2014 All Conference Selections

Congratulations to the 2014 MCC All-Conference Selections

1st Team

Darreon Moore - 10 - DB

Austin Crawford - 11 - DL

Tyler Herman - 12 - LB

Korbin Sorenson - 11 - OL

TJ Faamasili - 12 - RB

 

2nd Team

Jace Navejas - 11 - DB, WR

Austin Crawford - 11 - OL

 

Honorable Mention

Gavin Crow - 11 - DB

Dalton Tuveson - 12 - LB

 

Kamiakin downs Richland 21-14 in MCC football

Special to the Tri-City Herald

Austin Gutierrez had a different idea what his senior night would be. The Kamiakin receiver envisioned getting a win in his final regular-season home game at Lampson Stadium, but how he helped the Braves accomplish that was far from what happened Friday night.

He figured he’d catch a pass or two, maybe score a touchdown, possibly get an interception; not at anytime did he figured it would be playing quarterback.

But that’s how it all played out because of some off-the-field issues for the Braves this past week, thrusting Gutierrez behind center. Having not played quarterback since his freshman season, Gutierrez shook off some early nerves before leading the Braves to a second-half comeback in a 21-14 victory over the Richland Bombers.

So in the end, it wasn’t a matter how he and the Braves got the win, it was just a matter of getting the win.

“I didn’t find out until Monday that I would be playing quarterback,” said Gutierrez. “I just tried to step up and do my best.

“We really just wanted to come out and get this win.”

Gutierrez, who coach Scott Biglin says will be his starting quarterback next week against Walla Walla, completed all five of his passes after halftime, including a 10-yard strike to Jace Navejas to tie the game at 14 on the Braves’ first second-half drive.

“I was nervous every time I got ready for a game,” Biglin said. “I can imagine he was pretty nervous. He stepped up and did a great job tonight.”

Gutierrez ended his senior night and his first start as a varsity quarterback for the Braves (6-2, 5-1 MCC) by scoring the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 3:07 left in the game.

“We ran the same place twice,” said T.J. Faamausili. “We told him to just put his head down and run hard.”

Faamausili set up the winning touchdown with back-to-back runs of 35 and 28 yards to put the Braves at the Richland 3-yard line.

The Bombers (3-5, 3-3), who had won three of its last four games, could not get anything going on offense in the second half against the Braves defense. They had just five first downs and were only able to cross the Kamiakin 40-yard line once.

Richland tried to answer Gutierrez’ touchdown with a drive in the final minutes, but after getting inside the Kamiakin 35-yard line, it had a fourth-down pass tipped away with under a minute left.

“Any win is a good win,” Biglin said. “But when you beat a team with such history like Richland.”

Biglin added this win is also special for his kids in dealing with the adversity this week of losing a handful of players for undisclosed reasons.

“We told the kids they could use this as an excuse or they could use it as motivation,” Biglin said.

Braves RB Faamausili finds a new home in Kamiakin backfield

Tri-City HeraldOctober 16, 2014

Nobody was sure what to expect from Tomui Faamausili when he first began working with the Kamiakin High School football team over the summer.

The senior transfer known to his teammates as “T.J.” had played three full seasons with Pasco, which won just one varsity game during that stretch.

Braves coach Scott Biglin saw that he was fast and durable, and he had shown plenty of promise on Mid-Columbia Conference game films. Still, something was missing.

“He was running a little timid,” Biglin said. “We already had two good running backs. We didn’t know where he would fit in.”

Plus, learning a new system and being surrounded by brand new teammates — and leaving his old ones behind — had cut into Faamausili’s confidence.

“It took a little while getting used to plays. Pasco ran the same type of run plays — zone, counter and trap — but there were little quirks,” the 5-foot-9, 185 pound Samoan said. “I’ve always tried to work hard, and what happens happens.”

What finally set him apart was his ability to push through and persevere, something he credited Pasco head coach Dustin Lamb and running backs coaches Keithon Flemming and Leon Jackson with helping him develop since his freshman year.

“He wasn’t as noticeable at first. You never thought he’d become a breakout star,” said Kamiakin senior offensive lineman Christian Carman, who also noted Faamausili’s example in the weight room. “He’s got a work ethic like no other.”

Faamausili shared touches with fellow Braves running backs Mikey Jones and Justin Larsen in the first two games, totaling just under 100 yards on 34 carries and two touchdowns. It wasn’t until Week 3 that Faamausili finally exploded with 139 yards and three touchdowns in a 47-3 win over Southridge. In Week 4, he added 178 yards and three more touchdowns in a 29-8 win over Kennewick.

Through six weeks, he is second in the MCC in rushing with 607 yards on 78 carries — a 7.8 yard average — and is second in scoring with 12 touchdowns.

Biglin, who entered the season with a running-back-by-committee approach, has found his No. 1 running back.

“The more and more he got relaxed in the system, the more he started to flourish,” Biglin said. “He’s faster than I thought, and I like how patient he is.”

Jones and Larsen still get touches, averaging over 6 yards a carry between them with five touchdowns combined, and they have come to appreciate the example Faamausili has set.

“He’s made everybody in the running back corps better,” Jones said. “Coming in, he was kind of shy, but he’s shown leadership since them. And he’s still showing it.”

His offensive linemen like the way he runs, too.

“He hides our mistakes,” Carman said. “If we’re not doing something, he’ll make a play out of nothing.”

But Faamausili is quick to credit his teammates for supporting him, which has made for a smooth transition on the field.

“My teammates are my brothers. I know they have my back,” Faamausili said. “Jace (Navejas, a senior wide receiver) made a downfield block against Kennewick (to spring me) for a long touchdown run.”

Last Thursday, Faamausili ran wild on his former teammates, rushing for 161 yards and four touchdowns in the Braves’ 56-21 home win over Pasco, though he took no pleasure in his personal success.

“I wasn’t doing a lot of celebrating. I tried to be as respectful as I could. I have a lot of respect for them,” Faamausili said.

It’s clear Lamb has a healthy respect for his former starting running back. Perhaps that’s what made it difficult when he left the program.

“Any time you lose a good player it’s definitely tough. We were three years into him,” Lamb said. “He’s a real nice kid, and I always hope for kids to do well.

“We’ve just lost so many.”

Faamausili, who admits an affinity for playing the ukelele, does plan on playing football in college but hasn’t settled on one yet. But his first priority is serving a mission for the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints.

“If you put God first, He’ll figure out the rest,” he said.

Jack Millikin: 509-582-1406; ; Twitter: @jackbull61