Federal Way had a chance to pull even with the game at 21-14 in the fourth quarter, but sophomore lineman Saili Shelton recovered a fumble and the Trojans were able to basically salt away the clock to thwart the Eagles in their home opener. Auburn running back Jeff Gouveia had 130 yards and two touchdowns to lead the visitors.
The disappointing part of this game was that Andre Barrington was not playing for the Eagles. Barrington, who verbally committed to Washington State earlier in the week, had some soreness in his knee. And while an MRI Wednesday revealed no structural damage, he was advised to rest his leg for a week or two.
To see a pre-game interview with Barrington, Watch Video.
Besides Barrington, Federal Way has one other high D1 talent in LB/OT Andru Pulu. At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, the Eagles line Pulu up at MIK, but he'll play with his hand down in college. With offers from Washington State, UNLV and Eastern Washington, Pulu is an aggressive player that runs very well for his size. Sometimes his aggressiveness works against him when his technique breaks down and he just tries to use his size on people. But his upside is quite evident, as is his love for the game of football.
To see Pulu take on the Trojans, Watch Video
Other Federal Way players to watch: QB Nick Tanielu (2011); WR/DB Rian Miller (2010) - Watch Video; LB Jordan Pulu (2012); LB/RB George Williams (2010) - Watch Video.
For the Trojans, Gouveia and RB/S Chris Young are well-known entities.
To see Gouveia's effort against Federal Way, Watch Video and Watch Video.
Young, at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, is a beast. Trojans Head Coach Gordon Elliott uses Young as a rover-style safety, and he lays a hat on you. Running the ball he also plays behind his pads and can put a lick on would-be tacklers. How well he can keep his speed is the most-likely determinant when thinking about potential for playing at the D1 level in college.
To see Young against the Eagles, Watch Video
For me, Shelton was the biggest revelation. I had been warned earlier in the year that Auburn's sophomore class was one to look for, and I did not go away disappointed. At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Shelton holds the point as well as any youngster at that level I can recall. Eerily he reminds me of current UW frosh Alameda Ta'amu in terms of his ability to just lay on people and move them in the direction he wants them to go. As he gets older and his body matures, I expect Saili to ramp up his development and become an outstanding D1 prospect. As long as his drive to improve remains a constant, his future could be off the charts.
To see Shelton against the Eagles, Watch Video
Other Auburn players to watch: DE/RB Isaiah Johnson (2009) - Watch Video; C Nick Conlan (2011), RB Austen Embody (2011), DB Carlos Lavoie (2009)
Eklund headed to Pop Kinney Stadium in downtown Bothell to watch the defending state champion Cougars take on Issaquah in a Kingco league matchup.
Bothell and Issaquah exchanged turnovers in the first half, but a turnover deep in their own end cost the home team as Issaquah converted on a two-yard Grant Gellatly touchdown run to give the Eagles a 24-13 victory over the highly ranked Cougars.
While neither school produces a lot of D-1 talent, there were still some interesting prospects on display tonight.
Issaquah OT Christian Rennie (2009) – He definitely passes the look test. He’s all of the 6-5, 280 he’s listed at and he was a physical presence along the line. What is tough is that Bothell rarely has anyone big along their defensive line, using speed instead of bulk to make plays, so when Rennie drove defenders off the line, it was hard to tell how strong he actually was. He did get to the second level well and he had good straight-line speed, but he struggled at times handling the speed on the outside when the Eagles QB dropped back to pass. He looks like he could play WAC football, probably for a team like Idaho, but he could be an excellent player at the 1AA level.
Issaquah QB Joey Bradley (2009) – Bradley didn’t have the best game, but he had a touchdown pass called back late in the first half by a penalty. Bradley is a good athlete, but he made some very questionable decisions early in the game, throwing one ball into quadruple coverage on a rollout to his right near the Bothell 10 yard line. He did hang tough against the constant rush of the Cougars and completed some long passes in key situations including one on 3rd-and-13 for 20 yards. He doesn’t look like a D-1 QB, but a place like Central Washington or Western Washington could be a nice fit.
S/RB Grant Gellatly (2010) – Gellatly was the best player on both sides of the ball for both teams on Thursday. He made, unofficially, seven tackles and had one pick and at least two passes defensed. However, it was his work on offense that really told the story. Time after time Gellatly was called upon to keep the chains moving and time after time that’s exactly what he did. He also separated a Bothell receiver from the ball on a play that could have gone for big yardage had he not made the play. If he was bigger, he’d definitely be a D-1 player, but because he’s only about 5-10, 175 he may not get as many looks as he deserves. Also of note, Gellatly was part of the 7-on-7 team that went down to New Orleans in the summer that represented the Seattle Seahawks and won the entire tournament with an 11-0 record.
Other Issaquah players to watch: DE/OT Daniel Fleischman (2010); RB Nik Landdeck (2011); K Gavin Schumaker (2011).
Bothell K Nick Kaylor (2009) – I know, I know, you’re saying to yourself – “a kicker?” – and normally I would agree with you, but this kid has a leg. He had an extra point blocked from the outside, but that was more because of a breakdown in the protection than his fault. Kaylor boomed his kicks and he got good hangtime as well – I roughly timed it at 4.5 seconds. He also gets great height on his punts and his field goals come out nice and high. He’s a player who could definitely be a walk-on prospect this fall with a Pac 10 team.
Bothell TE Michael Hartvigson (2010) – Bothell rarely has players Hartvigson’s size, but he played on both sides of the ball and played well. He’s a big kid (6-5, 215) who played both tight end and defensive end. His future appears on offense though because he runs very well for a young man his size. He had a nice catch and run late in the first quarter to pick up 23 yards and a first down. He’ll be one to keep an eye on.
Other Bothell players to watch: TE/DE Evan Hudson (2010); QB Braden Foley(2011); CB Jeremy Owen(2010).
Friday Night Eklund will be at the O’Dea/Capital game in Olympia. That should be a good one. Fetters will be at an Edmonds double-header with four strong teams: Mountlake Terrace-Lynnwood in the opener, and Meadowdale-Edmonds-Woodway in the finale.