Kamiakin 'D' stands strong

Tri-City HeraldSeptember 21, 2012 

Rest assured, Braves fans, the best defense in southeast Washington still resides at Kamiakin.

Forcing 10 punts and returning two interceptions for touchdowns, Kamiakin knocked off Southridge 20-0 on Friday at Lampson Stadium in a Mid-Columbia Conference battle.

"Kamiakin has the reputation of being good at defense, and we took offense to (Southridge being called the best)," linebacker Johnny Jansen said, "and we wanted to shut them down."

Jansen returned an interception 75 yards in the first quarter for a touchdown to set the tone.

"We were in a standard cover-3, and it just hit me in the chest," he said. "I was just trying to get us on the board, and our defense played great after that.

"So proud of our linebackers and our defensive line."

The Braves often stacked the box as they found a way to consistently shut down Southridge running back Kadin Diaz. A week after Diaz rushed for 192 yards, the Braves held him to 73 yards on 21 carries.

As a team, Southridge gained just 107 yards and six first downs -- including just one first down and 22 yards in the second half.

"We had a hard week in practice," Jansen said. "A lot of yelling at us by the coaches, a lot of running. All those extra reps were with Southridge in mind."

It certainly paid off.

Jansen returned his interception after the Suns had their lone sustained drive of the night, going nearly 80 yards on nine plays.

Even after the touchdown, neither team could get anything going offensively.

The Southridge defense was equally strong, allowing just seven points and intercepting Kylle Robertson three times.

But every time it looked like the Suns would catch a break, the Kamiakin defense would hold.

Southridge's Tanner Gottschalk picked off Robertson at midfield and returned it 14 yards.

The Braves defense responded by forcing Southridge backward, as the Suns had three consecutive negative rushing plays.

Trailing 14-0 in the fourth quarter, Southridge's Cole Henderson intercepted Robertson, but on the very next play K Perrins grabbed a tipped pass and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown.

The Kamiakin offense finally put together a drive in the third quarter when the Braves went to an empty backfield.

With 2:20 left in the quarter and still clinging to a 7-0 lead, Robertson completed 4 of 5 passes, capped by an 8-yard slant pass to Perrins for a 14-0 lead.

But this night was all about the defense for Kamiakin, which was a big swing from earlier in the season.

The Braves opened the year losing to Class 2A Prosser in overtime, getting routinely torched by the Mustangs passing game.

Last week, the Braves nearly lost to Sunnyside, giving up a couple of long touchdown runs to the Grizzlies.

But on this night, the Braves defense was having none of that.

"It's just hard work," Jansen said. "We came in to the Prosser game a bit overconfident. We shut up on social media and just let our play do the talking."

And it did lots of talking Friday.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service