After a first half that looked like a Chico McClatcher highlight reel, injuries piled up and Federal Way couldn’t hang on in a season-opening 34-27 loss to Union of Vancouver at Memorial Stadium.
McClatcher had a 54-yard rushing touchdown, a 25-yard receiving touchdown and an interception on defense in the first half as the Eagles jumped out to a 21-7 lead at the break. They extended it to 27-14 as McClatcher picked up a blocked field goal at the 1, and raced 99 yards for another score.
From there, though, it was all Union.
“We weren’t able to stop the run in the second half. We had a lot of injuries,” Federal Way coach John Meagher said. “That’s just the way it is. But we’ve got a situation where we’ve still got to go out there and get it done. … It’s a nonleague game. This is nothing that’s going to impact our goals or the future. So it’s great to play a team like this, get some things on tape, and go back and learn from it.”
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Union quarterback Nolan Henry threw a 61-yard touchdown pass in the first half and a 21-yard strike in the second half. Alex Berfanger scored from 10 yards out with the game-winner, as Union scored the final 20 points of the game.
“They did it,” First-year Union coach Gary McGarvie said of his team. “We just asked them at halftime, with all this talent and potential, what kind of team do you want to be? … I think they want to be a physical team that wears people out.”
McClatcher rushed for 94 yards on 11 carries in the first half, while sophomore quarterback D’Jimon Jones threw a 13-yard touchdown to sophomore receiver Ben Koler.
In the second half, though, Union used a bruising rushing attack led by seniors Caleb Browning, Berfanger and Jack Bauer. Berfanger rushed for 126 yards on nine carries, as the team finished with 299 yards total on the ground. McClatcher had just two carries for negative-three yards rushing after the break.