Class 1A football — The Hornets return two kicks and score 34 points in the third quarter to capture the rematch of the 2012 1A state title game

The last two times St. Paul and Camas Valley met on the gridiron in the 2010 and 2012 1A state championships games, the two powerhouses slugged it out in low-scoring, defensive contests.

So when the Bucks jumped out to a 36-22 lead at halftime Friday evening, it may have come as a bit of shock to fans at the 1A Football Classic at Dufur High School.

Even more surprising, especially to the Bucks, were the 34 points the Hornets scored in the third quarter, which lifted them to a thrilling 64-54 victory.

It didn’t take long for the tide to turn either, as Camas Valley returned the third-quarter kickoff for a touchdown, then did it again on a St. Paul punt following the next possession.

The Bucks turned the ball over twice in the second half, so despite putting up gaudy numbers for the game — 558 yards of total offense and 17 first downs — they were unable to close the gap. Head coach Tony Smith’s team trailed 56-48 after three quarters, but both teams tired out and the defenses took over in the fourth quarter.

Camas Valley put up 599 yards of offense, including 482 yards passing, while St. Paul relied upon its ground game, racking up 446 yards. The two teams combined for 1,157 total yards in a thrilling season opener.

“They were running quick passes,” Smith said. “We ended up with three turnovers for the game, so between that and the special teams, they were one score better than us. It was a close game. We played better in the first half, they played better in the third quarter and we were even in the fourth.”

Behind the blocking of lineman Zach Adams, Max Coleman and Joe Hiller, as well as ends David Elias and Keenan Wood, Chris Petrjanos carried the ball 19 times for 237 yards.

“I was very pleased with our blocking and execution up front for so early in the season,” Smith said. “We did a lot of good things. They only lost two players off their defense, so if we can have offensive success against them, we should be able to have offensive success against other teams.”

Elias caught three passes, all for touchdowns, from quarterback Cody Southerland, who completed six tosses for 112 yards.

Defensively, Adams had a fumble recovery and an interception from his middle linebacker position, while Wood excelled from his defensive end position.

The Bucks will head back out on the road Friday for a contest against Powder Valley, whom St. Paul downed 66-20 in the opening round of the state playoffs last year.

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