Despite being short-handed, second-ranked Federal Way secured a huge 24-14 victory over Issaquah on Friday night in the Class 4A district playoffs at Memorial Stadium.
Federal Way’s three missing of note were key contributors; seniors Mike Tate and Rod Jones Jr. to injury and sophomore Chico McClatcher to sickness. All are expected to be back for the state playoffs.
Even though those were big missing pieces, Federal Way head coach John Meagher contributes the close loss to something non-related.
“You don’t lose two of your starters and not miss them,” Meagher said. “Do I think that has anything to do with the fact it was as close as it was? No, those guys wouldn’t have changed the fact we threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball four times. We had an amazing amount of turnovers. That’s not our style and we don’t usually do it that way. We’re plus-15 in turnover ratio this year … so that was a rarity.”
Although a close game is never ideal, Meagher found comfort knowing one thing. His team can play a full game.
“We haven’t played into the fourth quarter,” Meagher said. “Literally, we haven’t played our starters in the fourth quarter.”
With those three starters out, senior running back Zeek McNeal carried Federal Way with 291 yards on 20 rushes, including a 65-yard touchdown run, shedding several tacklers on the way.