Sports

Federal Way, Green run by Raiders---again

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

It’s been a long time coming for the Federal Way football team.

The Eagles won their first game in a year Friday night over the Thomas Jefferson Raiders at Federal Way Memorial Stadium, 33-14. Federal Way improved to 1-3 on the season and the Raiders dropped to 0-4. The Eagles’ last win came last season over the Raiders and Federal Way hasn’t lost to TJ since 1997.

“We got going a little bit,” said Federal Way coach John Meagher. “Especially the offense.”

The Eagles racked up a season-best 296 yards of total offense against the Raiders, including 117 yards from senior tailback C.J. Green on 31 carries. Green also scored four touchdowns on the night — his first of the season — after running for over 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.

Meagher gives a bulk of the credit to his offensive line.

“The O-line blocked a lot better,” he said. “TJ’s got a good defense. They are solid up front. I’m happy with the way our kids responded. We challenged the kids a little bit during the week.”

Jefferson actually took the lead early in the first quarter when a botched snap by the Eagles led to a safety. But Federal Way took a 23-8 lead before halftime on three Green touchdowns and a safety.

Jefferson’s lone score in the first half came on a 36-yard interception return by Tanuj Soni when he stepped in front of a slant from Federal Way sophomore quarterback Donny McConnaughey.

“We still made one of those crucial errors,” Meagher said about the interception. “But we fought through it and got the win.”

Green added a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and Eagle kicker Robby Borden hit a 24-yard field goal. Jefferson’s lone offensive score of the game came on a 62-yard pass from Cory Haywood to Tim Satterwhite.

Jefferson will try to get on the winning track Friday when they travel to undefeated Bethel Friday night. Federal Way will host No. 2-ranked and undefeated Puyallup Saturday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Beamer 28, at Emerald Ridge 14

The Todd Beamer Titans (1-3) proved they belong Friday night. The Titans picked up their first-ever SPSL South victory and their first in-state win in the school’s two-year history Friday night. Beamer downed Emerald Ridge (1-3) at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, 28-14.

The biggest play of the night came with just 1 minute, 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Matt Hart scored on a 45-yard pass from Cole Bixenman to break a 14-14 tie. It was Bixenman’s second touchdown pass of the night. The sophomore right-hander finished 8-of-18 for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

The Titans used three interceptions, including a huge pick by junior co-captain Sam Heck following the Hart touchdown catch, to seal the win. Heck, a linebacker, returned the interception to the 1-yard line and senior running back Dominique Small scored on the next play to finalize the score at 28-14. Small finished the game with 153 yards on just 12 carries and also had a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Beamer took an 8-0 lead in the second quarter after Small’s touchdown and a botched Emerald Ridge snap that led to a safety. But the Jaguars fought back with a Neko Doy 16-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 entering halftime, which is how it stayed until the fourth quarter.

Emerald Ridge hit a field goal to make it 11-8 before Bixenman hit senior Mike Waller on a 72-yard touchdown pass to give Beamer the 14-8 lead. Another Emerald Ridge field goal tied the game at 14-14.

The Titans will get their first shot at playing one of the Federal Way schools Friday night when they take on the Decatur Gators. It will be a special game for Beamer coach Jeff Housman, who was the defensive coordinator at Decatur before accepting the job at Beamer before last season. There are also several players on the Beamer roster who attended Decatur before the second-year school opened.

The Gators are sort of reeling after two-straight losses to Bethel and Spanaway Lake, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In those two losses, Decatur has mustered only seven total first downs and 91 yards of total offense. Their only two touchdowns in those games have come on a kickoff return and a fumble return.

Spanaway Lake 27, at Decatur 0

The Decatur Gators just couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of the ball Saturday night and it showed in the final score. The Spanaway Lake Sentinels drilled the Gators 27-0 at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The Spanaway Lake defense held Decatur to just 15 yards of total offense and one first down to improve to 3-1 in the SPSL South. The loss, Decatur’s second in a row after starting the season 2-0, drops the Gators to 2-2 in the South. Decatur will take on the Todd Beamer Titans Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Spanaway Lake also featured a pretty solid offense Saturday night. The Sentinels moved the ball up and down the field, rolling to 442 yards of total offense. Spanaway Lake had 251 yards on the ground and 191 through the air. The Sentinels also took advantage of two Decatur turnovers and cashed them into first-half points. Spanaway Lake got a 13-yard touchdown run from Nick Springer in the first quarter and a 1-yard run from Bobby Hughes in the second to take a 12-0 lead at the half.

Troy Bass and Chris Wilson added second-half touchdown runs to finalize the score. Decatur did have a pair of touchdowns called back by penalties, but never challenged.

Decatur sophomore quarterback Brock Gates ended the game without a completion (0 for 9) while throwing one interception.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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