As the state championship games took shape this weekend, it became very apparent that Federal Way was not going to be playing for its first title. That privilege, instead, will go to Chiawana, which opened its doors in 2009. That Federal Way was not going to come back from Pasco with a win was pretty clear during the first half.
The Eagles never got their running game going — credit the Chiawana defense with bottling up the option — and didn’t complete a pass until the fourth quarter. When Chico McClatcher finally brought in a short pass over the middle, it wasn’t from starting quarterback Keenan Curran, but sophomore backup D’Jimon Jones.
“We felt like, at halftime, that he could maybe get us back in the game,” Federal Way head coach John Meagher said. “We could throw the ball. We weren’t having a lot of effect just running the football. So we started doing that in the second half. Some of that was working. Again, we ran out of time.”
The Eagles never really got close, though. Even in desperation mode in the second half, they struggled to move the ball. The one good drive in the second half stalled on downs in the red zone.
Federal Way had a tremendous opportunity late in the first half. Down 26-7, with only a defensive touchdown to show, Federal Way appeared to score on a pass to the back of the end zone, but it was ruled out of bounds. I was sitting next to Eagles’ video guy and we ran the tape. Clearly in bounds. Should have been 26-14 going into the half with lots of momentum swinging toward the visitors. Instead, a blocked field goal attempt kept it a 19-point game at the half.
Part of the problem was the field had multiple lines in the back of the end zone. Meagher said he didn’t have a good angle on the play.
“It was hard to tell,” he said. “It looks like it was pretty far towards the back of the end zone. I couldn’t tell if he got his feet back or not.”
Federal Way loses quarterback/defensive back Keenan Curran to graduation, but returns running back Chico McClatcher.