KENNEWICK -- Two games into the postseason, and life is pretty sweet for the Kamiakin football team.
The Braves are piling on the points without having to pile up the yards, thanks to a defense and special teams that set up a short field when they don't take it to the house on their own.
Three times Kamiakin punched it into the end zone following a long return over turnover Saturday, and Tim White scored on a punt for the fourth time in three weeks as the fifth-ranked Braves blew by Kelso 50-6 in a first-round 3A state playoff game at Lampson Stadium.
Joey Jansen feathered a pair of perfect passes to Tyler Holle for 53- and 41-yard touchdowns, and AJ Griffiths took a screen pass 31 yards for another score.
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"Unbelievable," Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin said of the defense, which has allowed just 94 points all season. "They are money right now, and that was a tough test this week. And special teams, we work a half hour every day in practices, and it's paying off in games."
The Braves (11-0), who have outscored their two postseason opponents 106-13, will be back at home next Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff with Mount Spokane (10-1), a high-scoring team that may provide a big test for the Braves' defense.
"Real excited," linebacker Trevor Powers said about facing a team that has scored 48 or more points in each of its last four games, including 62 in a regional playoff win over Kennewick. "I'm looking forward to it."
Against Kelso, Kamiakin's offense was on the field for just 38 plays but still accounted for six touchdowns.
Part of that comes from big plays by Davis (24- and 42-yard runs) and the passing game. Jansen averaged 27 yards a completion. And even though he wasn't having his best day -- 7-for-18 with a pick -- the senior QB got hot when it counted, clicking on five straight throws for 148 yards as Kamiakin scored three touchdowns in a span of 7 minutes in the first half. It helped that Kelso's defense barely got within shouting distance as the Braves' O-line turned in a great game.
"That's Joey Jansen for you -- he's not going to get rattled," Biglin said. "He could throw 20 incompletions in a row, throw 20 interceptions, and he doesn't change."
The other reason the offense had it easy is the special teams was ... well ... special. Along with the touchdown, White returned another punt 64 yards to the 1 to set up Kamiakin's first score. And Davis took the second-half kickoff 82 yards to the 8.
Meanwhile, Shad Fletcher picked off two more passes to push his total to seven, and the defense shut down Kelso's running game.
"We knew it would be a battle up front, that they were going to go hard every play," linebacker Drew Oord said.
Jon Allen led the Braves with 9 1/2 tackles, splitting a sack with Zach Umemoto and adding two more tackles for loss. Powers and Tanner Meier each had six solo stops.
The Highlanders punted seven times in the first half -- six of those from inside their own 30. They mustered just 149 yards on the ground on 44 carries -- half of that against the No. 2 defense in the fourth quarter -- and completed 4 of 17 throws.
It all added up to the fifth time in six games Kamiakin has finished with a running clock on the 45-point rule, including last week's 56-7 regional playoff win over Southridge.
"It's always nice to win by 50," Oord said, "but it will be good to be in a close game. We're going to get that chance once of these days."
* Kevin Anthony: 509-582-1403; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kamiakin 50, Kelso 6
Kelso 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Kamiakin 13 16 21 0 -- 50
Kam--Dom Davis 1 run (kick fail)
Kam--Tyler Holle 53 pass from Joey Jansen (Garrett Bowe kick)
Kam--Holle 41 pass from Jansen (kick fail)
Kam--Davis 8 run (Bowe kick)
Kam--FG Bowe 28
Kam--Cody Wilmoth 8 run (Bowe kick)
Kam--AJ Griffiths 31 pass from Jansen (Bowe kick)
Kam--Tim White 60 punt return (Bowe kick)
Kel--Taylor Radcliffe 8 run (kick blocked)
RUSHING--Kel, Riley Miller 15-56, Jared O'Neil 14-76, Radcliffe 3-17, Slate Miller 7-1, Makaio Mobbs 5-(minus 1). Kam, Davis 11-109, Wilmoth 8-35, Drew Oord 1-0.
PASSING--Kel, Mobbs 4-17-2-50. Kam, Jansen 7-18-1-188.
RECEIVING--Kel, Cedrique Chaney 3-51, Radcliffe 1-(minus 1). Kam, Holle 3-105, Griffiths 2-42, Jesse Houser 1-28, Tim White 1-13.
FIRST DOWNS--Kel 8, Kam 11. FUMBLES-LOST--Kel 0-0, Kam 2-0. PENALTIES-YARDS--Kel 5-45, Kam 7-65.