Football: Richland falls to Federal Way in quarterfinals

November 22, 2013 


Richland's Anthony Galat is brought down by a trio of Federal Way tacklers after a big run in the first quarter of a quarterfinal 4A football playoff game at Federal Way on Friday.

PETER HALEY — Staff photographer

FEDERAL WAY The Richland Bombers came to make some noise in Federal Way. 

Maybe they didn't make enough, or maybe there was too much at Memorial Stadium. 

Either way, the Bombers' dream of a Class 4A state football title came to an end in a 41-34 loss against the Federal Way Eagles on Friday in a Class 4A quarterfinal.

Chico McClatcher lived up to his name as a playmaker for Federal Way, scoring three touchdowns, passing for another and intercepting two passes to help seal the Eagles' first trip to the state semifinals since 1976. 

"First off, that's a great team," Bombers coach Mike Neidhold said of Federal Way. "They got down but kept playing. We're a good team, too, and we played them toe-to-toe. It came down to the last play."

Richland started the game exactly the way it wanted to: With a versatile attack that kept Federal Way off balance.

Nathan Perry scored the first of his three touchdowns on the day on the Bombers' first drive, scampering around right end and breaking several tackles en route to a 17-yard touchdown run to give Richland a 7-0 first-quarter lead. 

Later in the quarter, the Bombers went up 14-0 on Zach Whitby's 3-yard scoring strike to Hayden Whitby before Federal Way cut the lead to 14-7 on Kennan Curran's 20-yard option run near the end of the first quarter.

The Bombers struggled to contain Curran, who finished with 222 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. He and McClatcher combined for 318 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

"They found a couple gaps on defense," said Richland senior running back/defensive end Anthony Galat, who led the Bombers in rushing with 71 yards on 15 carries. "We're a senior dominated team, and it's going to be pretty sad (without football). You just have to enjoy every moment."

Penalties plagued Richland throughout the game, taking away good field position and good momentum. 

"It was hard to hear," Galat said. "That made it hard to sustain drives."

The Bombers committed nine penalties for 50 yards in the first half alone and finshed with 15 penalties for 100 yards. They still managed to go into halftime with a 28-21 lead, as Zach Whitby hit Perry for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. 

But Federal Way grabbed all the momentum in the second half, taking advantage of five Richland turnovers -- four interceptions by Whitby and a fumble by Galat. 

McClatcher threw a 26-yard halfback pass to Tyson Penn with 5:27 left in the third quarter and then put the Eagles up 41-28 with a 3-yard TD run early in the fourth. 

But Richland stil had some fight left, as Whitby hit Payton Radliff with a 16-yard touchdown pass with 3 minutes remaining to cut the lead to 41-34. 

But a failed onside kick all but sealed the Bombers' fate. 

Still, after a defensive stop, Richland found itself with one more chance at their own 30-yard line with just five seconds left. Whitby completed a pass to Gibson McGeorge, who was then stopped at midfield before he could pitch the ball to a teammate.

"I'm just so proud of the way the kids played," Neidhold said. "They just kept competing. It was an amazing game."

Richland 14 14 0 6 — 34

Federal Way 7 14 14 6 — 41


R—Nathan Perry 17 run (Damien Ruiz kick)

R—Hayden Whitby 3 pass from Zach Whitby (Ruiz kick)

FW—Keenan Curran 20 run (Sam Han kick)

R—Perry 4 run (Ruiz kick)

FW—Curran 52 run (Han kick)

FW—Chico McClatcher 14 run (Han kick)

R—Perry 13 pass from Z.Whitby (Ruiz kick)

FW—McClatcher 11 run (Han kick)

FW—Tyson Penn 26 pass from McClatcher (Han kick)

FW—McClatcher 3 run (Han kick)

R—Payton Radliff 16 pass from Z.Whitby (kick failed)

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