Most high school football coaches are happy when they have one playmaker that can dictate a game on offense.
It seems like every wide receiver Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin has on the roster this year could fit that bill.
“It’s exactly what we envisioned when we came up with the offense that we wanted to run,” Biglin said of his group of receivers. “A lot of teams, when they throw the ball, they’ve got a key guy they want to throw it to, or if they run the ball, there’s one guy they like to go to. For us, we’ve got a lot of guys that we try to get the ball to.”
Among the team’s top pass catchers are seniors Isaiah Brimmer (6-foot-6, 205 pounds) and Darreon Moore (5-10, 170), and junior Benson Smith (5-11, 160), all of whom quarterback Zach Borisch has had plenty of success throwing the ball to.
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“I can’t say that any one is better than the others, because they’re all such go-get-’em guys,” Borisch said. “I couldn’t tell you which guy I want to go to because I want to go to every single one of them.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done.
Brimmer and Smith rank third and fourth in the Mid-Columbia Conference in receiving, totaling a combined 918 yards and 15 touchdowns, and Moore is ninth with 20 catches for 286 yards and five scores. Borisch is the No. 3 passer in the league — 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns — but has thrown almost 60 fewer passes than the quarterbacks in front of him — Richland’s Paxton Stevens and Hanford’s Garrett Horner.
Tied for a league-high nine touchdown receptions, Brimmer has used his big frame and skills translated from the basketball court — he plays shooting guard and forward for the Braves — to become a nightmare for opposing defenses in the red zone.
“He’s 6-6, and he’s been 6-6 for four years now,” Biglin said. “And finally, I don’t want to say it was just this season, but probably (last year’s state tournament loss) against Lakes, a game that we took our lumps in, he was one guy that shined in it.”
Of the wideouts in Kamiakin’s system, Moore is the most likely to play football in college, as he’s caught attention from several Pac-12 schools as a defensive back. He has said he’ll be more than happy just to keep playing at the next level, and that he enjoys being on the defensive side more anyway.
“I’ve been playing DB since I was like, seven or eight years old, so it’s always been my favorite,” Moore said.
While his coverage skills are at a Division I level, he has some chops on offense too.
“He’s probably our most explosive guy; he probably runs some of the best routes we’ve seen,” Biglin said. “If guys try to guard him one-on-one, watch out, because he’s pretty electric with the ball in his hands.”
Smith grew up as a running back since his days in the Kennewick Grid Kids program, and has parlayed that experience of getting the ball in the backfield into a dangerous hybrid position that could be described more as an “offensive weapon” rather than just a wide receiver or running back. As a senior last year, Gavin Crow became the first of those hybrid players in Biglin’s offense, and when he graduated there was little mystery as to who the Braves’ next one would be.
“When we got to the end of the year, we were wondering who that guy was going to be for us, and once we got spring ball it was like ‘pft, Benson, no doubt about it,’ ” Biglin said. “He’s electric with the ball, he’s got good hands and he’s just one heck of a ballplayer.”
While the stable of skill position talent at Kamiakin is vast and balanced — 13 players touched the ball on offense in the Braves’ Week 8 win over Walla Walla — it figures to get even bigger when the team gears up for a playoff run. Junior wide receiver Champ Grayson hurt his shoulder in Week 3 against Chiawana, then re-injured it when he returned to action two weeks later against Hanford. He’s sat out the three games since, but is on track to return next week when the playoffs begin.
A RIVALRY GAME FOR ALL THE MARBLES
First-year Southridge coach Keith Munson’s Suns have already surpassed expectations this season — they’ve doubled their two conference wins in 2015 heading into the regular-season finale — and have a shot to send a shockwave through the conference on Thursday when they face Kamiakin for the Class 3A MCC title.
The Braves (6-2, 4-2) have won their last six games against the Suns (5-3, 4-2), but that hasn’t diminished the cross-town rivalry.
“It’s a big rivalry game, I think bigger than Kennewick, just because we know some kids from there and they know us, now we kind of butt heads a little bit,” Brimmer said. “I’m looking forward to every minute of it.”
Southridge’s option offense has found new life in recent weeks because of quarterback Mason Martin having success throwing the ball. He passed for four touchdowns two weeks ago against Hanford, and again last week against Kennewick. Tight end Brycen Kelly has emerged as a legitimate red zone threat with three receiving touchdowns in the past two games.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Lampson Stadium.