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FOOTBALL: Federal Way, May blast Snohomish, 41-14, Eastlake up next: TJ loses playoff opener | Slideshow
The Federal Way Eagles' historical season continued Friday night.
The Eagles moved to a perfect 10-0 by thrashing the Snohomish Panthers, 41-14, in a Class 4A state football preliminary round game at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The Eagles got another huge game from senior running back D.J. May, who finished with 220 yards and four touchdowns for sixth-ranked Federal Way.
The victory sets up a monumental clash in the first round of the Class 4A State Football Tournament. The unbeaten Eagles will host Eastlake at 7 p.m. at Federal Way Memorial Stadium Saturday, Nov. 12. Third-ranked Eastlake, who spent a lot of the season as the top-ranked team in 4A, demolished Jefferson Friday, 48-0.
The Wolves' only loss came in the KingCo title game two weeks ago to Woodinville, 17-14. Eastlake features an explosive offense led by tailback Ryan Lewis. Lewis finished the regular season with 1,299 yards on only 120 carries for an average of nearly 11 yards a touch. The 6-foot, 185-pound Lewis also tallied 20 touchdowns. He added 146 yards and three TDs during the win over TJ before sitting out a bulk of the second half to rest for the Eagles.
Eastlake's senior quarterback Keegan Kemp has thrown for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdown passes this season. But most of Kemp's damage was done on the ground. He finished the season with over 500 yards rushing and 10 touchdown runs.
The Eastlake defense has also been a very good group this season. The Wolves have allowed just 73 points during the first three quarters in their 10 games this year and have been extremely tough against opposing teams' run games. Eastlake is allowing less than 100 yards on the ground, which is the Eagles' bread and butter.
“They are good," said Federal Way head coach John Meagher. "Their tailback is fast and pretty good. They have some good athletes and they are big up front. They try to muscle you around a little bit."
But the Eagles will be playing in front of a raucous crowd at Federal Way Memorial Stadium again. The Eagles earned the home-field advantage throughout the state playoffs by winning the South Puget Sound League South Division.
"I think it’s big to play here again," Meagher said. "We haven’t been behind yet on this field this season. It makes a big difference knowing you have a home game with your home fans and your band and everything. It makes a difference."
Friday night's win over the Panthers (4-6) was the first postseason win by any Federal Way school district football team on the turf at Federal Way Memorial Stadium since 1976, according to Meagher. During that season, Federal Way High School advanced to the state championship game, where they lost to Snohomish.
“I have never played in a playoff game on this field,” May said. “We are just on to the next one and making history."
The Eagles are hoping to make history against Eastlake with their best lineup on the field. Federal Way played against Snohomish without the services of its 6-foot, 310-pound defensive tackle Uso Olive. The Portland State-commit tweaked his knee in practice on Wednesday and was in street clothes Friday night.
Federal Way also lost Washington State-commit Jordan Pulu during the first quarter with a high ankle sprain. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound middle linebacker was the Eagles' leading tackler the last two seasons. Starting lineback/fullback Rod Jones also had to leave the Snohomish game with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.
Meagher hopes to have all three back Saturday night against Eastlake. According to both Olive and Pulu following the Snohomish game, they are both planning on being on the field in the state opener.
“I’ll be back,” Pulu said while walking on crutches. “I will do a lot of rehab.”
“It was definitely a mental hit having those guys hurt, but we had guys step up," said May, who missed two games with a rib injury during the regular season. "We have a lot of depth."
May was pretty much unstoppable against Snohomish Friday night. The four touchdowns give the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder 21 on the season, despite missing the two games. The 220 yards give the speedy May 1,288 yards on just 123 carries.
“Snohomish was definitely coming up and hitting," May said. "But for some reason, I just kept on popping out. There was nothing special to it.”
The game actually looked like it was going to be a grind-it-out type of contest. The first quarter was basically made up of one drive each from each team. Snohomish started the game with a seven-minute drive that finally stalled out at Federal Way's 34 yard line.
After that it was all Federal Way.
The Eagles scored on their first possession when May ran 5 yards up the middle for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead with 32.4 seconds left in the opening quarter. The touchdown came after a 66-yard, 10-play drive.
Federal Way made it 13-0 after recovering a Snohomish fumble on the 25-yard line. On the next play, May rolled around the left side of the Snohomish defense for his second TD of the night.
The Eagles' third touchdown of the first half was set up by an impressive 50-yard punt return from freshman Chico McClatcher. Jones put Federal Way up 20-0 with a 1-yard touchdown plunge with just 1:09 left in the first half.
The third quarter started pretty much the same for the Eagles. Just 36 seconds into the second half, May extended the Federal Way lead to 27-0 on a pair of explosive plays. The senior caught a screen on the first play of the second half and ran 48 yards, and one play later took a handoff 35 yards up the middle for the touchdown.
“We seem to score in bunches,” Meagher said. “We really capitalized on their mistakes despite playing without two Division-I kids (Olive and Pulu)."
Snohomish, which came into the game on four-game winning streak, finally got on the scoreboard when running back Peter St. Marie scored from 2-yards out with 1:07 left in the third quarter, cutting the Federal Way lead to 27-7.
But May answered back with his fourth TD of the night with a 40-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter. St. Marie, who finished with 120 yards on 29 carries, scored again with 5:11 to go to make it 34-14. Federal Way junior quarterback D'Londo Tucker scored on a 23-yard run with 2:35 left to finalize the score at 41-14.
"We practiced the same as we have every week," May said about preparing for the 4-6 Panthers. "We knew it was a big game. When you get to the playoffs, records go out the door. If you win, you keep going and it you lose, you go home. We want to keep on winning."
“We play everybody like they are the best team in the state,” Pulu said.
Sophomore Jay-Tee Tiuli, subbing for Olive, recorded three sacks for Federal Way.
Jefferson loses in first playoff game to Eastlake, 48-0
The Raiders' first-ever appearance in the postseason didn't go as planned Friday night. The third-ranked Eastlake Wolves scored 34 points in the second quarter on their home field on their way to a dominating 48-0 victory over TJ in the state-qualifying round of the 4A playoffs.
The Wolves held a 40-0 lead at the half, led by Ryan Lewis' three touchdown runs of 7, 9 and 28 yards. The senior ended with 146 yards and has a school-record 23 TDs on the season.
Quarterback Keegan Kemp also threw for three touchdown passes, hitting Brian Quick for scores of 6 and 10 yards, and Cameron Nelson for an 11-yard score.
David Hernandez added a 32-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.