Sports

FOOTBALL: It's official, Jefferson headed to playoffs for first time and Eagles win SPSL South

Thomas Jefferson senior running back Ian Tougher runs the ball during the Raiders
Thomas Jefferson senior running back Ian Tougher runs the ball during the Raiders' 47-6 win over Mount Rainier Friday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The win clinched the Raiders their first-ever postseason appearance.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

It's been a long time coming for the Thomas Jefferson football program.

For the first time since the school opened its doors back in 1968, the Raider football team will be playing in the postseason. Jefferson guaranteed itself the berth Friday night in front of a large Homecoming crowd at Federal Way Memorial Stadium with a blowout win over Mount Rainier, 47-6.

"It was, to say the least, a very joyous locker room," said TJ head coach Dean Peck.

The victory moved the Raiders to 5-3 in the South Puget Sound League North Division and assured them one of the league's five postseason berths. Jefferson finishes its regular season Friday night with a non-league contest against the unbeaten and eighth-ranked Federal Way Eagles.

The top-four finishers from each SPSL division advance to the playoffs and the fifth-place teams from the North and South meet in a tiebreaker for the league's ninth and final berth.

Currently, Jefferson sits in fourth place behind Kentlake (7-0), Kentwood (5-2) and Tahoma (5-2). Kentridge sits in fifth place at 4-3. All four teams play one more SPSL North league game this weekend.

Friday night went pretty much the same as all of TJ's games this season. The Raiders were led again by senior quarterback K.W. Williams, who ran for five touchdowns and 201 yards on just 15 carries against the Mount Rainier defense.

Things didn't start out too well for the Raiders. Mount Rainier junior quarterback Logan Wagner hit Tavess Vontress for a 65-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter to put the Rams up 6-0.

But Williams and TJ took over after that, scoring the next 47 points. Williams had touchdown runs of 6, 80, 17 and a pair of 1-yarders. Jefferson also got a pair of TD runs from sophomore Niko DelaCruz.

The Raiders will be going for their second-straight win over Federal Way. Jefferson stunned the Eagles last season, 31-28, after getting four touchdowns from Williams, including the game-winner late in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run. Federal Way's D.J. May also had a big game last year. The senior ran for 266 yards and two touchdowns during the loss.

Despite being a rivalry game, Friday night's game will really on be about bragging rights in Federal Way. Like the Raiders, Federal Way (8-0) has already clinched a playoff berth after winning the SPSL South title with a 49-0 win over Spanaway Lake Saturday. It's probable both coaches will rest key starters in preparation for the playoffs.

"The complete game plan is not yet ready, in regards to Federal Way on Friday," Peck said. "We of course are going to play to win. The starters will play but there may be some adjustments as to their roles and the amount of their role on Friday."

at Federal Way 49, Spanaway Lake 0 — It was pretty much a given, but the unbeaten Eagles made it official Saturday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Federal Way (8-0) secured the SPSL South championship with the shutout of Spanaway Lake. The win also gives the Eagles home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Federal Way will open the 4A postseason Nov. 4 against the fifth-place team from the Wesco Conference at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Saturday's win over Spanaway Lake (0-8) was Federal Way's second shutout in their last three games. The Eagles beat Beamer on Oct. 7, 45-0. The Federal Way defense allowed only 102 yards of offense to Spanaway Lake.

Federal Way did have the services of senior running back D.J. May again Friday. The Eagles' leading rusher sat out the last two games with a leg injury.

But May didn't miss a beat against the Sentinels. The senior finished with 137 yards on just six carries and a pair of touchdowns, including runs of 46 and 79.

Federal Way also got a pair of touchdowns from junior Rod Jones. The Eagles also got scoring runs from freshman Chico McClatcher, Zeek McNeal and Eric Ah Fua. McNeal's touchdown was an 83-yard kickoff return.

at Puyallup 64, Beamer 28 — The Titans couldn't stop the powerful Viking offense Friday night at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. The Vikings (5-3) scored the first 28 points of the game and led 57-14 in the third quarter.

The Titans (1-7) got a pair of touchdowns from Shawn Priggett, including a 93-yard kickoff return and a 43-yard run.

Beamer's other two scores came from quarterback Arjun Weherwatthage on a 2-yard run and Brody Martinez with a 10-yard run.

The Titans will take on Curtis Thursday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

at Peninsula 48, Decatur 3 — The seventh-ranked Seahawks (7-1) rolled over the Gators Friday night in Gig Harbor. Peninsula got six total touchdowns from Danny Welstad, including five on the ground and one receiving. Welstad finished with 285 yards on the ground and caught five passes for 50 yards.

Peninsula racked up 560 yards of total offense and limited the Gators (4-4) to 178 total yards. It was Decatur's third loss in a row.

 

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