FOOTBALL: Federal Way finishes regular season unbeaten, SPSL South champs, Issaquah up next

Federal Way High School
Federal Way High School's Zeek McNeal applies a stiff-arm against a Curtis defender at Friday's game.
— image credit: Todd Dearinger, For The Mirror

For the second year in a row, the Federal Way Eagles cruised through the South Puget Sound League South Division regular season unblemished.

The second-ranked Eagles moved to 9-0 on the year with a workmanlike 35-6 win over the Curtis Vikings Friday night in University Place. Curtis came into the game with only one loss in the SPSL South and could have won the division title with a 14-plus point win over Federal Way.

Next up for the Eagles is a home matchup against the fifth-place team from the KingCo League,Issaquah, in the opening round of the state playoffs. The Federal Way-Issaquah game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Federal Way Memorial Stadium Friday night in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest.

The winner of Friday's game will earn the second-seed from District 3 into the first round of the 16-team Class 4A State Football Playoffs and will host the winner of a game between Monroe and Rogers.

But Friday night it was all Federal Way in University Place, just like it has been all season in the SPSL South. During the regular season, the Eagles outscored their league opponents by an eye-popping total of 426-118.

The Eagles got four touchdown passes from Evan Elliott, including two to senior Marcel Morris to dominate the Vikings. The combination connected on a 10-yard pass early in the first quarter to put Federal Way up 7-0. Junior Keenan Curran added a 10-yard run later in the first to put the Eagles up 14-0.

Curtis tallied their only points of the game in the second quarter on a 29-yard pass from Scott Wismer to EJ Deveaux to cut the lead to 14-6 at halftime.

But the third and fourth quarters were all Federal Way and Elliott. Senior Zeek McNeal caught a 10-yard touchdown pass, Morris hauled in a 67-yarder and senior Mike Tate caught a 32-yard pass to finalize the score.

(Pictured: Federal Way's Marcel Morris prepares to make a catch against Curtis on Friday.)

Tahoma 36, Jefferson 14 (Friday)

It was right in front of Jefferson. With a win Friday night over the Tahoma Bears, the Raiders would have clinched their second-straight postseason berth with a fourth-place finish in the SPSL North.

But it wasn’t meant to be. The Bears, instead, will advance into the playoffs as the SPSL North’s fourth seed, while Jefferson will be left out of the postseason with a sixth-place finish. Tahoma downed the Raiders at Federal Way Memorial Stadium Friday, The top-five teams from the North advance into the postseason.

Jefferson finished 3-6 overall and 3-5 in the North Division. The Bears  jumped out to a 26-0 lead in the first half on three touchcown runs from Seonte Kong and a 14-yard pass from Shane Nelson to Joey Lutton.

Jefferson tallied its first score of the night on a 73-yard pass from Niko DelaCruz to Kyle Dougherty late in the second half to cut the Bear lead to 26-7.

But Tahoma added a field goal and a Nelson touchdown run later in the second half to put the game away. Dougherty caught his second touchdown pass of the night in the fourth quarter on a pass from Jacob Avionitis to finalize the score.

Enumclaw 22, Decatur 20 (Friday)

The Gators dropped their final SPSL 3A game of the season to the Enumclaw Hornets Friday night at Pete’s Pool. The loss moved the Gators to 2-7 on the season and out of the playoff hunt in the SPSL 3A Division.

The difference in the game was Enumclaw converting a two-point conversion on their final touchdown in the third quarter and the Gators missing an extra-point on a third-quarter TD.

Enumclaw jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a first-quarter score by Bryson Grant. But Decatur fought back to tie the game later in the first on a 2-yard run by Noel Maafala. Enumclaw took the lead back 14-7 on an 8-yard run by Maricio Portillo, which lasted until halftime.

But on the opening kickoff of the second half, Decatur’s Kevin Young returned the kick 98 yards for a touchdown before missing the extra-point. Later in the third quarter Enumclaw’s Cameron Stecker scored what proved to the game-winner on an 8-yard run to put the Hornets up 22-13. Maafala added a 51-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter to end the scoring.

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