Deja Vu: Bethel hands Decatur another SPSL South loss, 27-12


The Mirror

It finally felt like football season Friday night.

An early fall downpour fell at Federal Way Memorial Stadium and the Bethel Braves rolled over the Decatur Gators for the 18th straight year in another South Puget Sound League South Division game.

This time it was a 27-12 yawner for the Braves that was a lot worse than the final score. The loss dropped the Gators to 2-1 and gave Bethel the inside track to their sixth-straight SPSL South title.

“We were pretty badly outmatched,” said Decatur coach Bill Heglar. “But I think our young kids really grew up a lot. So it was good in that way.”

Bethel thoroughly dominated the game. The Braves rolled to 217 yards on the ground and 525 yards in total offense while holding Decatur to 79 yards and six first downs. Braves senior tailback Jake Smith tallied 155 yards on 25 carries.

But it was through the air that Bethel did most of its damage. Senior quarterback Chuck Hogue threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns on 13 of 25 passing. Colt Fairly caught two of the touchdown passes on throws of 48 and 50 yards to help the Braves to their 31st consecutive regular-season game.

Decatur scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter on an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by junior Terrance McLaurin and a 95-yard fumble recovery for a score by senior Rodney McCurry.

But those two couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of the ball. McLaurin and McCurry, the two Gator running backs, combined for just 72 yards on the ground on 25 carries. This came just a week after the pair torched the Curtis defense for 287 yards during a 40-14 win. McCurry came into the Bethel game as the leading rusher in the SPSL with over 400 yards.

“They are just real experienced up front and they are real strong,” Heglar said. “We couldn’t sustain anything.”

The Gators will take on the Spanaway Lake Sentinels Saturday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium in a big game in the SPSL South standings. Both teams sit at 2-1 in league play and the winner will have the inside track at snagging one of the three SPSL South playoff berths. Spanaway Lake’s two wins have come against winless Federal Way and Jefferson. They were blown out in week one, 49-6, by unbeaten Puyallup.

“They are going to try and run the ball,” Heglar said. “We have to be ready for that. But we get an extra day to get ready.”

at Emerald Ridge 22, Federal Way 7

The Eagles couldn’t get into the win column Friday night in a mistake-filled game against Emerald Ridge at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Of the four total touchdowns in the game, three came on fumble returns. Emerald Ridge (1-2, 1-2) broke the game open with a pair of fumble recoveries for scores in the fourth quarter. Aaron Brown brought one back from 47 yards out early in the quarter to give the Jaguars a 15-7 lead and Brynsen Brown put the game away with a 42-yard return for a touchdown.

Federal Way’s lone score came when senior defensive back Rodell Razor returned a fumble 61 yards in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead, which they held until the second half. It was one of four fumbles Federal Way took away from Emerald Ridge during the game.

The Federal Way defense was solid again against Emerald Ridge. The Eagles held the Jaguars to just 175 total yards and allowed only a 36-yard touchdown run by Neko Doy and a 34-yard field goal by Kellan Holdener in the third quarter.

But the Eagle offense couldn’t get anything going — a problem that has plagued Federal Way all season. The Emerald Ridge defense held Federal Way to only 76 yards. In their three losses, the Eagles have a total of 446 yards of total offense (148 yards a game).

Federal Way will get a chance to get into the win column Friday night when they will take on cross-district rival Thomas Jefferson at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The Raiders are also winless after a 40-7 loss to Spanaway Lake Friday.

Last year, Federal Way finished the season with a 1-9 record and the only win came over Jefferson. The Eagles will try to get their offense going against the Raiders, especially on the ground. The Raiders allowed 300 yards rushing to Spanaway Lake Friday, which should be good news for Federal Way tailback C.J. Green. The senior, who ran for over 1,200 yards last year, hasn’t been able to get loose during the Eagles’ first three games.

But Federal Way will need another strong defensive performance against TJ. The Raiders have a solid passing game led by Erik Fitzgerald.

at Spanaway Lake 40, Jefferson 7

The Spanaway Lake Sentinels ran over the Thomas Jefferson Raiders Friday night at Art Crate Stadium. The Sentinels (1-1, 1-1) kept the Raiders (0-3, 0-3) winless by rushing for 300 yards and ran out to a 40-0 lead.

The Sentinels’ Willie Davis rushed for 83 yards on just four carries, including a 48-yard touchdown. Donovan Esser also scored two touchdowns for Spanaway Lake.

The Raiders got on the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Erik Fitzgerald threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Tim Satterwhite. Fitzgerald finished 9-for-29 for 144 yards and the touchdown.

Puyallup 41, at Beamer 7

Puyallup’s Makai Borden rushed for 174 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries as the third-ranked Vikings rolled over the Titans Thursday at Federal Way Stadium.

The loss drops Beamer to 0-3 in their first season in the SPSL. It also ends a rugged three-game start to their year. The Titans first three games have been against Curtis, Bethel and Puyallup. Beamer travels to Sparks Stadium Friday to take on the 1-2 Emerald Ridge Jaguars. Emerald Ridge’s only win came over Federal Way Friday night.

Things started out solid for the Titans against Puyallup. The Beamer defense stopped the Vikings on their first two drives. But the Vikings (3-0) scored on six of their next seven possessions. Borden scored the Vikings’ first three touchdowns on runs of 18, 23, and 5 yards. Nick Shadle then scored from 9 yards for a 28-0 Puyallup lead at halftime.

Borden scored on an 18-yard run on Puyallup’s first play of the second half, and the Vikings began to clear the bench. Puyallup finished with 363 rushing yards.

Beamer’s only touchdown came from senior running back Dominique Small in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run. The Titans finished with 113 rushing yards and 67 passing.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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