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Rogers pounds Gators, 42-14
By CASEY OLSON
The Decatur Gators run to their first postseason appearance hit a big bump in the road Friday night. The Rogers Rams dominated the previously unbeaten Gators at Sparks Stadium and ran away with a 42-14 win.
The Rogers win improved the Rams to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the South Puget Sound League South Division. The Gators fall to 4-1 overall and 4-1 in SPSL South action. Puyallup and Bethel sit atop the division with flawless 5-0 records. Three teams from the South advance to the postseason.
The Gators have another stiff test Thursday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. Decatur will take on the second-ranked Bethel Braves in a pivotal contest. The Braves are coming off a 41-0 thrashing of the Federal Way Eagles Friday night and also have a victory in hand over Rogers.
The Gators will have to shore up their defense to compete with the Braves. Decatur allowed Rogers 431 yards of total offense Friday and Bethel has similar, if not better, weapons than the Rams.
Bethel sports the leading rusher in the SPSL South in Zack Fletcher. Fletcher torched the Federal Way rush defense, which is one of the better units in the league, for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Fletcher has been over 100 yards in all five of the Braves games this year. Bethel quarterback James Wright is solid running the Braves offense and doesnt take too many chances. Against Federal Way, he threw three touchdown passes.
Decaturs offense will also have to turn it around. Against Rogers, the Gators amassed only 42 yards in the first half and 140 yards total.
All-everything quarterback Darin Harris returned against the Rams after sitting out last weeks game with a strained Achilles tendon. Harris was a little rusty. The senior completed only one pass on seven attempts for 33 yards and threw one interception.
Harris ineffectiveness allowed the Rams to focus on stopping fullback Kyle Bressler, who came into the game as the second-leading rusher in the SPSL South with 609 yards. Rogers limited the 190-pounder to just 64 yards, but Bressler did score both of the Gators touchdowns. Bressler also lost two fumbles in the first half which led to a pair of Rogers touchdowns and a 26-0 halftime lead.
Rams running back Tyler Pugh had 130 yards and two touchdowns and senior quarterback Kyle Raden was 11-for-17 for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
at Bethel 41, Federal Way 0
The undefeated and second-ranked Bethel Braves made quick work of the Federal Way Eagles (1-4) Friday night at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.
Just a week after putting up over 500 yards of offense and 62 points on the scoreboard, the Federal Way offense couldnt do anything against the three-time defending South Puget Sound League South Division champs. The Eagles amassed only 83 yards of total offense Friday night.
The Braves led only 6-0 after the first quarter, but extended that to 21-0 at the half. Bethel quarterback threw three touchdown passes and running back Zack Fletcher, the leading rusher in the SPSL, ran for 138 yards and two scores.
Federal Way will travel to Maple Valley Friday night to take on the Tahoma Bears in a non-league game.
Puyallup 60, at Jefferson 7
The Raiders (0-5) were drilled Friday night by the undefeated Puyallup Vikings at Federal Way Memorial Stadium, 60-7.
Puyallup led 21-0 after the first quarter, 44-0 at the half and 54-0 at the end of the third quarter. The Raiders only touchdown came in the fourth quarter when Jefferson quarterback James Partridge connected on a 27-yard pass to sophomore Ron Tomyn.
Puyallup quarterback Johnny Spevak threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns and ran for three more scores. Running back Makai Borden rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries. The Vikings had 502 yards of offense.
The Raiders travel to Curtis Thursday night to take on the 2-3 Vikings.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com