Gators' offense rolls over FW, 45-13


Sports editor

The Decatur Gators got back on track Friday night with a huge 45-13 thrashing of the Federal Way Eagles. The win moved the Gators to 5-2 in the South Puget Sound League South Division and keeps them in the crowded playoff hunt. The loss drops the Eagles to 1-6 in the SPSL South.

The Decatur win also completes a sweep of the Federal Way school district. The Gators downed Jefferson Sept. 26, 33-13.

“It is nice to be the city champs,” said senior lineman Ryan Dowell.

Against Federal Way, Dowell and the rest of the linemen dominated the line of scrimmage after two straight losses to Bethel and Rogers. Decatur racked up 623 yards of total offense and had two running backs go over 100 yards for the game. Senior fullback Kyle Bressler rumbled for 159 yards and four touchdowns and junior tailback Rodney McCurry ran for 120 yards.

The offensive explosion against the Eagles came one week after the Gators were throttled by the No. 2-ranked Bethel Braves, 35-6. During that game, Decatur mustered only two first downs and less than 100 yards of total offense.

“We were having some arguments during the last couple weeks,” said quarterback Darin Harris. “But we got it together tonight and just played.”

The Gators got it going early with a little bit of trickery. On a third-and-12 during Decatur’s first drive, Harris hit senior wide receiver Nick Isaac on a short pass. After catching the pass, Isaac pitched it to McCurry, who ran 72 yards for the touchdown on a truck-and-trailer play.

But the Eagles came right back and returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. Sophomore Chris English bolted up the middle before fumbling at the Decatur 14. Federal Way junior Larell Ezell picked up the loose ball and scored the touchdown.

That was as close as Federal Way would get. Bressler tallied three touchdowns before halftime to give the Gators a 25-7 lead. Bressler, Harris and junior Taylor McCluskey added second-half touchdowns for the Gators. Federal Way’s junior tailback C.J. Green scored on a 74-yard run early in the second half.

“This just proves that hard work pays off,” said Decatur senior lineman Lance Witherspoon. “We just came in with our heads up.”

The Gators host the Auburn Trojans Friday night in their Homecoming game at Federal Way Memorial Stadium in a non-league contest. The Trojans come into the game with a 4-3 record in the SPSL North and are coming off a big win over Tahoma. Auburn is lead by the all-around play of senior K.C. Herren and quarterback Nate Valdez.

Federal Way will travel to Sparks Stadium tomorrow night to battle the No. 9-ranked Puyallup Vikings. Puyallup enters the game with one loss on the season, which came last week against No. 2-ranked Bethel.

Spanaway Lake 31, at Jefferson 29

The Spanaway Lake Sentinels spoiled the Raiders’ Homecoming Saturday afternoon with a 31-29 win at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The loss drops Jefferson to 0-6 overall and keeps Spanaway Lake in the thick of the South Puget Sound League South Division playoff race with a 4-2 record in league play and 4-3 overall.

The 29 points scored by the Raiders was their high this season. Senior quarterback James Partridge continued his impressive play with four touchdown passes against the Sentinels.

The game was back and forth all night following a scoreless first quarter. Spanaway Lake led off with an 11-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. They missed the extra-point to go up 6-0. Partridge then hit senior Ryan Compton on a 12-yard pass. The extra-point gave the Raiders a 7-6 lead, which lasted until halftime.

The two teams then exchanged third quarter touchdowns and Jefferson took a 20-18 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Raiders couldn’t hold it. Spanaway Lake scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 12 minutes, including a 1-yard fumble return for a score by Maurice Jones.

A late 7-yard touchdown catch by Matt Learned, his second of the day, finalized the score for the Raiders.

Jefferson will travel to Emerald Ridge Friday night to take on the Jaguars at Sparks Stadium. The game will be the Raiders final SPSL South contest of the year. Jefferson travels to Auburn Riverside Oct. 31 for their final game of the season.

Emerald Ridge sits one game better than the Raiders at 1-6 in SPSL play. Their lone victory came over the Federal Way Eagles during the second week of the year.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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