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Ephrata boys suffer tough loss to Royal, 6-56

by Rebecca Pettingill
Staff Writer | October 25, 2021 1:00 AM

EPHRATA — Friday night was rough for the Ephrata High School Tigers football team in a 6-56 loss to the Royal High School Knights.

In the first quarter, the Tigers started by receiving first. The team really struggled to move the ball, not even making it past the 40-yard line. Royal didn’t seem phased by Ephrata and scored with eight minutes left in the quarter. The extra kick was good, giving the Knights a 7-0 lead over the Tigers early on. The Knights brought a tough defense and Ephrata just could not break it. There was little to no gain the next time the Tigers had possession of the ball, and it would not be the only time that happened by the end of the night. The Tigers punted the ball on their fourth down, hoping to push Royal back. The Knights had possession with a first down at the 50-yard line. In the play, a Royal player cut right through Ephrata’s defensive line with a gain of 31 yards for the Knights. Shortly thereafter, Royal made another touchdown and extra point with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Knights led 14-0 on Ephrata’s home turf.

The following kickoff by Royal was caught by junior Travis Hendrick, who made it to the 29-yard line. By the fourth down, Ephrata had only managed to push to the 30-yard line. On the fourth down, Ephrata punted the ball like before, except Ephrata got ahead of itself and a Tiger headbutted the ball as it came down. This resulted in a first down for the Knights on the 48-yard line. Royal then was penalized for holding with a 10-yard penalty. With less than a minute left, the Knights received a 5-yard penalty for a false start. Royal pushed to the 20-yard line, but ran out of time in the first quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was Royal 14, Ephrata 0.

Royal started quarter two on the 20-yard line and immediately scored a touchdown with a 15-yard pass. The extra point was good and Royal went on to score two more touchdowns during the second quarter, but not without pushback from Ephrata. During the last minute of the half, Ephrata scored a touchdown and finally got on the board. The extra kick was no good, leaving the Tigers at 6 and Royal leading with 35 going into the second half.

Halftime was very busy at the stadium. There were two performances, one by the cheerleaders and one by the dance team. Then, the Homecoming court was brought out and fireworks were set off in celebration.

The second half started off with a kickoff by the Tigers. It was clear the Tigers were struggling against Royal’s offence. Through the third quarter, the Tigers were not able to get any more points on the board and Royal scored two more touchdowns. Third quarter came to a close with Ephrata still at 6 and Royal at 49.

Royal did not seem phased at their huge lead and continued pushing. Royal managed another touchdown with eight and a half minutes left in the last quarter. It was the last time either team would see an endzone and the game ended with Royal’s victory, 56-6.

“They’re an outstanding team; that’s probably the best team we will face all year,” Ephrata head coach Jay Mills said.

He said he thought his team’s performance Friday night was a combination of a lot of things, namely some mistakes and being physically outmatched.

“I will say this, I don’t think it was effort on our kids’ part; our kids played hard and I’m really pleased with that,” Mills said.