By ERICK WALKER
Andre Barrington saw it coming on 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, and 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. Federal Way’s Washington State University-bound star racked up 257 total yards, scored twice, came away with the one interception and added a fumble recovery.
But the key to the game, Barrington admits, was the 66-yard interception returned for a touchdown midway through the second quarter, putting the Eagles on top, 14-3. The 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 in the pouring rain against a physical Federal Way team. 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 in the fourth quarter.
“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).