Football wrap: Federal Way outlasts Beamer despite 377 yards rushing from Esekielu; TJ, Decatur lose

Federal Way sophomore wide receiver Mike Tate runs through a Beamer tackle during the Eagles
Federal Way sophomore wide receiver Mike Tate runs through a Beamer tackle during the Eagles' 40-35 win Friday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. Tate caught two touchdown passes from Nick Tanielu during the win.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

In a football game marred by plenty of turnovers and penalties, as well as a record-setting performance by senior T.J. Esekielu, the Federal Way Eagles outlasted the Todd Beamer Titans Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium, 40-35.

The Eagles (2-4) tallied the last 14 points of the game to overcome a 35-26 Beamer lead early in the third quarter, including the game-winning 28-yard touchdown run from D.J. May late in the third quarter. Federal Way's senior quarterback, Nick Tanielu, finished with four touchdown passes. The loss dropped Beamer to 2-3 in the South Puget Sound League South Division and 2-4 overall.

But the big story was the running of Beamer senior quarterback T.J. Esekielu. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder ran for a school-record 377 yards on 29 carries against the Eagles.

Esekielu averaged 13 yards a carry and had touchdown runs of 18 and 62 yards during the loss. He also had a pair of touchdown passes, including a 38-yarder to Willie Roach.

Federal Way's Mike Tate finished with two touchdown catches of 65 and 53 yards from Tanielu. It was Tate's 65-yarder that kicked off the night's scoring barrage.

Esekielu followed with his 62-yard TD run to tie the game at 7-7 before Federal Way got a pair of field goals from Koby Craig to take a 13-7 lead.

But Beamer battled back with 15 points during the second quarter. Nicky Fuallaau caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Esekielu and Marly Liulama followed with a safety and then a 1-yard touchdown run.

Federal Way's Stanley Matau added a 4-yard touchdown catch late in the second quarter to cut the Beamer lead to just three, 22-19.

Following Beamer's halftime Homecoming celebration, the third quarter proved to be a back-and-forth battle with the Eagles outscoring the Titans, 21-13 for the win. Both teams were held scoreless during the fourth period.

Federal Way hosts Rogers (5-1) Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium and Beamer travels to Graham-Kapowsin (3-2) Friday.

Auburn Riverside 30, Jefferson 22 (Friday)

The Raiders (1-5) dropped their fifth game in a row Friday night to the Auburn Riverside Ravens at Auburn Memorial Stadium. The win moved Auburn Riverside to 4-2 on the season and 3-2 in the SPSL North.

The Jefferson defense had a tough time stopping the Ravens' offense. Auburn Riverside racked up 396 yards of total offense in the contest, including 21 first downs on their way to victory. Connor Bjornstad led the Ravens with 135 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.

Quarterback Josh Latta, filling in for John Hakala, had 24 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

Jefferson, on the other hand, had a tougher time against the Raven defense. The Raiders finished with 234 yards of total offense and only nine first downs. Jefferson's biggest play of the night came on a 63-yard first-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Gunner Sonnenfeld from junior quarterback K.W. Williams.

Williams had the Raiders' other two touchdowns against Auburn Riverside. He had a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and added a 19-yard run in the fourth to finalize the score.

The Raiders host Kentridge (3-3) Thursday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Lakes 49, Decatur 0 (Thursday)

The Gators (1-5) were shut out for the second time this season and fell to 0-2 in the SPSL 3A division thanks to the Lakes Lancers Thursday night at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

The Lancers jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and had five touchdowns of 20 yards or more during the game.

Decatur's offense tallied just 138 total yards during the contest and 127 of those came from running back Javon Washington. The junior finished wqith 29 carries with a long run of 20 yards against Lakes. Curtis Havili finished with 35 yards on seven carries. Defensively, the Gators were led by the 10 tackles of Connor Schilling.

Decatur will host Bonney Lake (5-1) Thursday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

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