After battling for four-plus quarters, it seemed almost a shame that Friday’s NPSL Olympic Division football game between Todd Beamer and Enumclaw was decided by a missed extra point.
Both teams treated fans at Federal Way Memorial Stadium to a classic, but it was an extra point missed by Enumclaw’s Kaden Anderson that gave the Titans a 28-27 victory.
“That would be a tough game to lose,” Todd Beamer head coach Darren McKay said. “I told (Enumclaw head coach) Mark (Gunderson) that. Nobody should’ve lost that game.”
Even the missed PAT wasn’t without drama. Anderson’s kick sailed toward the left upright, but was so high in the air that it was actually above the top of the post. Enumclaw players were signaling the kick was good, while Todd Beamer players had the opposite opinion. All the while, the only opinion that actually mattered – the officials – hand signaled nothing. After a five to 10 second delay, that seemed much longer, the two officials directly below the uprights signaled that the kick was no good.
“Oh, they were confused,” Enumclaw head coach Mark Gunderson said of the officials’ final call. “They were definitely confused. I’ve never seen them take that long to decide (if a kick was good). I think the height of the kick had a lot to do with it, because the kid’s got a pretty strong leg.”
It was such a strange way for the game to end that it almost overshadowed the great play before it.
Todd Beamer opened the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run by senior Colin McKay in the first quarter. The extra point was blocked, giving the Titans a 6-0 lead. Enumclaw took its first lead in the second quarter when senior running back Bear Kuro caught a pass from junior quarterback Kellen Kranc and ran for a 60-yard touchdown.
It was just the beginning of a big game for Kuro, who accounted for all of the Hornets’ touchdowns. Kuro finished the game with 100 yards rushing on 23 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 82 yards, both for touchdowns.
“He’s a game-changer,” Gunderson said. “He’s a strong kid, has good vision and a kind of do anything that we ask him to do kid. He’s a receiver that Coach Jeff (Johnson) actually moved to running back. He’s a dynamic runner, tough to bring down, and strong. We’re definitely looking forward to what he’s going to do the rest of the season.”
The Titans had their own game changers. McKay scored three touchdowns, but he was part of a three-man rushing attack that also included senior Kuma Scanlan (17 carries, 102 yards) and sophomore Xavier Watson ( nine for 101). McKay added 87 on the ground giving the three a combined total of 290 yards.
“We have to be able to control the ball,” McKay said. “That’s kind of our identity.”
Scanlan, McKay and Watson paced the offense, but the Titans got two big defensive plays that also helped turn the game in their favor.
The first came when the Hornets were ahead 7-6 with the ball deep in their own territory in the second quarter. Senior Denny Tiumalu jumped in front of a receiver’s route to intercept Enumclaw junior quarterback Kellen Kranc and returned the ball 10 yards for a touchdown. After a successful PAT, Todd Beamer had regained the lead 13-7, which is how the first half would end.
The second defensive play may have saved the game for the Titans. Enumclaw was driving deep in Todd Beamer territory late in the third quarter, but Scanlan came up with an interception in the end zone.
“Kuma’s was big because they’ve got a chance to put points on the board there,” McKay said. “That’s potentially a 14-point swing there.”
Kuro and McKay each scored for their teams in the third quarter. McKay also ran in a 2-point conversion on his touchdown to give the Titans a 21-14 lead.
Enumclaw would tie the game in the fourth quarter when it took advantage of a botched snap by Todd Beamer on a punt attempt. The Hornets took over on the Titans’ 22-yard line and needed just one play to find the end zone. Kuro caught a screen pass from Kranc and ran through several defenders before finding the end zone.
In overtime, the Titans got the ball first. They needed six plays before McKay scored on a 2-yard run. Enumclaw got its chance to answer and also scored in six plays.
TB – Colin McKay 4 run (kick blocked)
E – Bear Kuro 60 pass from Kellen Kranc (Kaden Anderson kick)
TB – Denny Tiumalu 10 interception return (Gael Garcia kick)
E – Bear Kuro 3 run (Anderson kick)
TB – McKay 15 pass from Brandon Niksich (McKay run)
E – Bear Kuro 22 pass from Kranc (Anderson kick)
TB – McKay 2 run (Blake Stafford kick)
E – Kuro 1 run (kick blocked)
RUSHING – Enumclaw: Bear Kuro 23-100; Kale Engebretsen 7-7; Josh Heer 1-4. Todd Beamer: Kuma Scanlan 17-102; Xavier Watson 9-101; Colin McKay 22-87; Brandon Niksich 2-(-15); Denny Tiumalu 3-15.
PASSING – Enumclaw: Kellen Kranc 10-18-2-197. Todd Beamer: Brandon Niksich 14-20-0-119.
RECEIVING – Enumclaw: Ethan Eilertson 4-70; Bear Kuro 2-82; Griffin Webb 2-19; Kaden Anderson 2-26. Todd Beamer: Alex Rogers 4-35; Kuma Scanlan 4-44; Colin McKay 5-35; Brycen Dillworth 1-4.