ROYAL CITY — Royal football kicked off its State tournament run with a strong win over Charles Wright Academy at home, 64-7, on Friday night.
The Knights got going early as a blocked punt gave Royal the ball near the goal line. Lorenzo Myrick punched in for the score on an eight-yard rush to give the Knights a 7-0 less than a minute into the game.
Both teams went back and forth after the score, with turnovers by both teams. The Knights were able to drive again midway through the quarter as Myrick was able to punch in for his second touchdown on a 13-yard run to give Royal a 14-0 lead. On the following drive, Cooper Christensen picked off the pass for the pick-six to quickly make it a 20-0 edge for the Knights.
Caleb Christensen connected with Aldo Farias a few minutes later on a 30-yard strike through the air to build on the Knights’ lead. A botched snap on a punt try for Charles Wright led to a safety to give Royal a 29-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, Michael Perez got the scoring going again early for Royal on a six-yard run for the score. Less than four minutes into the second, Myrick found his way in for his third touchdown of the game to put the Knights ahead 43-0.
Caleb and Cooper Christensen connected on a 40-yard touchdown pass just a few minutes later to build on the Royal lead. Derek Bergeson’s 10-yard touchdown run later in the quarter would cap off the first half lead at 57-0 for the Knights going into the half.
The visitors would strike first in the second half to avoid the shutout on the road, as Charles Wright quarterback Jon Mayer hit Dane Jacobson for the 23-yard touchdown to make it 57-7.
Avery Ellis would cap off the scoring for the Knights late in the third on a short run to the outside as a scoreless fourth gave Royal the 64-7 win to begin the playoffs.
The Knights finished with 327 yards of offense in the game while holding Charles Wright to just 81.
Myrick finished with 116 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 11 attempts. Bergeson added 32 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Caleb Christensen finished with 107 yards through the air with a pair of touchdowns. Cooper Christensen led the Royal receivers with two catches for 70 yards and a score.
Elliot Delay led the defense with five tackles, all of them for a loss. Tyler Allred, Myrick and Christensen each snagged interceptions for the Knights.
Royal head coach Wiley Allred said he felt the team got off to bit of a slow start, but was able to get things rolling.
“We sped the tempo up and that helped the kids,” Allred said. “I think we were just quite a bit stronger and a little bit quicker than they were, and once we quit turning the ball over and running the ball more, I think that helped.”
As the competition level continues to rise, Allred said this is something he’s been preparing his players for the past few weeks.
“We’ve had a few weeks of mismatches honestly, but that’s done with,” Allred said. “Now, we’ve gotta execute. I think we’ve been doing that and trying to work on getting better, but it changes dramatically this week.”
From this point on, Allred said everyone they’ll face is a top-notch team.
“I think the guys know that and they’ve seen enough film to understand the rest of these teams are gonna be stronger and faster and haven’t been beaten either,” Allred said. “We’re just crossing over now to league champions.”
Next up, Royal will face Omak in the quarterfinals for a chance to continue their playoff run on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Royal High School.