Sports

FOOTBALL: Unbeaten Federal Way throttles Auburn, SPSL South title on the line against Curtis

Federal Way junior Keenan Curran runs the ball through the Auburn defense during the Eagles’ 43-0 win over the Trojans last week at Auburn Memorial Stadium. The Eagles will take on Curtis at 7 p.m. in University Place Friday for the SPSL South title. - Rachel Ciampi/For the Mirror
Federal Way junior Keenan Curran runs the ball through the Auburn defense during the Eagles’ 43-0 win over the Trojans last week at Auburn Memorial Stadium. The Eagles will take on Curtis at 7 p.m. in University Place Friday for the SPSL South title.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/For the Mirror

There was an opinion rolling around before Friday night’s game between the second-ranked and unbeaten Federal Way football team and the Auburn Trojans.

An opinion that the Trojans would give the Eagles a tough time. That didn’t materialize on the field at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Federal Way moved to 8-0 with a 43-0 blowout win, which spoiled Auburn’s Homecoming.

Next up for the Eagles is a game in University Place against the Curtis Vikings (7-1). The winner of Friday night’s contest will earn the South Puget Sound League’s top seed into the postseason and the loser will be the second seed. Curtis’ lone loss came to 10th-ranked Graham-Kapowsin in the second week of the season, 28-12.

The postseason kicks off next week with the SPSL South No. 1 seed hosting the fifth seed from the Kingco. The second-seed will host the third-place team from the Greater St. Helen’s League.

The win over Auburn snapped a six-game winning streak by the Trojans, who lost their season-opener to Kentwood. The Eagles got a huge game from senior running back Zeek McNeal.

McNeal ran for a career-high 271 yards on just nine carries, including touchdown runs of 92, 21 and 56 yards. He had 226 yards and all three of his touchdowns came in the first half. McNeal’s huge half helped Federal Way jump out to a commanding 36-0 lead at halftime.

McNeal missed the Eagles’ game last week against Spanaway Lake attending a six-day conference on national security in Washington D.C.

The scoring started Friday night with a safety after a bad snap to the Auburn punter rolled out of the endzone. Sophomore Chico McClatcher added a 44-yard run and senior fullback Rod Jones also had a pair of short touchdown runs, to go along with McNeal’s three scores.

The Eagles finished the game with an eye-popping 404 yards and punted only once during the game. Auburn had just 79 yards of total offense and didn’t complete a pass in 13 attempts. Federal Way also had three interceptions and recovered one fumble.

The game took a somber tone when two of Auburn’s best players were sent to the hospital in the first half. Harold Lee, the Trojans’ leading scorer, was carted off the field with a concussion early in the second quarter when he was hit hard returning a kickoff.

Later in the half, Auburn’s starting quarterback, Brier Atkinson, was hurt after getting blocked to the ground following an interception. Both players are expected back when the Trojans start the postseason next week.

Jefferson— The Raiders grinded out a huge win Oct. 18 over the Kentridge Chargers, 12-6, at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The Raiders’ Young Kim scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run to break a 6-6 tie.

The victory moved the Raiders (3-4 SPSL North, 3-5 overall) into fifth place in the North, smack dab into the postseason mix. The top-five teams from the North Division move on to the playoffs. Jefferson can clinch fourth place in the North with a victory over the Tahoma Bears (4-3) tonight at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The fifth-place team from the North will have to play a pig-tail game with the fifth-place team from the SPSL South. The winner advances to take on the champion of the KingCo League in the play-in round of the state tournament.

Last week, the Raiders fell behind 6-0 after Kentridge running back Travis McGuire scored from 1-yard out early in the second quarter. But Jefferson fought right back to tie the game at 6-6 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Philip Cuadros later in the second quarter. Both teams missed extra-point attempts.

The win over a talented Kentridge team came just a week after a tough loss to Mount Rainier last week. Mount Rainier came into the game winless and had been outscored 306-58 during the first six weeks of the season.

Decatur — The Gators (1-3 SPSL 3A, 2-6 overall) picked up their first SPSL 3A Division win Oct. 18 with a 31-30 win over the Auburn Mountainview Lions at Auburn Memorial Stadium.

The game was back and forth all night. The two teams were tied four different times and it looked like it would be five after the Lions scored on a 23-yard pass late in fourth quarter to make it 31-30 Decatur. But Auburn Mountainview missed the extra-point to give the Gators the one-point win.

The Lions got on the scoreboard first during a crazy opening quarter when Curtis Scott returned a fumble 35 yards for a 7-0 lead. Decatur’s Kevin Young tallied the second defensive touchdown in a row when he picked off a pass and returned it 8 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.

But Decatur’s lead didn’t last too long. Auburn Mountainview’s Kekoa Nahuka returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to put the Lions back up, 14-7.

The first quarter ended with a pair of touchdowns from Decatur. The first came on a 14-yard run by Noel Maafala, followed by Spencer Smith catching a 21-yard pass from sophomore Isaiah Hatch to give the Gators the 21-14 lead.

Mountainview scored the only points of the second quarter to tie the game up at 21-21 heading into halftime.

Maafala opened the second half with his second touchdown run of the night from 12 yards out to give the Gators the lead back, 28-21. The two teams then exchanged field goals, before Auburn Mountainview’s final touchdown and missed extra-point.

The Gators close out their SPSL 3A schedule tonight when they travel to Enumclaw to take on the Hornets.

Beamer — The Titans fell to 1-7 with a 42-7 loss to Graham-Kapowsin Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. No other details were reported.

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