KENNEWICK — Camas fell behind in the opening minutes and could never get control, falling 35-14 to the Kamiakin Braves in a 4A state quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at Lampson Stadium.
The fourth-seeded Braves (11-0) advance to play top-seeded Graham-Kapowsin, which beat Bothell 41-25 in its quarterfinal game Friday night. Camas finishes the season with a 7-4 record.
“That’s a good football team and we made some mistakes,” Camas coach Jack Hathaway said. “I’m proud of our guys. We just didn’t play our best game.”
Kamiakin raced out to a 7-0 lead, scoring on its first drive of the game after an opening kickoff return by Payton Graham to the Papermakers 16-yard line. The Braves needed just four plays to take a quick lead. The lead grew to 14-0 later in the quarter before Camas started to settle in on offense.
Taylor Ioane connected with Connor Murphy on a 26-yard touchdown play with 10:08 remaining in the first half to cut the lead to 14-7. Camas tied the game two possessions later when Jon Schultz burst through the middle on a 32-yard run.
“It’s really hard to faze these guys,” Hathaway said. “We are a heavy run team and think we can run on any one and we did that in the second quarter.”
Schultz had 11 carries for 66 yards in the first half.
But after the Papermakers second touchdown, Camas did not find the endzone again. Kamiakin bottled up the run and reeled off the final 21 points of the game.
Camas did not threaten to score against the Braves staunch defense in the second half. The Papermakers were continually bottling up and found themselves in third-and-long situations.
“We didn’t take care of the football and it was hard to overcome that,” Hathaway said.
Kamiakin, who won the Mid-Columbia Conference, took the lead for good on a 4-yard touchdown run by Kamiakin quarterback Henry Mercado with 1:20 left in the second quarter. After a scoreless third quarter, the Braves extended the lead to 28-14 early in the fourth on a 2-yard run by Graham off a direct snap.
“We all knew this was our last home game of the year and we had to make it count,” said Mercado, who passed for one touchdown and ran for another.
Graham did a little bit of everything for the Braves: a big opening kickoff return, two rushing touchdowns, a receiving touchdown. The senior even completed a 32-yard pass to Gabe Tahir on the Braves final touchdown drive of the game. Oh, and he kicked five extra points.
“I am so proud of our guys,” said Braves coach Scott Biglin. “We didn’t let one play affect us. We dug-in for 48 minutes and they battled.”