PASCO — Keenan Curran’s senior leadership was on full display on the Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium turf.
Curran, with his helmet off, gave an impassioned postgame speech to his Federal Way High teammates before embracing those who needed comfort after the Eagles’ 40-7 loss to Pasco’s Chiawana High in Saturday’s Class 4A football state semifinals.
The message was to the underclassmen: Don’t hang your head, and use the loss as motivation.
“Take this as a lesson and go win a state championship that Federal Way doesn’t have,” Curran said.
“If you look at the last four years, we’ve progressed. We made it to the round of 32, the round of 16, the round of eight last year, and now we’re in the semifinals. What’s next in the pattern? It’s to win a state championship.”
The Eagles’ high-power run game was no match for the Riverhawks, a fifth-year high school, who will play for the school’s first state football championship next Saturday against Camas in the 4A state title game at the Tacoma Dome.
The loss ends Federal Way’s season at 10-3, its most successful campaign since 1976, when the Eagles played Snohomish for the state title. That was also the last year they had played in the semifinals.
The Riverhawks (12-1) stifled the Eagles’ running game. Junior Chico McClatcher finished with 55 yards on nine carries, including a 44-yard run in the closing minute of the first half to give the Eagles their only first down up to that point. Chiawana blocked Federal Way’s field-goal attempt to end the first half.
Trailing 26-7 at halftime, Curran had just 11 yards rushing, and the offense was held to three first downs compared with 18 for Chiawana.
“It was tough to get things started,” Curran said. “They didn’t let us get outside, and that’s what we use. We use our speed and they came and the stopped it.”
Trailing 13-0 earlier, McClatcher’s interception of Chiawana quarterback Joey Zamora for a 53-yard touchdown provided a rare spark.
Chiawana had an overwhelming 515-163 advantage in total yards, paced by 318 on the ground behind Clifton Lozano (137 yards, 28 carries) and Alex Weber (135 yards, 17 carries).
Zamora finished 11 of 20 for 197 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Deion Singleton, who finished with 140 yards on five catches.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org @megwochnick