ELLENSBURG — The two-time defending state champion Royal Knights made mincemeat out of No. 4 ranked Ellensburg dominating the 2A powerhouse Bulldogs 42-0 in nonleague action on their home turf Friday. It was the 28th win in a row for the 1A team that is ranked No. 1 in the AP Washington Football Prep Poll.
“Our defense gave us a lot of opportunities all throughout the game — particularly in the first half — didn’t allow Ellensburg a first down, coach Wiley Allred said. “It gave our offense time to get something going and the kids made some big plays — converted a lot of third downs.”
Sophomore quarterback Sawyer Jenks guided a balanced Knight attack that gained 433 yards of total offense on the night. The 6’4’’ Jenks completed 12 of 21 passes for 325 yards and 5 TD’s. Corbin Christensen was his main target with 5 receptions for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns. Angel Farias hauled in one pass for 74 yards and a score, and Gabe Christensen added another on a 43-yard strike from Jenks.
Some wondered how or if the Knights would be able replace outgoing quarterback Kayden Jenks who had led the team to back-to-back state championships? All doubt was removed after Sawyer’s outstanding performance.
“We’ve been quietly excited about Sawyer,” Allred said. “He’s been improving all the time — he’s pretty talented — accurate and composed — and is just going to keep getting better.”
Royal rushed for 134 yards in the contest. Alonso Hernandez led the way toting the rock 19 times for 79 yards and a score. Lorenzo Myrick finished with 58 yards on nine carries.
The Knights stingy defense held the Bulldogs to 125 total yards and four first downs.
Royal jumped up top 7-0 (PAT) on a Jenks 74-yard bomb to Farias in the opening quarter of the game.
Royal stuck three more times in the second quarter when Jenks hooked up with Corbin and Gabe Christensen, and Hernandez punching it in from a yard to take a commanding 28-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
One might think the team would lose its focus with such a big led heading into second half action, but Allred had the Knights dialed in.
“We really wanted to win the second half — knew Ellensburg wasn’t going to stop playing — actually expected them to come out a play harder,” Allred said. “So we decided to work a little more on our ground game. Alonso and Lorenzo have different running styles — both were effective — we like what we saw.”
Corbin Christensen hauled in two Jenks passes in the third quarter to round out the scoring and Royal walked off the gridiron with the shutout.
The Knights put the state’s longest win streak on the line Friday when 2A Othello comes to town for another nonleague contest. The Huskies are in search of a bounce-back win after taking one on the chin in a 28-10 loss to the Connell Eagles.
“Othello is very physical — it will be a tough go for us for sure,” Allred said. “They have a college type athlete — Isaiah Perez who is a defensive end and fullback — he’s something else.”
Kickoff at David Nielsen Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.