The Federal Way Eagles were not about to let this one get away.
After its surprising loss to Tahoma to open the season, Federal Way came into Week 2 against the Kentridge Chargers determined to produce a different result.
Behind a barrage of read-option runs from quarterback Solomon Bang and running back Eric Jones, the Eagles stifled Kentridge for 21 first-half points en route to a 28-6 win Thursday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.
The North Puget Sound League cross-divisional win for Federal Way was one it so desperately needed. The Eagles needed tangible proof of the chemistry from training camp had stuck with them.
“I feel like this one was about teamwork, unity and brotherhood,” Bang said. “That’s what going to this school means. It’s about doing our job, depending on one another. I have so much respect for my teammates for living up to that.”
Federal Way (1-1) needed and applied all three in the win over Kentridge (1-1). Both defenses battled for three-and-out after three-and-out through the first quarter.
It was the Chargers’ defense that gave first with 7 minutes, 14 seconds left in the first half.
Bang read the Kentridge blitz as he approached the line of scrimmage at the 24 yard line. On the option, Bang pulled the ball out from the arms of halfback Eric Jones.
Bang took off from the right hash mark and sprinted the distance for the touchdown and the 7-0 lead.
“Turnovers were the difference,” Federal Way coach John Meagher said. “Last week we had a lot of them. This week we didn’t have nearly as much. But we just capitalized when we had good field position, and our defense played shutout football for the most part.”
Not even two minutes later, the Eagles took advantage of excellent field position and capped a four-play drive with a Jones touchdown from the 25.
Bang put the game away with six seconds remaining in the first half after he finished off an eight-play drive with a touchdown on the goal line, giving Federal Way a 21-0 halftime lead.
While he attempted just six pass attempts the entire game, Bang’s fifth, which came with 1:12 left in the third quarter, sank the Chargers.
He faced third-and-short from the 30 yard line. Instead of running the ball as the Eagles did all night, Bang dropped back to pass. He found a wide-open receiver in Poet Grayson, and Bang floated a perfect pass to the junior wideout.
“This is basically a brand new team this year,” Bang said. “And this game showed that we really have each other’s backs. All of it felt really good, and it went our way.”
For Kentridge, Ben Victoria scored on a 70-yard pass from Ben Fullingan.
Up next is another Thursday matchup for the Eagles, and this time it’s for keeps. Federal Way takes on its first NPSL Olympic Division opponent in Auburn Mountainview at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.
Kentridge, meanwhile, opens NPSL Cascade Division play against Kentlake at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at French Field.