Football: Kamiakin's season ends with Shadle

November 23, 2013 

You can see it on video, plan for it on paper and prepare against it all week in practice.

But until you witness it in person, there simply is no way to comprehend the pace of the Shadle Park offense nor the precision of the guy who runs it.

Brett Rypien and company kept Kamiakin’s defense moving at a sprinter’s pace, parlaying some big plays in the first half into a 34-16 victory over the Braves in a Class 3A state quarterfinal Saturday afternoon at Lampson Stadium.

The Highlanders’ star junior quarterback threw for 337 yards and five touchdowns — an average game for him — while hitting eight different receivers. His favorite was a sturdy little scatback named Alvin Welch, who caught eight balls for 150 yards, scoring on some remarkable catch-and-runs of 18, 23 and 67 yards ... all in the first half.

“We played one helluva quarterback,” said Kamiakin two-way lineman Dylan Keech, who got to Rypien a couple times on the pass rush. “He’s going to be a millionaire some day, quarterback in the NFL.”

That day may come, but up next for Rypien and Shadle (11-1) is a date with five-time defending state champion Bellevue.

It was evident Kamiakin (10-2) was going to have its hands full with Shadle’s no-huddle, spread offense from the get-go. The Highlanders line up like any number of offenses, but they operate at a pace that would make Chip Kelly ask what’s the hurry.

As often as not, as soon as the official blew his whistle to start the play clock, the shotgun snap was headed back to Rypien, who simply waited for one of his four or five receivers to open just a small window.

“That first series it definitely hit our defense,” Keech said. “We weren’t prepared for that type of tempo.”

The first series was a quick-strike, 70-yard march in just over 3 minutes, culminating in Welch’s first score.

Kamiakin responded with a strong drive of its own, though the Braves were taking their time between plays in an effort to shorten the game.

Quarterback Kylle Robertson also had success with quick strikes, moving the chains on a swing pass to running back Umid Ramizov and a bubble screen to receiver Austin Gutierrez.

Gutierrez made a sweet move to ditch a tackler on his third reception of the drive for a 21-yard gain down to the Shadle 16. Three plays later, Robertson found Jace Navejas open in the end zone for a 10-yard score.

Connor Shymanski’s extra point gave the Braves a 7-6 lead, but it would last less than a minute after a big kickoff return gave the Highlanders a short field, and they converted three plays later.

The Braves would pick up two points on a safety early in the second quarter when Rypien, getting sacked on the 2, tried the throw the ball away and was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone.

But Kamiakin left plenty more points on the field. The Highlanders tried an onside kick in the second quarter after getting tagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty on the preceding touchdown. When the kick went out of bounds, Kamiakin started at the Shadle 34 but didn’t move a yard on four incomplete passes.

The Braves also drove down to the 5 midway through the third quarter and again came away empty.

“I put our guys in some bad positions,” said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin. “It’s very frustrating. That onside kick at the end of the half, or when we drove down the to the 5 and couldn’t score, those are things you can’t do against a team like this.”

They were chances to get back in the game as Rypien cooled off in the second half and Kamiakin started getting some pressure. After eclipsing 4,000 yards for the season in the first half, he threw for just 60 yards after the break, though Shadle scaled back on the pace and started running some clock in the fourth quarter.

Ramizov ran for 105 yards but had to work for every scrap of it on 24 carries. He also caught three passes 35 yards and a score, all that while twice being hauled off the field with an injury to his right leg.

Robertson finished 18-for-35 for 198 yards, two TDs and an interception, and the big QB absorbed several big hits on both sides of the ball, playing safety as well. Navejas had six catches for 83 yards, Gutierrez five for 50.

In the end, Kamiakin’s season finished like so many others will in the playoffs, with hugs and tears.

“It may sound strange,” Biglin said, “but it’s rewarding to see them so emotional. It means they gave everything they had.”

Shadle Park 12 15 0 8 — 34

Kamiakin 7 2 0 7 — 16

SCORING PLAYS

First quarter

SP—Alvin Welch 18 pass from Brett Rypien (pass fail), 8:54

K—Jace Navejas 10 pass from Kylle Robertson (Connor Shymanski kick), 3:51

SP—Welch 23 pass from Rypien (kick blocked), 3:05

Second quarter

K—Safety, intentional grounding in end zone, 8:40

SP—Welch 67 pass from Rypien (Welch pass from Rypien), 5:46

SP—Nick Kiourkas 45 pass from Rypien (Tanner Pauly kick), 1:27

Fourth quarter

SP—Pauly 7 pass from Rypien (Pauley kick), 9:26

K—Umid Ramizov 7 pass from Robertson (Shymanski kick), 2:23

STATISTICS

RUSHING—SP, Michael Morris 12-35, Rypien 5-16, Welch 1-0, Quentin Wilson 4-6, Isaac Hannum 1-7, Darius Savick 1-(minus 4). K, Ramizov 24-105, Robertson 11-4, Michael Jones 3-24.

PASSING—SP, Rypien 20-30-0—337. K, Robertson 18-35-1—198.

RECEIVING—SP, Welch 8-150, Kiourkas 3-75, George Pilimal 2-59, Cameron Duty 2-16, Pauly 1-7, Skyler Kelley 2-13, Morris 1-11, Hannum 1-6. K, Navejas 6-83, Austin Gutierrez 5-50, Ramizov 3-35, Hunter Shauers 2-14, Casey Brandon 2-16.

FIRST DOWNS—SP 15, K 16. FUMBLES-LOST—SP 1-1, K 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDS—SP 8-80, K 9-70.

w Kevin Anthony: 582-1403; kanthony@tricityherald.com

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