There is still a little bit of the unknown for Scott Biglin and his young Kamiakin Braves football team.
“You are not quite sure what you get with this team,” he said.
What he got on Friday night was a pretty convincing effort, as the Braves pulled away from Southridge after a slow start on their way to a 41-7 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over the Suns at Lampson Stadium.
“We are a really talented team, but we are young,” Biglin said.
He expects some of the early mistakes against the Suns (0-2) will slowly work themselves out as the season progresses. But as for Friday night, the Braves (2-0) overcame some execution problems in the first quarter and let their defense lead the way until the offense got rolling.
The Braves defense allowed just two first downs in the first half as the Suns tallied just 74 total yards of offense in the opening two quarters.
Kamiakin held Southridge scoreless until the waning seconds of the game, as the Suns drove 71 yards to cap their only scoring drive – a 13-yard TD pass from Trenton Slatter to Ryker Stevens — with 36.4 seconds left in the game.
Kamiakin, which struggled with the Southridge defense early, scored on its third offensive possession in the first quarter when Tuna Altahir rambled in on a 5-yard run to give the Braves a 7-0 lead. It was the first two scores on the night for the junior running back. Altahir led all rushers with 159 yards on 22 carries.
The Braves pushed the lead to 14-0 almost midway through the second quarter on a 39-yard touchdown reception by Woodley Downard from Henry Mercado. That touchdown came on a fourth-down and 10 play.
“I think (Mercado) settled down a little as the game went on,” Biglin said.
Mercado had a solid first half, completing 15 of 25 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Downard led all receivers with eight catches for 93 yards. Kellen Rutz added four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Southridge was led by Slatter, who had 37 rushing yards on 10 carries. He also threw for 80 yards and a touchdown.
“We need to continue to get better, and work on starting faster,” Biglin said.
The Braves play Hanford next Thursday night while the Suns are at Pasco on Friday night.
HANFORD 28, WALLA WALLA 25
Senior defensive end Marcus Romero intercepted a pass late in the game, and the Falcons used four straight running plays to pound the ball into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Falcons RB Dylan McElderry rushed for 124 yards on 17 carries.
Wise-Hyde found Caleb Harvey and Jaxon Farrah as his favorite targets. Harvey caught four passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns, while Farrah added five catches for 77 yards and a score.
“We played a sloppy game as a whole,” admitted Hanford coach Brett Jay. “We couldn’t get off the field on third down. And our offense needs to continue to improve in the red zone.”
Sophomore running back Jakob Humphrey led the Blue Devils with 100 yards rushing on 23 carries. Humphrey, who scored a touchdown, also caught three passes for 60 yards.
RICHLAND 28, HERMISTON 14
Quarterback Harrison Westover had a monster game for the visiting Richland Bombers, throwing four touchdown passes and 379 yards total, to lead Richland over Hermiston in an MCC contest.
Richland built a 28-0 lead.
Ben Fewel also had an outstanding game for the Bombers, catching 11 passes for 233 yards from Westover – including touchdown plays of 66 and 11 yards.
Westover also hit Dawson Palm for a 79-yard touchdown pass.
Hermiston’s Sam Schwirse, stepping in as the Bulldogs’ new QB after Chase Elliott’s season ended last year to injury, was 20-for-27 for 139 yards passing.
He connected with Trevor Wagner on a 7-yard TD pass in the second half.
EASTMONT 50, PASCO 26
Host Eastmont, favored to win the Big Nine Conference title, rolled to a non-league win over Pasco.
The Bulldogs, down 50-12 in the fourth quarter, scored two touchdowns to finish the contest.
MID-COLUMBIA CONFERENCE STANDINGS
Chiawana 2-0 MCC, 2-0 overall
Kamiakin 1-0, 2-0
Pasco 1-0, 1-1
Hanford 1-1, 1-1
Kennewick 1-1, 1-1
Richland 1-1, 1-1
Walla Walla 1-1, 1-1
Hermiston 0-2, 0-2
Southridge 0-2, 0-2
Chiawana 37, Kennewick 0
Eastmont 50, Pasco 26
Hanford 28, Walla Walla 25
Kamiakin 41, Southridge 7
Richland 28, Hermiston 14
Thursday, Sept. 19
Hanford at Kamiakin, Lampson Stadium, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 20
Chiawana at Walla Walla, Borleske Stadium, 7 p.m.
Hermiston at Kennewick, 7 p.m.
Southridge at Pasco, Edgar Brown Stadium, 7 p.m.
Sunnyside at Richland, 7 p.m.