KENNEWICK -- Score another one for the Red Brick Wall.
Kamiakin's defense was at its leveling best Friday night, putting the wraps on Hanford's offense, forcing three turnovers and setting up the offense on a short field as the Braves downed the Falcons 28-0 in a 3A regional playoff game at Lampson Stadium.
Zach Umemoto ran for 77 yards and a score for Kamiakin (10-0), and quarterback Jason Hutchison threw for 164 yards and two TDs before leaving with an injured finger in the third quarter. His status for next week is unknown.
The No. 4 Braves advance to the first round of state playoffs and, thanks to Southridge's 31-27 upset of Greater Spokane League No. 1 University, will host Seattle Prep at the Lamp.
Details are to be determined, though the game likely will be played Saturday.
Friday's game had a far different feel than Kamiakin's 28-14 win over Hanford two weeks ago. That game was tied in the second half.
"We know if you get in a (close) game with them, there's always a chance something can happen and your season's over," said cornerback Corey McLean, who had an interception, recovered a fumble, blocked a punt and pretty much made plays all over the field. "But our coaches studied up the film, and we executed."
The Braves also took advantage of a couple early miscues by Hanford (3-7) to get out to a quick 14-0 lead.
Kamiakin marched right down the field after the opening kickoff, with Drew Oord catching a 4-yard scoring pass out of the backfield.
Hanford took over and got a first down before fumbling away a third-and-long pass that would have gotten the Falcons near the sticks. McLean, who broke up a pass on the previous down, was there for the recovery at midfield.
That's when receiver Brandon Larson came alive, catching a pair of first downs -- one on fourth down -- before scoring on a 14-yard toss from Hutchison.
Kamiakin missed on a field goal on its next possession, but the defense forced a three-and-out. The offense started at midfield, and after Jesse Houser turned a simple out route into a 19-yard gain on fourth down, Umemoto charged through a big hole on the left side cleaned out by Luke Bare and T.J. Tolliver to get down to the one. He walked in from there.
Hanford coach Rob Oram could see it was headed toward a long night as Kamiakin kept starting its offense on a "shockingly short field.
"They're well coached, and they have talented athletes, and when you make a mistake, they punish you."
Not that Kamiakin came away without a scratch. Hutchison's finger was injured on an option play in the third quarter. Sophomore Kylle Robertson came in and immediately completed a 19-yard toss to Larson, and on the next series capped another short drive -- set up by McLean's pick -- with an 8-yard flip to Houser.
"He's pretty solid," Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin said of Robertson, who completed 3 of 8 passes for 29 yards in emergency duty.
The Falcons found a moment of pride in the fourth quarter. After McLean blocked a punt that started out as a fake, Kamiakin had the ball at the Hanford 3. But the Falcons kept the Braves out of the end zone.
A meaningless series of downs in a game long since decided? Not to Oram.
"That goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, that meant a lot," he said. "It showed the kids were going to compete and fight and play as hard as they could no matter the circumstances. We're down 28-0, have that crazy blocked punt, and what do we do? Get a four-and-out. That ain't bad."
* Kevin Anthony: 509-582-1403; email@example.com
Kamiakin 28, Hanford 0
Hanford 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Kamiakin 14 7 7 0 -- 28
K--Drew Oord 4 pass from Jason Hutchison (Blake Wagar kick)
K--Brandon Larson 14 pass from Hutchison (Wagar kick)
K--Zach Umemoto 1 run (Wagar kick)
K--Jesse Houser 8 pass from Kylle Robertson (Wagar kick)
RUSHING--H, Jalen DeVine 17-42, Will Bishop 10-35, Brennan Rains 3-16, Tyler Sanchez 1-3, Garrett Stoker 1-3. K, Umemoto 21-77, Larson 3-11, Hutchison 3-5, Liam Ollila 3-8, Robertson 1-5.
PASSING--H, Rains 3-11-2--23. K, Hutchison 10-16-0--145, Robertson 3-8-1--29.
RECEIVING--H, Sanchez 1-10, Tyler Steckler 1-8, Josh Tayamen 1-5. K, Larson 6-81, Houser 3-50, Andrew Castillo 2-37, Oord 2-6.
FIRST DOWNS--H 5, K 13. FUMBLES-LOST--H 1-1, K 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDS--H 9-64, K 7-90.