Federal Way shocks No. 2 Skyline with comeback victory
Seattle Times staff reporter
SAMMAMISH — Don’t call this an upset. Federal Way won’t let you.
After No. 6 Federal Way beat two-time defending champion No. 2 Skyline 26-20 on Friday night in the first round of the 4A state playoffs, players clad in blue and white jumped around, screaming “This is not an upset!”
“I told them at the end, and I told them all week long, we’re not going to call this an upset,” Federal Way coach John Meagher said.
The Eagles never showed fear against a team many expected to make a run at the state title again this year.
Federal Way had different expectations.
“We expected to win,” Eagles quarterback Keenan Curran said.
The game at Skyline was lights out. Literally.
With just over two minutes left in the game, Federal Way was up 26-20, and Skyline had the ball on their own 18 after a Federal Way fumble.
Then, the lights went out and the field went black.
But Federal Way maintained composure, forcing a turnover with 45 seconds left to seal the shocking victory.
“I’m on top of the world right now,” Curran said. “I’m ecstatically proud of these guys.”
Curran finished with 144 yards rushing on 16 carries and two touchdowns. That made up for Skyline’s ability to stop running back Chico McClatcher in the first half, limiting him to 40 yards rushing on 11 carries. Skyline led 14-0 at the half.
But Curran helped keep McClatcher’s head in the game, talking to him at halftime, reminding him that they had to stay in the game.
McClatcher found some more running room in the second half – or he made more running room – finishing with 254 yards rushing on 24 carries and a touchdown.
“This game is huge,” McClatcher said. “We shocked the state.”
Federal Way finished with 439 yards total offense — all rushing. Skyline finished with 341 yards total in a balanced offense.
Through adversity — fumbles, penalties, weather, technical difficulties — the Eagles persevered.
“I’m extremely proud. It’s just a very fun night,” Meagher said. “We may not be the better team, but we were tonight, and that’s all that matters when you go in a tournament-style play.”
Next up for Federal Way is Richland, which beat Skyview 21-0 Friday night.