K Perrins and Javan Williams have taken different paths to arrive at the same place — on the other end of Kylle Robertson’s biggest throws.
Senior wideouts and biggest big-play threats in Kamiakin’s offense, Perrins and Williams are a key reason why there is plenty of air in the Braves’ passing game.
“Javan and K on the outside, that’s a scary thing,” said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin.
Perrins, whose full name is K Tyler Perrins, is a speedster who has come of age in the Braves’ football system, getting called up late in the season as a freshman, getting a couple starts as a sophomore and then starting at defensive back as a junior.
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As one of the few returning starters coming into the season, he knew a lot would be placed on his shoulders on the field and in the locker room.
“It’s my year,” he said of his attitude during offseason workouts. “There’s only a few of us returning guys, and we have to step up for the young guys.”
Williams, on the other hand, isn’t a young guy, but he is a new guy, a talented basketball player who had not been in football pads since the seventh grade.
After getting hounded by his friends for the last two years, he finally relented. And he’s having a ball.
“I kind of wish I’d been playing since my freshman year rather than coming out now,” he said before practice earlier this week in preparation for tonight’s game against Southridge at Lampson Stadium.
The matchup figures to be the “game of the year” for this week, with the unbeaten Suns (3-0, 2-0 Mid-Columbia) and their No. 1 defense taking on the Braves (2-1, 1-0) and their No. 1 passing game.
Indeed, Kamiakin seems to be the only team in the Mid-Col that has gotten the passing game off the ground. The Braves’ 738 passing yards in three games is nearly double the next team’s output (Richland, 389).
Robertson, a junior first-year starter, is completing 50 percent of his throws, with nine TDs and four picks. He said a lot of hands go into a successful passing game — starting with the offensive line, and it helps that running back Liam Ollila keeps defenses honest averaging nearly 70 yards on 15 carries a game.
Also, the Braves’ spread offense requires a lot of talent at receiver. Last week when Sunnyside doubled up Perrins and Williams on the outside, Robertson went to the slot and found Brandon Larsen (5 catches, 79 yards) and Casey Brandon (3 for 26).
“I believe I got the best receiving corps in the league,” Robertson said. “They’re my guys, and I got confidence in my guys. I have faith that when I throw the ball, they’ll be there.”
But when he absolutely has to have it, Robertson knows to look first to the outside, to Perrins and Williams.
They are 1-2 in the league in receiving and yards. Despite being limited to two catches last week, Perrins is No. 1 with 17 receptions for 307 yards (18.1 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. Williams is right behind with 12 for 239 (19.9 ypc) and three TDs.
“With Perrins, it’s a lot of bench routes because we have our timing down,” Robertson said. “With Javan, he’s an athletic freak, so I throw more go routes.”
Indeed, it was just such a route that helped Kamiakin pull out a win in Sunnyside last week, and it came right after Williams got turned around on a touchdown pass on defense as the Grizzlies took the lead.
“I gave up that long bomb on defense, and I felt like I let the team down,” Williams said. “But Coach and Kylle came up to me and said there’s still time left in the game, and I’m going to get the ball, so keep my head up.”
He kept his head and hands up, hauling in a 39-yard Hail Mary with 5 seconds left. Williams called it a perfect pass from Robertson, to his back shoulder against good coverage. Robertson said his receiver made the play, and he just “threw it up there.”
Wherever the credit goes, Perrins said, it was an awesome play.
And, he added, it is part of the signature of this Kamiakin club.
“We’re a different team than the last two years,” Perrins said, referring to a two-year run of 25-2 and deep playoff runs. “We have a great team, but we’re younger.”
“We’re not a team that blows people out,” he added, “but we are a good team.”
Led by a great tandem.