Bothell’s football team gathers after Saturday’s 4A state football loss to Camas in the title game at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Bothell’s football team gathers after Saturday’s 4A state football loss to Camas in the title game at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Bothell falls to Camas in 4A state title game

Papermakers win, 35-14, in Gridiron Classic in Tacoma.

Bothell had been there before, overcoming deficits and flipping games in its favor.

The Cougars would have to give it another go against Camas in the biggest contest of the season, the 4A state football final.

Down 21-0 against the undefeated Papermakers from Vancouver, Bothell cranked up its offensive machine and soon made it a 21-14 game with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

However, the comeback magic ran out on the Cougars as Camas held strong and notched a 35-14 victory on Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma to complete a 14-0 season with a Gridiron Classic crown. Bothell’s season ends with an 11-3 record.

“Right at the beginning of the second half, we really cleaned our game up a lot. Offense, we started converting more and more, and defense held them for a little bit,” said Bothell quarterback Andrew Sirmon. “We never quit a game this year. We had a lot of dogfights this year and they were just a really good team.”

Cougar fullback/linebacker Colin Fisherkeller said they never count themselves out, keeping their heads high and playing tough until the final zero hits the scoreboard. The players, coaches and fans all share that same mindset, he added.

“I think we had to adjust our physicality a little bit. I think we started off a little soft and underestimated them,” Fisherkeller said. “I think after that, we came out as physical as we could be. Playing for each other has just been one thing that keeps us together and keeps us strong.”

Camas’ powerhouse running back Jacques Badolato-Birdsell scored three touchdowns on runs of 6, 48 and 3 yards, Tyler Forner tallied on a 1-yard run and 6-foot-6 wide receiver Jackson Clemmer hauled in a 28-yard touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone to give the Papermakers a 28-14 lead with 3:47 left in the third quarter.

Bothell’s Blake Bickhaus caught Sirmon’s first touchdown pass of the game on a 6-yarder with 56 seconds remaining in the first half to make it a 21-7 game. Jordyn Turner had catches of 19, 11 and 18 yards and Evan Berry caught a 13-yarder on the 81-yard scoring drive.

Turner also scored on a 39-yard touchdown reception from Sirmon. Cougar Luke Olsen’s 25-yard kickoff return to start the second half got his team rolling on that scoring drive, which featured runs from Christian Galvan — including a 14-yarder — a 15-yard Berry catch and a 9-yard Sirmon run. Bothell covered 75 yards on the drive.

On defense for Bothell, Berry had an interception and Fisherkeller, Tala Tevaga, Brendan Barry, Ryan Metz and Marcus Heffernan made key plays to keep the Cougars in the game.

Bothell head coach Tom Bainter echoed Sirmon and Fisherkeller’s comments about never giving up, noting that the Cougars overcame some tough spots in the first half and stepped up their tackling and offensive execution in the second half.

“Tip your hat to (Camas), that’s a good football team. They’re big and physical and athletic and well-coached,” he said. “It’s hard to emulate their size and speed in practice — we don’t have a scout team like that. There’s that adjustment, when you go out, they’re faster than I thought, they’re bigger than I thought. Then your angles change a little bit and then you do things. It takes a while to do that.”

As he prepared to leave the locker room after a lengthy, emotional postgame gathering with his teammates and coaches, Fisherkeller discussed the team’s journey this season.

“This is a family, this is a brotherhood, we’ve been going at it since the third grade together,” he said. “We’ve just been going through so much, the workouts and just everything, just working our butts off for each other. I think that’s what makes this program so special is everything’s for each other.”

Bainter is proud of his players and the leadership skills they displayed all season.

“We just play football how every coach in America wants their kids to play: team first, full heart until the end,” he said.

Brendan Barry (24) makes a tackle as Luke Olsen (20) and Johnny O’Brien (26) join in on the action. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Brendan Barry (24) makes a tackle as Luke Olsen (20) and Johnny O’Brien (26) join in on the action. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Christian Galvan finds a hole in the Camas defense. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Christian Galvan finds a hole in the Camas defense. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Tala Tevaga lunges for some extra yardage as Camas’ Dante Humble grabs on for the ride. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Tala Tevaga lunges for some extra yardage as Camas’ Dante Humble grabs on for the ride. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Jordyn Turner grabs a pass as Camas’ Dante Humble defends. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Jordyn Turner grabs a pass as Camas’ Dante Humble defends. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Ryan Metz receives a hug following the state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Ryan Metz receives a hug following the state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Ryan Metz (31), Tala Tevaga (9) and Colin Fisherkeller (43) embrace in the locker room following the state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Ryan Metz (31), Tala Tevaga (9) and Colin Fisherkeller (43) embrace in the locker room following the state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Christian Galvan receives consolation following the state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

Christian Galvan receives consolation following the state championship game. Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson

More in Sports

Eastside basketball coaches react to Bryant’s death

Kobe Bryant possessed an incredible work ethic and competitive drive, said Overlake… Continue reading

Taylor bounces into her junior gymnastics season

Bothell High athlete won the 4A state bars title last year.

Bothell downs Auburn Riverside in boys hoops action

Bolstered by sophomore guard Damar Johnson’s game-high 29 points, Bothell High defeated… Continue reading

Zorich nails back-to-back double-doubles

Inglemoor sophomore Colbi Zorich scored a team-high 16 points in the Vikings’… Continue reading

Lowell scores a spot in the WIBCA Hall of Fame

Inglemoor head boys hoops coach will be inducted in July.

New 1A Emerald Sound Conference set for 2020-21 season

Cedar Park Christian athletic teams that now compete in the 1A North… Continue reading

Northwest University’s Travis scores first-team Academic All-America honor

Striker netted 12 goals and had five assists this season.

Cougars are set for action

Bothell’s Jordyn Turner (13) attacks the hoop during a recent matchup with… Continue reading

2019: The year in sports for the Bothell-Kenmore area

Athletic success is a staple of the local community.

Kenmore and Bothell squads are hitting the hardwood

Viks, Jags, Cougs and Eagles roll into league play.

Bothell falls to Camas in 4A state title game

Papermakers win, 35-14, in Gridiron Classic in Tacoma.

Football and friendship drive Bothell’s Bickhaus

Cougar senior set for state final.