Just two weeks into the season, and already there is an eye-raising trend in the CBBN 3A ranks.
It seems that only three of the eight teams are even close to having balance on offense, even considering high school standards where passing tends to lag behind running.
Sunnyside has been the best, averaging 179 yards rushing and 148.5 passing. Kennewick and Eastmont are not too far out of alignment, both favoring the run slightly more than Sunnyside.
But with the other five teams, it's feast or famine between passing and running.
For Kamiakin, it's been feast. The Braves lead the league in offense at 373 yards a game. And though they have more than twice as many yards throwing as running, their ground game is still averaging better than 100 yards.
Here is our video interview with Kamiakin head coach Scott Biglin:
"Obviously we want to establish our running game. We've predominantly been a passing team and that's not going to change, but if we can't run the ball well, we'll be very one-dimensional," said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin. "Last week (in a 34-6 win at Moses Lake) we rushed for 150 yards. That was awesome. If we can keep that going it will be very difficult to stop us."
On the flip side are some of the teams who are struggling to throw the ball at all. Hanford (72 ypg passing) and Pasco (20.5) have been playing in a one-dimensional world and are off to an 0-2 start. Of course, they both opened against Richland and Chiawana, the top teams in the CBBN 4A.
Tonight's matchup with West Valley should be a better indicator of where Hanford is at. For Pasco, though, there's no break, playing at Kamiakin, favored by most to win the league.
Another 0-2 team that's out of balance -- Southridge -- is leaning the other direction, throwing for 259.5 yards a game but running for just 83.5.
The difference, though, is that the Suns' losses have come by a combined four points -- one in overtime -- and the lack of balance is simply taking what the defense gives.
"Look at what Wenatchee and Walla Walla did against us," said first-year head coach Tony Reiboldt. "Wenatchee had eight guys in the box, and Walla Walla played a 4-3 cover 4 with the safeties rolled up hard."
In other words, both defenses were playing run first, figuring that 1,000-yard back Dallin Palmer would be up to his old tricks.
The result, junior first-year starting quarterback Matt Mendenhall has done a lot of the heavy lifting, and Palmer now is tied with teammate AJ Henderson for the league lead in receptions with 10.
Reiboldt said the Suns are looking to be more balanced. They'll get a look at a good template tonight when they travel to Sunnyside.