KENNEWICK -- There is smash-mouth football, and then there is "Pow! In your face, a fist to the teeth" football.
And somewhere on the other side of that, is Kennewick and Kamiakin football.
Zach Umemoto ran for 134 yards and crashed into the end zone two times, and Kamiakin's defense was at its blitzing best as the Braves took a physical, 14-6 decision off the rival Lions on Friday night before a packed house at Lampson Stadium.
A crowd near the 6,800 capacity watched a punishing game between two ranked, unbeaten teams -- even the coaches were limping after this one -- as Kamiakin (4-0, 2-0) remained on top of the CBBN 3A.
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And this win came thanks to a ground-pounding attack that Umemotored on a late drive to put the game away.
"Unbelievable," said Joe Hunt, a member of the offensive line that cleared the way as well as an all-over-the-field defensive end and key special teams player. "This has got to be right up there next to the state championship game last year."
The Braves, state runners-up last year, couldn't pull free of Kennewick (3-1, 1-1) until Umemoto's 1-yard plunge with 1:48 to play.
The 10-play, 62-yard drive was all Umemoto, who was a gut punch to a defense that had traded blow-for-blow with the Braves.
"Those guys are pretty big, pretty strong," said Lions running back/corner Grant Woods, who came into the game averaging 11.2 yards per carry but was held to 22 on 10 touches. "We're smaller, but we have speed. But props to Umemoto."
A little more than 5 minutes before the clinching TD, Kennewick was poised to pull even with the Braves after Reggie Clinton hauled in Bryce Leavitt's 8-yard scoring toss.
But on the extra point, Hunt crashed through the line and two-hand stuffed the kick.
"I just got skinny and got through there," he said of the play that sapped some of the Lions' momentum and kept them down 7-6.
And that's when the Braves went on the attack. The line opened holes into the secondary, and the 6-foot, 205-pound Umemoto dragged tacklers again and again.
"I was doing it for them," the senior said of his line. "They blocked their hearts out."
Added Hunt: "O-line decided this one was on us. We knew we could win this game if we just put it in. The O-line brotherhood got it done."
It did, but it was never easy.
Kamiakin, averaging nearly 400 yards of offense coming in, was limited to 225, and most of that came on the two scoring drives.
Kennewick, though, mustered just 146 total, as the Braves pass rush had Leavitt scrambling and all his passes to the short routes.
"Both teams played very hard," said Kennewick coach Bill Templeton. "Kamiakin made the plays when they had to."
And when the Lions made their plays, the Braves defense had a response.
Kennewick forced a pair of turnovers to create a short field. The first, a recovered fumble off Shaun Smith's first-half sack, was snuffed out with a three-and-out at midfield.
The second came after a brilliant corner blitz by Troy Fulton early in the third quarter, when his hit on Hutchison jarred the ball loose and Fulton recovered it himself at midfield.
But three straight incompletions led to a punt.
"We made a play," Woods said, "but then they came back and made one."
Kamiakin also let some field position slip away in the first half after an early turnover.
But its last big play -- James Swinyard's interception after Corey McLean deflected Leavitt's deep toss in the final minute -- put the final stamp on a game that can be described in three words:
* Kevin Anthony: 509-582-1403; email@example.com.
Kamiakin 14, Kennewick 6
Kennewick 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Kamiakin 0 7 0 7 -- 14
KAM--Zach Umemoto 7 run (Blake Wagar kick)
KEN--Reggie Clinton 8 pass from Bryce Leavitt (kick blocked)
KAM--Umemoto 1 run (Wagar kick)
RUSHING--Ken, Grant Woods 10-22, Leavitt 9-21, Bodie Simpson 2-7. Kam, Umemoto 29-134, Oord 3-9, Jason Hutchison 5-(minus 13), Team 3-(minus 16).
PASSING--Ken, Leavitt 14-23-1-96. Kam, Hutchison 8-15-0-111.
RECEIVING--Ken, Simpson 8-49, Clinton 5-47, Woods 1-0. Kam, James Swinyard 2-55, Corey McLean 2-23, Brandon Larson 2-19, Johnny Jansen 1-9, Oord 1-5.
FIRST DOWNS--Ken 6, Kam 13. FUMBLES-LOST--Ken 1-1, Kam 2-2. PENALTIES-YARDS--Ken 1-5, Kam 8-60.