There is a new king in the Tri-Cities, and it resides in east Kennewick.
The Kennewick football team ended Kamiakins throttlehold as the top Class 3A team in the area with a 27-14 victory Friday at Lampson Stadium to win a piece of the Mid-Columbia Conference crown.
It was time to put an end to their reign, Kennewick quarterback Dylan Tennancour said. It feels amazing. I lost my voice from yelling so much.
Kennewick (5-2 league, 6-2-1 overall) tied for the title with Kamiakin and Hanford but gets the No. 1 seed into the regional playoffs next week with a home game against Shadle Park of Spokane.
Kamiakin (5-2, 6-3) will hit the road to play University (Spokane) in the other regional playoff game, while Hanford is eliminated.
Tennancour was a major reason the Lions won the top seed, throwing for 176 yards and four touchdown passes. Three of the four came on play-action passes, as the Lions seemed to take the Braves by surprise with their passing game.
I think they expected us to run the ball like we have the last couple of years, Tennancour said. We saw they were blitzing and stunting and bringing guys forward and we just started passing.
And they didnt stop.
Tennancour connected with wide receiver Kaden Julian on touchdown passes of 25, 50 and 35 yards. Slot receiver Bodie Simpson also hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass.
We thought theyd be stuffing people in the box and thought wed have the opportunity to throw, Kennewick coach Bill Templeton said. We knew the focus would be on Devven (Ramos). Kaden is an athlete, and we wanted to get him into space, and Dylan made some incredible throws.
The Lions have not thrown much this season, instead riding Ramos to the second most rushing yards in the conference on the season.
And early on it looked as though Friday would be no different, as the Lions ran the ball on their first eight plays, until Tennancour connected with Julian down the middle on a 25-yard touchdown pass that the receiver caught just before sliding through the back of the end zone onto the concrete.
After a pair of punts, the Lions went back to work running the ball. Tennancour hit Simpson on a 26-yard gain on a play-action, and then threw a deep ball on third-and-2 that Tennancour ran under. He looked to be tackled inside the 5, but rolled over the defender into the end zone for a touchdown.
Kamiakin fumbled the ensuing kickoff and five plays later, a familiar scene unfolded as Tennancour got the Kamiakin defense to bite on the run again, and hit a streaking Julian for a third score and a 21-7 lead with 2 minutes left in the first half.
Its pretty satisfying to come out with a big passing game, Julian said. We expected to run the ball, but they were giving us man coverage and their safeties were biting on the run.
It all just came together tonight.
And what a time for it to come together.
The Lions not only won the league title, but they earned a spot in the regional playoffs in a must-win game. A loss wouldve meant a fourth-place finish in league and no playoff berth.
Instead, Kennewick took care of business.
We talked about finding ways to win, whether it was for senior night or homecoming or whatever, Julian said. I wanted to win for the conference title. Being the first Mid-Columbia champs is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Early on it looked as though Kamiakin might be on its way to a third consecutive league title, driving the length of the field on its opening drive and scoring on a pass from Kylle Robertson to Brandon Larsen from 6-yards out.
But the Braves struggled to maintain drives throughout the night thanks to a strong defensive effort by Kennewick.
Kamiakin also was bitten by the injury bug. Already playing without receiver K Perrins, wideout Javan Williams who leads the league in receiving yards and touchdowns suffered an injury before halftime and had to be helped off the field. He did not return, further stunting an offense that was also missing running back Liam Ollila.
The Braves did attempt a rally in the fourth quarter, as Robertson scored on a 2-yard run to pull within 27-14. Kamiakin then forced a three-and-out to get the ball back, but the drive stalled and the Lions nearly wound out the clock.
All the hard work over the summer paid off, Tennancour said. We needed a big win.
Julian finished with four receptions for 110 yards, while Simpson had seven catches for 62 yards. Ramos rushed 27 times for 114 yards.
Robertson was 13-for-29 for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Larsen had five receptions for 71 yards and the score.
Kamiakin 7 0 0 7 14
Kennewick 8 19 0 0 27
KamiakinBrandon Larsen 6 pass from Kylle Robertson (Connor Shymanski kick), 7:50
KennewickKaden Julian 25 pass from Dylan Tennancour (Bodie Simpson pass from Tennancour), 4:26
KennewickJulian 50 pass from Tennancour (pass failed), 3:58
KennewickJulian 35 pass from Tennancour (Josh Kutzke kick), 2:10
KennewickSimpson 17 pass from Tennancour (kick failed), :35
KamiakinRobertson 2 run (Shymanski kick), 7:29
RUSHINGKamiakin, Johnny Jansen 7-28, Robertston 10-22, Umid Ramizov 7-16. Kennewick, Ramos 27-114, Simpson 5-29, Jeremiah Sprague 2-4, Tennancour 4-(-33).
PASSINGKamiakin, Robertson 13-29-1121. Kennewick, Tennancour 12-15-1176.
RECEIVINGKamiakin, Larsen 5-71, Austin Gutierrez 2-22, Hunter Shauers 2-18, Javan Williams 2-12, Jansen 1-0, Ramizov 1-(-2). Kennewick, Simpson 7-62, Julian 4-110, Ramos 1-4.
SACKSKamiakin, Dylan Keech 2-31, Hayden Burris 1-6. Kennewick, Jacob Meise 1-11, Ramos 1-3.
INTERCEPTIONSKamiakin, Larsen 1-22. Kennewick, Martin Altahir 1-33.
FIRST DOWNSKamiakin 10, Kennewick 15. FUMBLES-LOSTKamiakin 2-1, Kennewick 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDSKamiakin 4-50, Kennewick 7-50. PUNTING-AVG.Kamiakin, 5-39.0; Kennewick, 6-30.0