Federal Way Avenges Season Opener, Advances to Round of 8 By Steven Dion
Nine weeks ago, football season kicked off with one of the marquee games on the docket a clash of Union and perennial power Federal Way. Fast forward to this frigid fourteenth of November and a rematch was set with an advancement of the 4A playoffs on the line. Union took the first round on a second half comeback. This game had some significant differences which played into the Eagles’ favor. Their strong linebacker group led by Jared Pulu, Andrzej Hughes-Murray, and Charlie Taumoepeau were back from injury whereas Titans starter quarterback Nolan Henry would sit out due to concussion. Would these personnel shake-ups prove significant enough for revenge or would Union take down the Eagles again?
The rushing attacks for both teams are highly productive, but quite different in terms of distribution. Federal Way elects to hand the ball off to their electric playmaker Chico McClatcher with high frequency whereas the Titans host a handful of ball carriers in Caleb Browning, Alex Berfanger, and Jack Bauer. The majority of the first half featured heavy dosages of running with few pass attempts from the pair of junior quarterbacks. FWHS put the first points on the board when Hughes-Murray barreled up the middle for a 15-yard TD including a hurdled defender near the goal line. Late in the second quarter, the Eagles were set to punt the ball, but an errant snap winded up giving Union the ball deep in FW territory. This led to the tying score, a 22 yard quick pass from Jordan Lawson to Keithen Shepard. The scoreboard read 7-7 at the break.
Early in the second half, the Eagles capitalized on another extended drive when Sam Han drove a low line drive from 32 yards through the uprights giving his team a 10-7 lead. Union bested that scoring drive by methodically marching down the field with a balanced pass to rush mix ending on a 2-yard dive to the goal line by Alex Berfanger. The Titans held a four point lead going into the final quarter. Chico McClatcher had a relatively quiet game to this point with no touchdowns and lacking a game-changing play. Credit goes out to UHS Head Coach Gary McGarvie drawing up a bend-don’t-break defensive scheme which prevented big plays. With less than three minutes left, the floodgates opened. McClatcher finally found a bit of daylight past the front line of Union defenders and broke free for a 17-yard touchdown to take the lead. After squandering the extra point, Union had one last chance to get within field goal range to win. On the first play from scrimmage, Ben Koler picked off Lawson to turn the ball back over. Chico proceeded to ice the game with a 42 yard touchdown to close out a 13-0 run in the fourth for the home team. Federal Way will take on the winner of Newport/Lake Stevens, Union’s season is over. FinalScore 23-14.
Top Performers: Federal Way
Chico McClatcher – 264 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs (17,42)
Keithen Shepard – 4 receptions, 58 yards, TD (22)
4A State Football Rankings Week 9 By Steven Dion
There has been a little movement this week with teams in the Top 10. Federal Way jumped a couple of spots to number 6. Here is our breakdown of the top teams in the 4A Classification.
1) Camas 9-0, 6-0 League Coach Eagle has his eyes set on unfinished business from 2013. The Papermakers season will likely wrap up in the woodshed again, but can they raise the hardware?
2) Bothell 9-0, 6-0 League These Cougars has some serious firepower posting a 422-79 combined scoring tally in the regular season. The blue and white have the pieces to contend.
3) Chiawana 8-1, 7-0 League Don’t sleep on the reigning champs. This team posted another solid season with the lone loss a non-league clash with fire-breathing Papermakers.
4) Gig Harbor 8-1, 6-0 League The Tides are playing like tsunamis right now as Coach Chantler’s gradual building of a program has a Narrows 4A title in the bank and a great deal of momentum heading into the playoffs.
5) Union 8-1, 5-1 League A team that has shown the ability to rise up in nail biters can bode well in November when most games are settled in the waning minutes. The mighty, mighty Titans are not a team to take lightly.
6) Federal Way 7-2, 5-0 League The Eagles have been dominant since opening the season with a pair of losses. With a healthy linebacker unit and game-breaker Chico McClatcher, the sky is the limit.
7) Kentwood 8-1, 4-0 League A staunch defense is the cornerstone of Conks football and the regular season did not disappoint as only 78 points have been surrendered in 9 games thus far.
8) Lake Stevens 8-1, 6-0 League Clawing out a victory over Kamiak may be just what the doctor ordered as the Viks prepare for the postseason. The more reps young Eason gets, the more dangerous Lake Stevens becomes.
9) Gonzaga Prep 8-1, 6-1 League The parity in the Greater Spokane league has given the Bullpups a well-balanced schedule in which there has not been any push-over weeks. A league championship may not be enough for Prep.
10) Graham-Kapowsin 8-1, 5-1 League The second of two SPSL Eagles in the top ten rankings finished second to Emerald Ridge in the league standings, but are a top ten talent in the state. Foster Sarell can wreak havoc moving forward.
On the Bubble: Wenatchee 8-1, 6-0 League
Emerald Ridge 7-2, 6-0 League
Kamiak 7-2, 6-1 League
4A State Football Rankings Week 7 By Steven Dion
Our team has scoured the entire state of Washington to see who might raise the trophy over their heads in December. As league play comes to an end and the playoffs quickly approach, here is our breakdown of the top teams in the 4A Classification.
1) Camas 7-0, 4-0 League
The 2013 state runner-up a season ago has wins over 3 of the top 10 in 4A (Camas, Federal Way, Union) earning the Papermakers the top spot.
