McNeal, Federal Way, race past Auburn, 43-0
Zeek McNeal ran for a career-best 270 yards — with 226 coming before halftime — as the second-ranked Eagles flattened the Trojans.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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AUBURN — Federal Way cruised, and Auburn got bruised.
The Eagles' 43-0 victory Friday and a huge game by Zeek McNeal were dampened by injuries that sent two key Auburn players — Harold Lee and Brier Atkinson — to the hospital.
But coach Gordon Elliott said the injuries might not be as serious as first feared.
"I think they'll both be OK," he said.
Lee, the Trojans' most explosive player, was leveled by Albert Havili on a kickoff return early in the second quarter. Havili was flagged for a hit to the head.
Lee was moving and acknowledged the crowd as he was carried off to an ambulance with an apparent concussion.
Atkinson, Auburn's starting quarterback, went down just before halftime as he was blocked after throwing his second interception. Elliott said it appeared to be a "whiplash" type of neck injury.
Second-ranked Federal Way (8-0) led 36-0 at the time.
Auburn (6-2) also lost two-way starter Kevin Shelton to a shoulder injury in the first half.
Hardly what the Trojans anticipated as they celebrated senior night and Homecoming and honored the 1992 football team that reached the state semifinals. It snapped a six-game Auburn winning streak. Their only other loss came in their season opener to seventh-ranked Kentwood.
This should have been a night to celebrate McNeal, who rushed for a career-high 270 yards on just nine carries, scoring on runs of 92, 21 and 56 yards. He had 226 yards and all three TDs in the first half
McNeal had missed the previous game after taking a school-related trip to Washington D.C.
"Maybe we'll send him to Washington D.C. every other week to get him geared up," coach John Meagher said. "He came in with high energy and a full tank, I guess."
The game was a non-counter between SPSL teams in opposite divisions, both with playoff berths wrapped up. But the Trojans were no match on either side of the ball for the speedy Eagles, who also got a 44-yard TD scamper from Chico McClatcher and a pair of short scoring runs from Rod Jones Jr.
Auburn's best scoring chance came in the first half after McClatcher fumbled trying to break tackles on a punt return. Jack Tuia recovered at the 17 and a penalty moved the ball to the 12. But the Trojans fumbled the ball back two plays later. They had negative rushing yards in the half.
"We just didn't do a very good job of playing football," Elliott said.
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