There is so much history between the two coaching staffs at Kennewick and Kamiakin high schools, it’s really no secret what each other’s game plans are.
“We know what they want to do,” said Kennewick coach Bill Templeton. “There really aren’t any surprises.”
It’s just a matter of which team executes better. And Friday night, it was Kamiakin.
The Braves fell behind early before reeling off the game’s final 29 points en route to a 29-8 win over the rival Lions in front of a large crowd at Lampson Stadium.
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“I have a lot of respect for those guys over there,” said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin. “Some of those guys were my coaches in high school.
“It’s always fun to play against them; tonight was a good night for us.”
The Braves (3-1, 2-0 MCC) have now beaten their intracity rival six out of the last seven times. The Lions (1-3, 0-2) last win came in 2012.
As far as the big picture goes, it was a step in the right direction for Kamiakin.
“We are making baby steps to get to where we want to be,” said Braves quarterback Tyson Patten, who completed 7 of 17 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. “We want to make the playoffs and then make state.”
For Kennewick, it was a chance to see that by eliminating a few timely mistakes, the best is yet to come.
“I think we are pretty good football team,” Templeton said. “We just are making mistakes at the wrong time.”
The Lions, coming off a loss to Walla Walla last week, jumped out early on the Braves.
Matthew Driver led Kennewick on a 10-play, 74-yard opening drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brock Sittman. After a 2-point conversion, the Lions led 8-0.
That would be the last time Kennewick would reach the end zone.
Kamiakin scored late in the first quarter on an explosive run down the left sideline by Tomui Faamausili for 62 yards and a touchdown to cut the lead to 8-7. The Braves took the lead for good late in the first half, going 70 yards on four plays in less than 90 seconds, capped by a Faamausili 5-yard run. Faamausili ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion to give the Braves a 15-8 advantage.
“We knew we just had to stay focused,” Patten said after the Lions’ early score. “We just needed to respond.”
The Lions appeared to avoid danger early in the third quarter when Faamausili fumbled the ball at the Lions’ 5-yard line. However, Driver was intercepted two plays later by Justin Larsen setting up a touchdown catch by Dalton Tuveson from Patten to push the margin to 22-8.
“That play was huge,” Biglin said. “That really got us going again.”
Faamausili, who had three touchdowns on the night, broke free again in the fourth quarter, this time for a 72-yard scoring run that capped the scoring and put the game out of reach. Faamausili finished the night with 16 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
“This was a big game for us and these are the kind of games we want to play in,” Biglin said.