Football wrap: Beamer snaps 20-game losing streak; FW, Decatur and TJ lose

Beamer quarterback Ben Draeger jumps over Auburn Riverside defender Connor Bjornstad during the Titans’ 13-7 win Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. It was Beamer’s first win since 2007. - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Beamer quarterback Ben Draeger jumps over Auburn Riverside defender Connor Bjornstad during the Titans’ 13-7 win Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. It was Beamer’s first win since 2007.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but the Todd Beamer High School football team will definitely take it.

The Titans snapped a 20-game losing streak Friday night with a 13-7 victory over the Auburn Riverside Ravens in a non-league game at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The losing streak was the longest in the South Puget Sound League.

“This feels pretty good,” said senior quarterback Ben Draeger, who also converted a pair of field goals on the night. “It’s kind of indescribable. We have worked really hard for this and it’s nice to get rewarded with a win. We always prepare to win, but this year there is more of an expectation to win.”

Beamer’s last victory came during the second game of the 2007 season when they beat the Decatur Gators, 31-21, to improve to 2-0. Since then, the Titans (1-2) finished 2007 on an eight-game losing streak, went through 2008 with an 0-10 record and started this season with a pair of losses.

“It feels good,” said first-year Beamer head coach David Sundheim, who was drying off after having the Titans’ water bucket dumped over his head following the final gun Friday night. “It’s my first win and the team’s first win in 20 games. It’s nice to get off the snide.”

Friday’s non-league loss drops Auburn Riverside to 1-2 overall on the season. The Ravens downed Kent-Meridian, 30-29, in their 2009 opener.

“The coaches have us a lot more focused this year,” Draeger said. “They have a lot more pep in their step at practice.”

Draeger finished the game 6 for 16 for just 52 yards passing, but it was his two second-half field goals that proved to be the difference. The Titans’ offense also got 110 yards on 20 carries from junior running back Nicky Fualaau.

But it was the Beamer defense that was responsible for ending the school’s 20-game losing streak. The Titan defense beat up Auburn Riverside all night long, holding the Ravens to just 120 yards of total offense — 78 of those coming on three plays.

Auburn Riverside managed just five first downs and 38 total offensive plays, compared to 62 by Beamer.

“Our defense won this game for us,” Sundheim said. “I think our defense is really good this year. We’ll see what happens the rest of the way.”

The Auburn Riverside defense wasn’t too shabby against Beamer. The Ravens limited the Titans to just 232 yards of total offense, despite being on the field for 30 of the 48 minutes. But Auburn Riverside just couldn’t overcome its lack of an offensive punch, as well as three turnovers.

“It’s nice just to get a win,” Draeger said. “It’s been a long time.”

Things didn’t start out too solid for both teams Friday night, to say the least.

After Auburn Riverside recovered an onside kick to begin the game, Ravens running back Connor Bjornstad fumbled on the first play from scrimmage after being hit by Fualaau. Beamer lineman Matt Bergman recovered the ball on the Riverside 40-yard line.

The Titans couldn’t take advantage of the stellar field position and gave the ball back to the Ravens after gaining just three yards on four plays. Auburn Riverside followed with a three-and-out, before shanking a 1-yard punt, giving the ball back to Beamer on the 33-yard line.

That’s when things started to click a little bit for the Titans. Beamer rode Fualaau during a six-play, 33-yard drive. Fullback Marley Liulama tallied the first points of the game by punching the ball in from a yard out to give the Titans a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Fualaau carried the ball three times on the drive for 25 yards.

But Auburn Riverside responded on their next possession with their best offensive series of the night to tie the game at 7-7, thanks to a 32-yard touchdown run by Bjornstad. The Bjornstad score was set up by a 28-yard reverse to wide receiver Kell Garrison on a fourth-and-20.

That was about it, as far as offense goes, for the rest of the first half. Following the back-to-back touchdown drives, the two teams combined for just 34 more yards during the remainder of the first half.

The third quarter is when Beamer really started to control the game by dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

The Titans pounded the undersized and overworked Raven defense with the running of the 6-foot, 212-pound Fualaau. The Beamer defense didn’t allow a first down to the Auburn Riverside offense during the entire second half.

Offensively, the Titans set the tone by embarking on a 12-play, 65-yard drive to open the third quarter, which ran six minutes off the clock. After stalling at the 8-yard line, Draeger converted a 25-yard field goal to give Beamer a 10-7 lead. Fualaau ran the ball five times on the drive for 30 yards.

Draeger’s second field goal of the half came early in the fourth quarter from 27 yards out to give Beamer the 13-7 advantage. The field goal was set up when Thomas Lowery intercepted a John Hakala pass at the Auburn Riverside 24-yard line. The interception was Hakala’s second on the night. The Raven junior quarterback finished just 2 of 14 for 38 yards during the game.

Beamer travels to Puyallup (1-2) Saturday night to take on the Vikings at Sparks Stadium.

Kentridge 21, Federal Way 13

The Chargers (3-0) got rushing touchdowns from Devin Topps (2 yards), Alex Tyson (6 yards) and Travis McGuire (13 yards) en route to an SPSL North win over the Eagles (0-2 in league, 1-2 overall) Friday.

The Kentridge defense continued to shine, keeping the Eagles from the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. Federal Way got a pair of field goals from Kelyn Rowe in the first half and trailed 14-6 at the half. The Eagles’ lone touchdown came on a 2-yard run by quarterback Nick Tanielu.

“Federal Way has gotten us the last couple of years, so this is huge for us,” said Kentridge coach Marty Osborn. “The defense is just doing great. They have started out as good as any (defensive) group we’ve ever had. Now, the big question is, can they sustain it?”

The Eagles take on Kentlake at home Friday night.

Kentlake 37, Thomas Jefferson 26

Things have clicked for the Kentlake High offense.

As much was evident Thursday night at French Field, when the Falcons overpowered Thomas Jefferson 37-26 in a South Puget Sound League North Division game.

Kentlake (2-1 in SPSL North play) bolted out to a 28-7 halftime lead behind a pair of rushing touchdowns from sophomore Latrelle Dukes and two passing scores from quarterback Tyler Borgen.

Dukes finished the night with 167 yards rushing and the two touchdowns on 24 carries. After opening the season with just two yards rushing against Kentridge and no scores, Dukes has ripped off 306 yards and five touchdowns in his last two games combined, both of which resulted in Kentlake victories.

Borgen connected with Tyler Wright on a 22-yard touchdown to end the first quarter and added a 44-yard scoring strike to Austin Pernell in the second.

Jefferson (0-3) didn’t back down, scoring three times in the third quarter — all on runs from Tim Luafatasaga — to cut the deficit to 28-26 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Falcons, however, managed to put the game away in the final minutes, tacking on a safety that was followed by a 6-yard touchdown run from Nick Kramlich.

The Raiders will host third-ranked Auburn Thursday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Spanaway Lake 28, Decatur 21

The Gators (2-1) scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Sentinels (2-1). The loss was Decatur’s first of the season after beating Emerald Ridge and Puyallup.

Spanaway Lake running back Shey Patton scored touchdowns on runs of 10, 7 and 17 yards. Decatur quarterback Alex Bykovskiy finished with three touchdown passes during the Gators’ fourth-quarter run. Bykovskiy hit Mike Klavuhn with two of the TD passes and Aaron Lee caught the other.

The Gators travel to unbeaten Curtis Friday night.

Kent Reporter sports editor Erick Walker contributed to this report.

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