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Gators keep running through SPSL South
By CASEY OLSON
The Decatur Gators just keep rolling. The Gators ran all over another South Puget Sound League South Division foe to move to 3-0 overall.
This time the Emerald Ridge Jaguars got a big dose of Decaturs running game during a 33-10 blowout Friday night at Sparks Stadium.
The win ties the Gators atop the SPSL South with the No. 2-ranked Bethel Braves at 3-0. Puyallup sits at 2-0 in the South and 3-0 overall and the rest of the league is 1-2 with Jefferson the only exception (0-3). The top-three teams from the league move into the state playoffs.
The Gators seem to have the easiest road to earning their first-ever postseason berth and winning the SPSL South regular season championship. Five of Decaturs final six games will be played at Federal Way Memorial Stadium, including an Oct. 9 matchup against Bethel and the regular season finale on Halloween night against Puyallup. The Gators lone road game comes Oct. 3 against the 1-2 Rogers Rams at Sparks Stadium.
Decatur hosts the winless Thomas Jefferson Raiders on Friday. The Raiders have been outscored 110-25 during their first three games and rely heavily on the athletic ability of senior wide receiver/defensive back Kyle Jenkins. Against Federal Way Friday night, Jenkins had 10 catches for 126 yards. He also punts and kicks off for the Raiders.
The Gators didnt complete a pass for the second week in a row in their 23-point victory over Emerald Ridge Friday night. Quarterback Darin Harris sprained an ankle in the opening minutes of the game and Decaturs running game was going so well, the senior didnt need to throw the ball.
The Gators racked up 378 yards on the ground, led again by senior fullback Kyle Bressler. Bressler carried the ball 19 times for 143 yards against the Jaguars defense and for the second week in a row the 190-pounder tallied three touchdowns. Bressler is second in the South in rushing with 453 yards and seven touchdowns. Bethels Zack Fletcher leads the league with 527 yards and eight touchdowns in three games.
Bresslers touchdown runs Friday came from 30, 3 and 1 yard out. Junior tailback Rodney McCurry had his second big game in a row against Emerald Ridge. McCurry had 134 yards and scored on an 11-yard run. Russell Ricketts tallied the Gators other touchdown with a 70-yard fourth-quarter run.
The Gators defense was also impressive against Emerald Ridge. Decatur recorded five sacks, forced two turnovers and held the Jaguars to 93 yards rushing.
Emerald Ridge senior quarterback Steve Holland was 12-for-23 for 116 yards despite constant pressure. Emerald Ridges lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run.
The Titans host Toppenish High School at 3 p.m. Saturday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. Beamers game Friday night with Class A Morton High School was canceled because of a scheduling conflict.
That was too bad for the kids, said athletic director Jerry Peterson. They just need to get out and play some games. Thats the hard thing about playing these smaller schools.
Toppenish is a Class 2A school in Eastern Washington and is coming off a 38-20 loss to Zillah High School. Beamer is 0-2 with losses to Chief Sealth and R.A. Long.