Decatur takes another step toward playoffs


Sports editor

The Decatur Gators continued their push toward the school’s first-ever playoff appearance. The Gators put together a workmanlike 33-13 victory over Jefferson Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The win over the Raiders improves the Gators to 4-0 on the season and puts them in a three-way tie atop the South Puget Sound League South Division. Puyallup and Bethel are also 4-0 this year.

The Gators could take a huge step in securing one of the SPSL South’s three postseason berths with a victory over the Rogers Rams Friday night at Sparks Stadium. Rogers sits at 2-1 in SPSL South action and would pull into a tie with Decatur with a victory. The game is actually the last time Decatur will play away from Federal Way Memorial Stadium until the playoffs. The Gators final four games against Bethel, Federal Way, Auburn and Puyallup are at home.

Friday night the Gators jumped out to a quick 19-0 lead on the Raiders (0-4) in the first quarter and cruised to the victory without the services of all-everything quarterback/safety Darin Harris. The SPSL South offensive player of the year was held out of the game after twisting his ankle last week during a win over Emerald Ridge.

The Gators got a pair of touchdown runs from tailback Rodney McCurry and Kyle Bressler during the win. McCurry, who was forced to leave the game in the second quarter with a hamstring problem, scored on runs of 40 and 25 yards and Bressler’s touchdowns came from 48 and 37. Senior Nick Isaac, filling in for Harris at quarterback, threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to tight end Warren Faber and also intercepted two Jefferson passes. Bressler finished the game with 117 yards on just 14 carries.

Jefferson’s two touchdowns came on a 21-yard fumble return and an 80-yard pass from senior quarterback James Partridge to senior Coury McGinnis in the fourth quarter. Partridge finished with 156 yards passing and McGinnis caught four balls for 103 yards.

Harris, one of the most heavily recruited football players in Washington, might be ready for Friday’s big game with Rogers.

To say the Rams are coming off an impressive offensive display would be an understatement. Rogers put up 66 points on the Federal Way Eagles Thursday night — basically scoring at will.

Senior running back Tyler Pugh torched the Eagle rush defense for 296 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries, including runs of 69 and 57 yards. The Rams also have a pair of big-play wide receivers in junior Brandon Gibson and senior Jeff Schwab. Both are over 6-feet and broke several Eagle arm tackles. Gibson ran back a kickoff for a touchdown, caught a 6-yard pass for a touchdown and took an end around 34 yards for another touchdown. Schwab caught touchdown passes of 60 and 54 yards and ran back a punt 77 yards for his third score. The Rams offense is led by quarterback Neil Spencer. Against Federal Way, Spencer finished 11-for-23 for 145 yards and three touchdowns.

But, the good news for Decatur is opposing teams haven’t had trouble scoring big points against the Rogers defense. Federal Way tallied 62 and had two running backs go for over 190 yards in junior C.J. Green (203, five touchdowns) and sophomore Chris English (193 yards on five carries). Kentwood and Bethel scored 35 points each in victories over the Rams.

Jefferson has another tough game Friday night. The winless Raiders will host undefeated Puyallup, ending a five-week stretch that also included games against the Rogers, Bethel, Federal Way and Decatur.

Puyallup beat up Emerald Ridge Friday night 34-10, thanks to a solid game from quarterback Johnny Spevak. The senior was more than efficient against Emerald Ridge. He completed 9-of-10 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns.

Despite the final score, Emerald Ridge was able to move the ball through the air against the Vikings. Jaguars quarterback Steve Holland threw for 151 yards and receiver Brynsen Brown caught 10 passes for 154 yards.

The passing game has been the only way the Raiders have been able to accumulate any type of yardage this year, thanks to senior quarterback James Partridge and receivers Kyle Jenkins and Coury McGinnis. Both Jenkins and McGinnis have had over 100 yards receiving in games this year and McGinnis (6 foot, 6 inches tall) is emerging as a bona fide big-play receiver — catching touchdown passes in back-to-back games. Jefferson has yet to score a rushing touchdown this season.

Toppenish 27, at Beamer 13

The Todd Beamer Titans came close to winning their first football game in the school’s history Saturday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. But, in the end, Toppenish tallied two touchdowns to break a 13-13 tie.

Beamer’s Dominique Small scored the Titan’s first offensive touchdown in the third quarter on a 45-yard run to cut into a 13-0 Toppenish lead. Small scored later from 8 yards out to tie the game at 13 in the third quarter. But touchdown runs by Manuel Jimenez and Ramon Garza ended the Titans’ hopes.

Beamer will play at Liberty High School in Oregon on Oct. 10 after a bye this week.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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