolato-Birdsell touchdown for a 28-14 lead.
Mount Si had one more opportunity when Jake Marzetti recovered a muffed punt at the Camas 20-yard line in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
This time, the Camas defense was up to the challenge. A tackle-for-loss, two passes defended and Mount Si lost the ball on downs with 10:15 remaining
The Wildcats would not see the ball for more than eight minutes, and they were down by 21 when they did.
“Our motto: Run the damn ball,” Camas left tackle Tristan Souza said. “Chop them down like a tree. Get a long drive. Get the clock. Score.”
The Papermakers went 85 yards on 15 plays. Badolato-Birdsell finished it with his fourth touchdown run. He ended up with 138 yards.
Kinnune said Camas just wore down the defense.
“Our kids fought to the very end,” he said.
Kinnune said he loved watching the Wildcats progress throughout the season. Mount Si was 3-2 after Week 5, then reeled off seven consecutive wins.
“This team had an unbelievable group dynamic. It was so fun. They got better every day in practice,” he said.