Kamiakin heading to Tacoma

KENNEWICK -- Scott Biglin has called it an embarrassment of riches.

Throughout the season, the Kamiakin coach has watched his football team play all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams -- better than its opponents. The usual result is the Braves putting the game away early in the second half and finishing with a running clock.

But on a cold and snowy Saturday afternoon at Lampson Stadium, the Braves needed every penny of their treasury to fight off the Capital Cougars and punch their ticket to Tacoma.

Joey Jansen threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, Tim White had a hand in a pair of big plays, and the Kamiakin defense was at its brick-wall best in a 45-18 win over Capital in the 3A state semifinals.

"Amazing," said defensive end Jon Allen. "We knew we could do this. We knew we could get this far. The work paid off. We did it.

"We always dreamed of getting this far. We can do this."

"This is something," added lineman Tanner Meier, "since the eighth grade, we grew up talking about getting to state and winning state."

The Braves (13-0) will play in a state championship game for just the second time in the program's storied past. They will face Bellevue (12-1), the top program in the state. The Wolverines are the two-time defending champs and have won seven titles since 2001.

Kickoff is at 4 p.m. Friday in the comfy confines of the Tacoma Dome.

It took a massive effort for the Braves to reach their first final since 1995, and that was before kickoff. Some 80 volunteers -- school staff, parents, etc. -- took to the turf at Lampson on Saturday morning with snow shovels to clear some 9,400 square yards of snow.

The game itself required some heavy lifting by the Braves, with their 23-point margin hardly indicative of a game that was within 10 points heading into the final quarter. It would have been within a single touchdown if Capital (12-1) could kick an extra point.

It was a remarkable feat for the visitors from Olympia, who were playing without their star running back, Tyler Sundberg (2,475 yards, 29 TDs), who injured his calf in last week's close quarterfinal win over O'Dea and was never close to playing this week.

The Cougars had just answered another quick Kamiakin scoring drive -- three plays, 59 yards -- with a laborious, 14-play, 60-yard affair. They had to convert twice on third down and twice on fourth to pull within 28-18 in the waning moments of the third quarter.

The Braves came right back -- zip, zip, zip -- with Jesse Hauser taking the hit but holding on to Jansen's 30-yard strike over the middle. On the next play, Zack Umemoto burst another 30 yards up the middle for the quick score.

Read more: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/11/28/1269589/kamiakin-heading-to-tacoma.html#ixzz17MYYX7lP

Hermiston rolls to 28-7 win over Kamiakin

HERMISTON — The Hermiston Bulldogs must wait for more than a month to begin defense of their Columbia River Conference football title.

That’s a while. Long enough, perhaps, for the streaking Bulldogs to petition for membership in the conference just a few miles — and one state border — to the north.

“Chiawana would probably have something to say about that,” Hermiston coach Mark Hodges said jokingly after his Bulldogs handled Mid-Columbia Conference team Kamiakin 28-7 on Friday at Kennison Field. “We’d be competitive. So far, so good.”

“I’ve never really thought about that,” added Hermiston senior Carson Morter, who had four interceptions and caught two touchdown passes. “It’s good competition.”

In registering its second emphatic victory over an MCC team in two weeks, Hermiston showed signs that it possesses the physicality up front and the sizzle outside to make it viable on the opposite bank of the Columbia River.

Morter was but one of quarterback Chase Knutz’s many dangerous targets Friday, grabbing four receptions for 60 yards — including scoring darts of 45 yards (on a deep post in the second quarter) and 6 yards (on a quick slant for a fourth-quarter dagger).

Also tormenting the Braves (1-1) were Ethan Snow, who snagged seven passes for 103 yards and the game’s first touchdown; Keegan Crafton (three catches, 69 yards); and tailback Cory Adams (three catches, 38 yards).

Knutz finished the game 17-of-30 for 270 yards, protected from Kamiakin’s ferocious front four by an undersized but not overmanned offensive line that also pried open rushing room for Adams (50 yards) and Samuel Colbray (91).

“We were physical,”Hodges said. “When you play Kamiakin, you’re playing a team that is really well-coached and really physical. That’s a team we have the utmost respect for. We knew we had to match them not only physically, but as a coaching staff.”

