I honestly thought we might see Chico McClatcher score his 100th touchdown this season.
At least I thought I’d see the Federal Way phenom score his 92nd in Saturday night’s Class 4A football quarterfinal against Newport.
And, actually, McClatcher did find the end zone once with a nifty 23-yard scamper around the corner midway through the third quarter. But it was called back on a holding penalty that one observer in the press box said enabled the senior running back to get free in the first place.
That’s the only sniff of the goal line McClatcher got against a stout Newport defense that keyed a 17-10 victory and vaulted the Knights into the semifinals against KingCo-rival Bothell. You can read my game story here.
That 52-yard rushing total for McClatcher I mention is unofficial, but hopefully close. It looked like things might be different early on as he broke a 19-yard run on his first carry. After that, nothing longer than seven yards and he was dropped for a loss three times.
Coach Drew Oliver credited defensive coordinator Eric Peterson, and a total team effort, for shutting down one of the state’s most electrifying players.
“We told them all week that our strength is in our team,” Oliver said of his players. “We had a great athlete on the other side of the field that we had to stop, so we knew it wasn’t going to take one guy to do it, it was going to take our team to do it. And I think our our executed that plan by rallying to the football all night long. It was pretty fun to see.”
It was fun to see fun to see the Newport offense with a few wrinkles, too. I wrote about the game-winning TD pass – just the second touchdown pass of the entire season for the Knights. But that wasn’t the only time QB Jordan Sanberg put the ball up. He actually completed 4 of 6 tosses for 36 yards.
The Federal Way defense deserves some kudos, too. After rushing for more than 500 yards the week before, Newport was held under 250, by my count.
Coach John Meagher wasn’t happy with the outcome, obviously, but couldn’t complain about his team’s effort and certainly not with the 9-3 season overall.
“I’m proud of these kids, great season,” he said. “It’s disappointing, but nothing to hang our heads about.”