Football: Kamiakin's offense off to big start

September 18, 2013 

hanford kamiakin football lampson mcc mid columbia

September 13, 2013 - Kamiakin's Cam Rathbun hauls in a pass from Kylle Robertson on Thursday ahead of Hanford's Malik Slack for a 34-yard gain in a game at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick.

KAI-HUEI YAU — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

Two weeks into the season, and the Kamiakin Braves have to love what they are seeing from the offense.

Umid Ramizov is the top rusher in the Mid-Columbia Conference with 254 yards on 38 carries (6.7 average) with four touchdowns. He is coming off a 124-yard, two-touchdown night against Hanford in a game where quarterback Kylle Robertson threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first 300-yard game for the second-year starter.

So coach Scott Biglin, a stretch-the-field kind of guy if ever there was one, must be pleased as punch, right?

“I’d say we’re pleased, but not super pleased,” Biglin said Wednesday night on the eve of the Braves’ game with Sunnyside at 7 p.m. today at Lampson Stadium. “We’re doing some things inconsistently on offense right now that if we shore up, we’ll be even better.”

It must be noted that the Braves’ opening wins came against Class 2A Prosser — a smaller school, albeit a really good one — and Hanford, which ranks last in the MCC in yards allowed (519.5 a game vs. Chiawana and Kamiakin, the league’s top two offensive teams).

Still, it is hard to argue with the diversity Kamiakin brings to the table.

Ramizov has gone over 100 yards in both games, and Robertson has completed passes to nine different receivers. Hunter Shauers, Cam Rathbun and Casey Brandon are near or above 100 yards receiving.

“He’s really spreading the ball around out there,” Biglin said. “One week it’s somebody, the next week it’s a couple different guys. And Umid is just a horse out there running hard.

And the play of the offensive line has been top notch, not allowing a single sack last week.

Biglin added the defense has been solid despite giving up 41 points overall and 340 yards per game.

“The thing that is killing us is the big play,” Biglin said, noting Hanford’s Tyler Cowen’s 63-yard touchdown catch and another 33-yarder last week. “Hanford had a lot of yards on us, but a lot of those yards came in big chunks.”

That will be the focus tonight against a Sunnyside team that ranks last in the CBBN in offense (206.5 ypg) with just 93 yards passing. Running back Marcus Sanchez is third in the league in rushing with 123 yards on 25 carries (4.9 average) and one touchdown.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 48-7 loss to Southridge last week and opened the season with a startling 16-6 loss to Grandview.

Passing fancy: A quick look down the league stats is prove that airing it out is back in fashion in the MCC.

Last year — the year of the running back — there were more 200-yard rushing games (12) than passing games (10). This season, quarterbacks have topped the 200-yard mark five times already (plus another at 197).

Robertson, Chiawana’s Joey Zamora and Hanford’s Aaron Enderlin are each averaging more than 200 yards a game in the air, and two more QBs are better than 150.

That makes for a lot more fun for receivers, four of whom already have at least 10 catches, and eight have topped 100 yards.

Cowen is second in catches (10) but leads in yards (287), yards per catch (28.7) and TDs (3).

“I told him after the game, he’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while,” Biglin said. “He’s a good looking kid, and you’re going to see him do a lot of damage.”

On tap: Friday’s games pit Kennewick (0-2, 0-1 MCC) and Southridge (1-1, 0-1) at Lampson Stadium, Pasco (0-2) at Hanford (0-2, 0-2) at Fran Rish Stadium and Richland (2-0, 2-0) at Chiawana (2-0, 2-0) at Edgar Brown Stadium. All games kick off at 7 p.m.

It would be hard for Chiawana to get off to a much better start. The Riverhawks are tops in the league in offense (91 points overall, 450 yards per game) and in defense (7 points given up, 149 ypg). They have allowed a minuscule 5 yards rushing in two games.

Into that defense will run the Bombers, who lead the league in rushing (233.5 ypg) with a committee of backs doing the heavy lifting behind a talented offensive line. Anthony Galat, Bennett Peterson, Nathan Perry and Josh Philips all have topped 100 yards rushing on the season and average at least 5.5 yards per carry.

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