2) Bothell 7-0, 5-0 League
Last week’s 56-0 dismantling of Skyline on the plateau was impressive. Bainter’s Cougs are firing on all cylinders as the playoffs approach.
3) Chiawana 6-1, 5-0 League
The defending state champs took down a tough Walla Walla team on the road last Friday. Falling to a hungry Camas squad by two points in week one is the only blemish on the schedule.
4) Union 6-1, 3-1 League
The Titans earned a road win against top-10 Federal Way in the season opener. Their only loss? Last Friday against Camas by the score of 37-20.
5) Gig Harbor 6-1, 4-0 League
Beating Olympia 45-14 is a clear indicator the Tides are steadily climbing up the 4A ranks. As the season unfolds, the win over Peninsula looks more impressive. Eastlake is the only loss on the record.
6) Gonzaga Prep 6-1, 4-1 League
The Bullpups shut-out Bellarmine Prep 17-0 early in the season and also have a nice win over Mt. Spokane. The lone blemish this season is a fluky loss against league opponent Shadle Park.
7) Kentwood 6-1, 3-0 League
The Conks are only allowing one touchdown per game this season. Yep, 7 points! The 35-14 win over Emerald Ridge was nice but a recent loss vs. Federal Way may be the only true test thus far.
8) Lake Stevens 6-1, 5-0 League
Since falling to Marysville-Pilchuck in week two, the Vikings have rolled out some blowout wins. Jacob Eason and the Viks square off against a tough Kamiak team on Friday.
9) Graham-Kapowsin 6-1, 3-1 League
Taking down the Spartans at Skyline HS on September 10th in front of a packed house shows the Eagles have grit to close out games. Losing to Emerald Ridge by a field goal is GK’s one trip-up this season.
10) Federal Way 5-2, 4-0 League
Meagher’s Eagles were slow out of the gates as they squandered a lead to #4 Union in week one and were blown out in week two by #1 Camas. Since then? 5-0 including a win over #6 Kentwood on the road.
Bauer Power Propels Union Past Federal Way By Steven Dion
Bauer Power Propels Union Past Federal Way
Memorial Stadium in Federal Way served as the site for a 4A non-league season-opener between the Eagles of Federal Way and Union Titans. The host team was set to kick off 2014 after one of the school’s best season a year ago. The Titans from Vancouver were also coming off a strong season in which they went 8-3 and a second round playoff finish.
The staunch front seven of Federal Way was present early on as Union had a difficult time moving the ball regularly. David Tiumalu and Robert Savusa stuffed the run. The Eagles drew first blood on a delayed pass to the corner by D’Jimon Jones whose ability to extend the play and evade defenders bought time to find the open receiver. Union responded by scoring seven of their own. Before the end of the first half, dynamic senior running back/defensive back combo Chico McClatcher broke through for a 61 yard touchdown run and post route score from Jones to take a 21-7 led to the locker room.
Enter Jack Bauer. The game announcer would begin to sound like a broken record as the senior tailback was given the rock over and over. He was integral in all three touchdowns scored in the third quarter for Union which proved to be the deciding frame. McClatcher dazzled the crowd again by picking up a live ball from a muffed field goal 100 yards for the score. However, the balanced gameplan of Union including an opportunistic defense and relentless ball carrying allowed Union to grab the lead in the fourth and hold on to the final buzzer. A Caleb Browning run which broke a handful of tackles to set up a Titans score in the second half was the turning point in the game. The trip back to Vancouver will be a pleasant one for Gary McGarvie’s team.
Top Performers: Union
Jack Bauer- 71 rushing yards, 2 TDs (3yds, 1 yd), Interception
Chico McClatcher- 90 rushing yards 25 receiving yards, 3 TDs (54 run, 25 pass, 99 kick return), Interception
Even Blackouts can’t Stop the Eastlake Wolves By Colin Caruso
The two blackouts on the evening at Eastlake High School didn’t phase the home side from narrowly holding onto their victory over the visiting Union Titans. The first blackout came just minutes before kickoff, and the second with just over four minutes remaining in the game, with Eastlake barely clutching a seven point lead.
Amazingly, the visiting Titans who travelled all the way from Vancouver, Washington, had a great support base and cheer section. The intensity was high for the entire contest, and the game itself did not disappoint. Eastlake scored first on a 35 yard run from junior running back Justin McOmber and Union responded immediately with a 47 yard pass from quarterback Nolan Henry to Alex Berfanger. The Wolves would add another score at the end of the first on Drew Lewis’ first of two touchdowns on the day.
Union came storming back in the second quarter with another touchdown pass from Henry, this time to Tyler Dionne, and a touchdown run from Leon Siofele to take their first and only lead of the game. The Wolves responded with a Richard ‘Blue’ Thomas run that resulted in a fumble but was picked up by fellow Wolf Gage Casal for a score. Shockingly enough, this happened in the fourth quarter as well, where Union fumbled, recovered their own fumble, and scampered for a score. This score for the Titans tied the game at 27.
Just three minutes later, Eastlake put together a fine drive that resulted in the last score of the game, a 1 yard touchdown run by Thomas. Eastlake narrowly escaped defeat, but held on 34-27 after a late interception and fumble recovery on defense. The Wolves will play Camas next weekend in the 4A state quarterfinals.