Knutz struggled out of the gate. He was intercepted on his first passing attempt and then threw incomplete on four of his next five passes. But he finished the half strong, connecting on eight of his final 11 throws.

“Chase will be the first to tell you that, even though he made some wonderful plays, he is capable of playing better,” Hodges said. “As is our whole team.”

Hermiston (2-0) routed Hanford 48-13 last week and still has four nonleague contests before opening CRC play Oct. 17 against The Dalles.

Kamiakin, meanwhile, is out of dress rehearsals.

It battles MCC 3A foe Southridge next week at Lampson Stadium.

The Braves have six days to get untracked.

Quarterback Tyson Patten struggled with his touch against the Bulldogs.

He was intercepted four times and finished 11-of-32 passing with 170 yards, one week after throwing four touchdown passes in a 34-14 romp against Ferndale.

Kamiakin rolls into semifinals with 44-19 win

KENNEWICK -- So much for that vaunted Mount Spokane offense.

The Wildcats ran into a buzz saw Saturday in the form of the Kamiakin defense at Lampson Stadium.

The Braves manhandled the line of scrimmage, intercepted three passes, forced a fumble, recorded three sacks and had their way with their Class 3A quarterfinal opponent in a 44-19 rout.

"Nobody can get past our defense," Kamiakin defensive back Dom Davis said. "We're too good for anybody right now."

With the win, Kamiakin will face Capital next weekend at Lampson Stadium at a time and date to be determined.

On Saturday, Davis got the party started, intercepting a Carson Blumenthal pass and returning it 32 yards for a score less than 5 minutes into the game.

That result would be a recurring theme for Blumenthal and the Wildcats offense, which entered the game averaging 515 yards and 55 points through their first two playoff games.

On Saturday, the Wildcats finished with 342 yards -- but 141 of those came against the second-string defense.

"Our defense has been lights out," Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin said. "They are outstanding. I'm glad they are on my team and I don't have to prepare for them."

With the defense flexing its muscles early, the Braves offense went to work.

After a three-and-out, Davis had three carries for 28 yards and Garrett Bowe booted a 21-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Mount Spokane squeaked out a first down, but nothing more. Joey Jansen completed three passes of 10, 11 and 10 yards, the final connecting on a fade ball to the left corner to Tyler Holle for a quick 17-0 lead.

The Wildcats looked as though they didn't know what hit them.

"I figured the defense would be strong," Jansen said. "We just wanted to be patient and see what (Mount Spokane) would give us and we got going."

Read more: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/11/21/1260890/kamiakin-rolls-into-semifinals.html#ixzz17MY8UrRD

Football: Braves overcome first-game jitters - TC Herald Article

It took a few minutes, but Kamiakin’s football team got over a case of the season-opener nerves Saturday night.

When things finally settled down, the Braves rebounded to defeat Ferndale 34-14 at Lampson Stadium for a nonleague victory.

The Braves opened the game with a three-plays-and-out series, as quarterback Tyson Patten looked uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, Ferndale ran its wing-T offense to perfection on its first series, marching 61 yards on 10 plays as it chewed through the Braves’ defensive unit, with Marcus Nightingale plunging in from the 1 for a 7-0 Golden Eagles’ lead.

But that was it.

Patten settled down, and so did Kamiakin’s defensive unit.

“You never know how the kids are going to come out in the first game of the season,” said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin. “It’s hard to replicate that wing-T offense in practice. Those first two series, they punched us in the mouth.”

A fumble recovery by Tyler Johns midway through the first quarter gave the Braves the ball at the Ferndale 12. Five plays later, Patten hit Mike Jones for a 5-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7-7.

The Braves defense stopped the Golden Eagles offense on their next series, and Kamiakin took the lead for good late in the quarter. T.J. Faamausili raced 44 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead — a lead the Braves would never surrender after that.

Patten finished with 192 yards passing and would add three more touchdown passes — 23 yards to Austin Gutierrez, 19 yards to Jace Navejas, and 41 yards to Darreon Moore.

