Andre Barrington saw it coming last Friday night at Maxwell Stadium.
And in a flash, Federal Way’s do-it-all running back/defensive back did something about it, intercepting the errant pass from Tahoma quarterback Heyden Johnson and turning it into a 66-yard touchdown.
It was that kind of night for the Bears, who came into the South Puget Sound League North Division showdown against Federal Way unbeaten, but left battered, bruised and with a 35-3 humbling hanging around their necks.
Wherever Tahoma turned on Friday, Barrington seemed to be there, ready to make the big play. The Washington State University-bound star racked up 257 total yards, scored twice, collected the one interception and added a fumble recovery.
But the key to the game, Barrington acknowledged, was the 66-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the second quarter, putting the Eagles on top, 14-3. That play stole the momentum Tahoma had gained one play earlier on a fumble recovery by linebacker Tyler Hubbard, and sucked the wind out of the Bears’ sails.
“I’d been watching (for) it the whole game,” Barrington said of Tahoma’s signature out pattern in the flat. “They hadn’t run it, hadn’t run it … and, finally, it came, and I was like, ‘Yes, this is finally happening.’ My eyes just lit up and I did what I had to do.”
The play summed up the night for Tahoma, which remained close early, but couldn’t get into any sort of offensive rhythm against a physical Federal Way team and eventually succumbed to the blowout. The Bears turned the ball over four times, were penalized at critical junctures leading to prime field position for Federal Way, and muffed a punt in the second quarter, giving the Eagles the ball at the Tahoma 9-yard line.
“You give a really good team a bunch of opportunities like we did, and they’ll take advantage of them,” Tahoma coach Tony Davis said. “That’s what they’ve been doing all year.”
Then there was Barrington, who capped the night with a 49-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.
“He’s impressive,” Davis said. “He’s strong, fast, athletic. That’s why he’s (going to be) a Pac-10 football player.”
With the loss, Tahoma (4-1 in league, 4-1 overall) fell into second place in the North behind Auburn (5-0) and will travel to French Field on Saturday to play Kentridge (1-3, 2-3).
It was Federal Way’s fourth straight win since opening the season with a loss to Auburn. The Eagles (3-1, 4-1) play host to Auburn Riverside on Saturday.
“There were a lot of penalties that cost us, a lot of fumbles that cost us the game,” said Tahoma running back Chris Marangon, who came into the contest with nine touchdowns this season. “We pretty much handed that one to them. But we’re going to bounce back next week against Kentridge and fight like a different team.”
Other than a solid drive on their first possession, which resulted in a 31-yard field goal by Britton Jolley and an instant 3-0 lead, Tahoma didn’t resemble in any way the team that steamrolled to a 4-0 league record.
Federal Way went on to rip off 35 unanswered points and limit Marangon, who came into the night averaging 92.5 yards per game, to 8 yards on six carries. In addition, Tahoma started the night averaging 37 points and 369 yards of total offense per game, but managed just the three points and 173 yards of total offense. That was nearly 100 yards less than what Barrington totaled.
“We’re rolling, no question about it,” Federal Way coach John Meagher said. “(It was) a big win on the road against an undefeated team.
“We were having fun tonight.”
• Rogers 40, Kentlake 13: Cody Arp and Jordan Smith each caught touchdown passes, but it wasn’t enough for the Falcons (3-1, 3-2) in a nonleague loss to the Rams.
Arp’s touchdown reception, a 23-yard strike, came from quarterback Lewi Larson. Smith’s, a 7-yard score, came from backup quarterback Tyler Borgen.
“They’re fast, they’re athletic and the quarterback they had is probably the best one I’ve seen in a while,” Kentlake coach Mike Shepard said.
It was Kentlake’s second straight loss since starting the season 3-0. The Falcons will try and get back in the win column on Friday when they play host to unbeaten Auburn (5-0, 5-0).
• Kentwood 35, Kent-Meridian 13: Darrius Coleman rushed for a career-high 214 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, leading the Conquerors (2-2 in league, 3-2 overall) past the Royals.
Kent-Meridian’s Artise Gauldin, a former Kentwood standout, gave the Royals a first-quarter lead with an 18-yard touchdown run. Gauldin added a 5-yard score in the second quarter, helping the Royals (0-5, 0-5) go into halftime on top 13-7.
The Conquerors proceeded to rip off 28 unanswered second-half points to secure the win, their 13th straight over Kent-Meridian.
Running back Joseph Banks scored twice in the second half for the Conquerors, Steven Warner added another score while Coleman finished up Kentwood’s scoring with a 28-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Kentwood, which has won two straight after a two-game slide, will travel to Jefferson (0-5, 0-5) on Friday.
• Auburn 34, Kentridge 3: The Trojans (5-0, 5-0) continued to have their way on the ground, racking up five rushing touchdowns en route to throttling the Chargers (1-3, 2-3) at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
After a 0-0 first quarter, Jeff Gouveia got the Trojans on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Chris Young, who scored twice in the game, added an 8-yard score in the quarter, giving Auburn a 14-0 halftime lead.
Kentridge’s Wes Concepcion delivered a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter, helping the Chargers cut the deficit to 14-3. But that’s all Kentridge could muster.
Auburn will travel to Kentlake (3-1, 3-2) on Friday while Kentridge will play host to Tahoma (4-1, 4-1) on Saturday.
• Auburn Riverside 44, Jefferson 22: The Ravens (2-2, 3-2) bounced back from a throttling to Kentwood by locking down on the Raiders (0-5, 0-5).
The 44 points is a season-high for Auburn Riverside, which received two touchdown runs apiece by running backs Jake Pele and Corey Carson to go along with two passing touchdowns from quarterback John Hakala.
Hakala completed 7 of 11 passes for 128 yards and the two touchdowns; Pele added 80 yards and the two scores on 12 carries while Corey Carson chipped in 103 yards on 13 carries.