Braves dig in, down Richland

September 28, 2012 

The Kamiakin Braves grew up in a hurry Friday night.

After watching star linebacker and running back Johnny Jansen get hurt and already missing one of the top wide receivers in the Mid-Columbia Conference in K Perrins, the Braves found themselves in a two-touchdown hole to Richland in the first quarter.

But rather than give in, Kamiakin cranked up its offense and rallied for a 25-14 victory at Lampson Stadium.

"To be honest, there was a little fear," said quarterback Kylle Robertson about the mood of the team after Jansen's injury. "We had a little meeting, decided we had to suck it up and mature fast."

The Braves (3-0 league, 4-1 overall) did just that.

Robertson and wide receiver Javan Williams helped Kamiakin go on an 11-play, 99-yard drive to get the Braves offense back on track and in the game.

Robertson was 4-for-5 for 60 yards and rushed for 22 more on the drive, eventually hitting Cameron Rathbun for a 13-yard touchdown pass.

The drive seemed to take the wind out of Richland, which had been dominating both sides of the ball.

After a three-and-out, Kamiakin immediately marched back down the field, and Robertson threaded the needle to hit Williams for a 36-yard touchdown pass with just 24 seconds remaining in the first half to pull within 14-12.

"He's an athletic beast," Robertson said of Williams. "It's awesome to have him on the team."

After trading possessions in the third quarter, Kamiakin took advantage of short field position and drove 40 yards for another touchdown.

The drive was extended when Williams toed the sidelines for a 22-yard reception, and it was capped by a Robertson 1-yard run.

Robertson and Williams weren't only showing off on offense, though.

Robertson was forced into defensive duty because of the injuries to Jansen and Perrins. He played a strong game at the safety position, while Williams was a force in the second half at defensive back.

Williams returned a tipped pass 27 yards for the game-sealing score in the fourth quarter.

"A lot of guys were hurt," Robertson said. "We finished the game with only three seniors on the field. We matured. We grew up real fast tonight. We grew up quickly."

Richland jumped on Kamiakin early, scoring on its first drive as Zach Whitby scored on a 5-yard draw play. After a Kamiakin drive stalled, the Bombers went back to work marching down the field. They eventually missed a field goal, but scored after Mason Baird picked off a Robertson pass and two plays later Whitby hit Sheldon Liikala for a 15-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

But it would not last, thanks to players stepping up and making plays for Kamiakin.

Robertson finished 17-of-31 for 220 yards with an interception and two touchdown passes. Williams had 12 receptions for 172 yards and a score.

Liam Ollila rushed for 85 yards on 14 carries in place of Jansen, helping kill the clock in the fourth quarter.

Whitby was 19-for-38 for 211 yards with an interception and a touchdown. Cameron Simpson rushed for 51 yards, as the Bombers also got bit by injuries when starting running back Josh Phillips went down in the third quarter.

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