“The first couple of series, I had to get the jitters out,” said Patten. “Ferndale’s Cover 1 defense was pressing in on the edges. Any release we could get outside we tried to get.”

The fact that four different receivers scored was an added bonus.

“It’s nice to throw to more than one guy,” Patten said. “This year, we have one of the best receiving corps in the MCC.”

Meanwhile, Kamiakin’s defense played great assignment ball, stopping any trickery Ferndale might try.

Linebacker Tyler Herman led the defense with 10 tackles — two quarterback sacks and another for loss — and a forced fumble. Linebacker Dalton Tuveson added 11 tackles.

“We just had to start playing more physical,” said Herman. “They came out and smashed us in the mouth. I really liked our pressure.”

Some of that pressure forced Ferndale into penalties with false starts. The Golden Eagles finished with 15 penalties for 108 yards.

“It was a lot of first-game things we need to clean up,” Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said. “This game is only going to help us and make us better.”

Kamiakin will spread the running wealth

The greatest compliment to graduated Kamiakin running back Umid Ramizov is that the Braves couldn’t find a single running back to replace him.

That’s also what Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin likes best about who will take handoffs from quarterback Tyson Patten in 2014.

“Umid was an outstanding running back, and he really worked hard to get where he was. But now we’ve got three or four guys who can carry the load for us,” Biglin said of Mikey Jones, Justin Larsen and Pasco transfer T.J. Faamausili.

Jones showed plenty of promise as Ramizov’s backup, and Larsen got a handful of carries as well. Faamausili was the Bulldogs’ top ballcarrier last season, gaining 256 yards and a touchdown on 81 carries to finish eighth among returning Mid-Columbia Conference running backs.

Patten could be a nice surprise, too, in his first season under center. He has the thankless job of replacing two-year starter and all-MCC quarterback Kylle Robertson, but won’t be expected to produce at that level just yet.

“The biggest thing for him that was helpful for us was that he got thrown into the starting role at shortstop for our baseball team. He got to see what varsity athletics were all about,” Biglin said. “He came in with a lot of confidence and has become that leader that we need him to be. He’s not quite there yet, but with his hard work he could be one of those top-tier quarterbacks next year.”

Of course, Kamiakin will be sound defensively, as always. At linebacker, the Braves have a pair of three-year starters in Tyler Herman and Dalton Tuveson on the outside, plus a two-year starter in Jones in the middle. The Braves also feature a pair of returning starters in the secondary — Austin Gutierrez and Larsen.

“I think our best unit is our defense,” said Gutierrez, a second-team all-MCC pick at wide receiver. “On offense, we’re getting there. Once we get back to where we’re going to be, we’ll be unstoppable. That’s what we’re looking forward to so we can get back to the playoffs again.”

Tuveson also likes the talent on the defensive line — Tyler Johns in particular.

“He’s an animal. He’s crazy. He’s all over the place, and he doesn’t know when to quit,” Tuveson said of the 6-foot, 210-pound senior defensive end. “He’s fast, too. He got hurt last year, but this year he’s really looking good.”

Herman is part of a senior core that will help keep the team focused on its goal of an MCC championship. The returning first-team all-MCC performer is certainly a fan favorite, but he’s an even bigger fan of the student section that follows Braves football.

“We want to start winning some games for them and make sure they’re showing up and going crazy,” Herman said. “We’ll adapt to what we have on defense. We’ll add a couple things because we have different personnel than we used to. But it will be pretty much the same.

“We’ll be coming after people.”

First on the list is Ferndale, Kamiakin’s Week 1 opponent, which will travel from the west side to visit Lampson Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.

“I’m really good friends with the Ferndale coach (Jamie Plenkovich), and my brother-in-law coaches up there. We’ve been trying to set this game up for a while,” Biglin said. “It’s a nonleague game, and you always want to win every game. Pride is on the line.”

The Golden Eagles run a Wing-T offense, something Kamiakin doesn’t get to see very often in a league filled with strong passing games.

“That first game is also important to see what we can and can’t do,” Biglin said. “If you don’t play good assignment football, you’re going to be lost. But (defensive coordinator Tim) Maher does a fantastic job of getting our defense ready. I think he’ll have them ready to go.”