Royal’s Christensen ends his career with style

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  • Columbia Basin Herald/file photo - Royal graduate Corbin Christensen (14) is all smiles after the Knights won their third consecutive 1A state championship. Christen was recently named the MVP of the East-West All-Star game.

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    Columbia Basin Herald/file photo - Corbin Christensen (14) walks off the field with Royal head coach Wiley Allred after the Knights won their third consecutive 1A state football championship.

  • Columbia Basin Herald/file photo - Royal graduate Corbin Christensen (14) is all smiles after the Knights won their third consecutive 1A state championship. Christen was recently named the MVP of the East-West All-Star game.

  • 1

    Columbia Basin Herald/file photo - Corbin Christensen (14) walks off the field with Royal head coach Wiley Allred after the Knights won their third consecutive 1A state football championship.

ROYAL City — Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway topped off a Hall of Fame career with a storybook ending that’s tough to top, riding off into the sunset after winning a Super Bowl and the Super Bowl most valuable player.

But, Royal star Corbin Christensen contributed a pretty good one to the Knights archives. Christensen has caught touchdown passes in every one of Royal’s three consecutive 1A state championship football games. Last week, The Associated Press 1A all-state selection hauled in six passes for 105 yards and set Earl Barden All-Star Football Classic records for the most receiving touchdowns and points scored.

The 2018 24th Annual East-West Earl Barden All-Star Football Classic June 23 at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima featured 80 of the best players from the 2A/A/2B/B high schools.

Christensen caught touchdown passes of 8, 28 and 8 yards, scoring all 20 of the East’s points to wrap up his high school football career with two all-star game records and the most valuable player award.

“It feels good to be the best of the best. It feels good to be able to show that you belong there,” Christensen, the SCAC East player of the year, said. “Throughout my career, I’ve always felt, ‘Nobody can guard me, that I can beat anybody.’ So it’s fun to have the half of football I did.

“We didn’t do much in the first half, so in the second half the game plan changed to pretty much just throwing the ball to me. I really enjoyed being able to produce for the team.”

The West took a 12-0 lead when Eastern Washington commit Simon Burkett found Jordan Purvis on a 25-yard touchdown pass. The East defense took over, allowing just 27 yards and two first downs in the second half. But the real showcase was the kid from Royal.

Christensen has caught a lot of touchdown passes from the Jenks brothers, Kaden and Sawyer. In fact he might not catch a harder ball thrown than the one Kaden delivers, but he had a nice little thing going with Selah’s Zak Donato. He hauled in a 8-yard touchdown strike to close the gap to 12-6 in the first half, then another 8-yard fade route for the final score of the game.

He and Newport’s Koa Pancho connected on passes of 36 and 21 to open the fourth quarter and capped the drive off with a 21-yard touchdown pass. Christensen kicked the point after to give the East its first lead.

“With Royal we were family. I don’t know how to define my high school career other than I felt like I really improved over the years,” Christensen said. “I had cool guys to work with and everybody was willing to work together to help each. That was why we were so successful because we were able to work together.

“With all-star experience was definitely an eye-opener for me with everybody coming from different places. No one was really, ‘It’s all about me.’ It was about working together and a great learning experience.”

He will take the next couple of years to learn a little bit more about himself and the world when he goes on his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission. There is some talk of trying to reconnect with Kaden Jenks at Weber State, but that story is yet to be written.

But Corbin Christensen did go out with a bang helping Royal win its third consecutive state championship, then scoring all the points for his team in the all-star game to wrap up his high school football career as the most valuable player.

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