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Federal Way runs away from Puyallup
Big plays by Eagles turn game into a rout.
PUYALLUP -- The Federal Way offense operates in a single gear: fast and furious.
Despite running just 18 first-half plays, the Eagles racked up 28 points before halftime as sixth-ranked Federal Way ran away from Puyallup 49-25 in an SPSL 4A South matchup Friday night at Sparks Stadium.
Chico McClatcher scored three touchdowns, all on plays of 50-plus yards, while Keenan Curran passed for two touchdowns, caught one and ran for another as the Eagles (4-1 overall, 4-1 SPSL) scored 45 or more points for the fourth time this season.
“I want to score; I don’t care how long it takes,” Federal Way coach John Meagher said. “If it’s fast break, it’s fast break.”
The Eagles led 28-17 at halftime despite none of their possessions lasting longer than 1 minute 23 seconds. Puyallup (3-2, 3-2) led in time of possession 17:07 to 6:53 in the first two quarters but could not match up with Federal Way’s big-play capabilities.
Trailing 7-0 after a pair of three-and-outs to start the game, Federal Way had its offense ignited by a 63-yard catch-and-run from Curran to McClatcher. Curran followed that with a short bullet pass to Ryan Gnoinsky that turned into a 75-yard scoring sprint.
After Puyallup tied it at 14, McClatcher returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards, first breaking up the middle before cutting to his right and leaving a vapor trail down the far sideline.
The dagger came with an 18-second drive to close the second quarter, when Curran caught a 45-yard Hail Mary lob from D’Jimon Jones with no time left on the clock.
If there was any doubt, Federal Way scored three touchdowns on its first five plays of the second half: a 56-yard dash by McClatcher, a 25-yard run by James Black and a 10-yard carry by Curran, who finished with 147 yards on 10 rushes. None of those possessions lasted longer than 38 seconds.
McClatcher accounted for 303 total yards on just seven touches, which included punt returns of 61 and 22 yards. How quick is he?
“It’s how fast he gets to fast,” Meagher explained. “When he gets to the line, he’s at full speed. He’s just amazingly explosive.”
McClatcher, who has six touchdowns in five games, deferred credit to others for his showing Friday. “I’ve got to thank my offensive line, because I wouldn’t have had the open holes that I had,” he said. “I just had to make some moves and score.”
What makes him so elusive? “Good genes, I guess,” he said with a laugh.
A quick-strike mentality just comes naturally to the Eagles, he said. “We practice fast tempo all the time,” said McClatcher. “We want to be as fast as Oregon.”
Brenden Illies completed three touchdown passes for Puyallup, two to D.J. Winter (31 and 35 yards in the first half) and a 4-yarder to Karl Fjellstad late. David Tiumalu accounted for three of Federal Way’s four sacks.