Make it official.
The Thomas Jefferson High School football team clinched the 4A SPSL Northwest title with a 22-3 victory over Decatur on Thursday — its first outright league title in school history — behind Kenneth Turner’s 224 rushing yards and two touchdowns (not including his one passing TD).
The Raiders (6-2; 4-1 4A SPSL Northwest) had shared league titles in 1980 and 1969.
Turner had 36 carries, taking the brunt of the workload as he has most of the season for Jefferson, and ran for 224 yards. He now has 1,229 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Jefferson will face the No. 2 team from the 4A SPSL Northeast next week, which could be Kent-Meridian, Kentlake, Kentridge or Tahoma.
Graham-Kapowsin 38, Rogers 7: The Eagles dominated from start to finish to stay undefeated and atop the 4A SPSL South.
Led by big plays from Eagles quarterback Dylan Morris and running back Aaron Wright, fourth-ranked G-K (8-0; 6-0 4A SPSL) was able to rout league rival Rogers.
“We just really wanted to get this win and move onto the next one,” Wright said.
With the win, it puts the Eagles in the driver’s seat to claim the 2015 SPSL South championship. If Bethel (5-2, 3-1) wins Friday’s meeting with Spanaway Lake (1-6, 0-4), then next week’s meeting between Graham-Kapowsin and the Braves will be for the league title.
“It’s always exciting, as it’s was always going to be a big game anyways,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said. “It’s always a big game for us and it brings a lot of excitement for this town. Now it’s probably for a league title, so it will be a big game.”
Right from the first play, the game looked to be going the Eagles’ way when Morris found Dalton Mershon and Wright followed with a 34-yard burst up the middle for G-K’s first score of the game and a 7-0 lead.
“The line do wonderful and they set the blocks — the receivers downfield did (great) setting the blocks as well.” Wright said of his first carry of the game.
Wright finished with 75 yards rushing on five carries, while running mate Kobe Merriweather finished with 69 yards on 13 carriers.
After the Eagles defense forced a three-and-out on Rogers’ (2-6, 1-4) first series, the Rams shanked a punt to give G-K the ball in the red zone at the 12.
On the first play, Morris connected with Beau Blowers for a 12-yard touchdown after the tight end made a toe-tapping catch in the back of the end zone for 14-0.
Morris completed 15 of 29 passes for 203 yards and an interception to go with his lone touchdown.
“He’s great back there as a freshman as he’s done way better than we expected,” Jeremiah Kekoa said. “He comes out strong — he throws a pick and he’s on to the next one.”
Graham-Kapowsin didn’t stop scoring in the first when Mikey Regan took a 45-yard interception back for a score, 21-0, off Rogers quarterback Kaiden Hammond. The Eagles defense finished with four interceptions on the game.
With the win in hand, all Graham-Kapowsin has to do is wait and prepare for next week’s game against second-place Bethel.
“It feels great as a team because we came together and played hard,” Kekoa said. “Next week we’ll focus and play like we just did.”
Peninsula 14, Auburn Riverside 9: It was a battle of the defenses Thursday night as the Seahawks (4-4, 3-3 3A SPSL) defeated division opponent Auburn Riverside (0-7, 0-5 3A SPSL) 14-9 during their senior night celebration.
An interception by Jack Filkins set up an Austin Thompson 25-yard pass from quarterback Ryder Johnson to give the Seahawks a 7-3 lead over the Ravens. Evan Johnson scored on a 2-yard run, sealing the win for Peninsula and bringing the team’s record to an even 4-4.
The Seahawks had 156 yards rushing on 30 carries, and Johnson went 8 for 19 for 133 yards and a touchdown. Auburn Riverside had a great run game with 241 yards, but their lone touchdown came through the air on a Tiano Malietufa 14-yard pass to Dennis Beard.
Kevin Manning of The Puyallup Herald contributed to this report