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Knights unhorse Eatonville 50-0

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | November 13, 2023 3:01 PM

ROYAL CITY — In a rematch of the 2021 1A state title game, the No. 1 seed Knights recorded their second-straight shutout with Friday night’s 50-0 win over No. 16 Eatonville, opening the 1A State Football Playoffs with a win over the Cruisers.

“That was a physical team, and we made some mistakes early; dropping the ball,” Royal coach Wiley Allred said. “Defense played outstanding all night, played tough. We’re getting healthier, we’ll have Ethan Ellis next week as well — that’s never a bad thing, to have the guy that started the season at running back.”

Royal held Eatonville to 145 yards of total offense and seven different Knights got into the end zone during the win, starting with a four-yard touchdown run by senior Jared Lee on Royal’s first drive of the game.

“I just saw the side was closed out, so I followed my line,” Lee said.

Three drives later, Royal junior quarterback Lance Allred scored on a two-yard quarterback sneak to put the Knights up 14-0. The Royal defense forced a punt, which was muffed and recovered by Eatonville, but the Cruisers missed a field goal deep in Royal territory.

    The Royal Knights recorded their second-straight shutout with Friday’s 50-0 win over Eatonville, opening the 1A State Football Playoffs with a dominating win.
 
 


Royal went on a six-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a 30-yard touchdown catch by junior Ben Jenks, who made two Eatonville defenders miss tackles on the goal line, to put the Knights up 21-0 with two seconds left in the half.

“We ran that same play before that and I got tackled, and I remembered that so the next time I looked for the same guy coming across,” Jenks said. “I was ready for it.”

Two of Royal’s three third-quarter drives ended with touchdowns, with seniors Case Christensen and Bennett Brown both scoring on 19-yard touchdown passes from Allred, and the Knights added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard reception by junior Jackson Larsen and a 15-yard run by sophomore Brody Bishop.

“I think we’re hitting our stride offensively, and we’re continuing to build on our defense,” Brown said. “I think we’re coming in really confident this year.”

Eatonville moved the ball down the field in the first quarter by attacking the flats to set up one-on-one matchups with a defender and allowed quarterback Hunter Klumpar to move around outside of the pocket, but the Knights adjusted and held the Cruisers scoreless.

“(Klumpar) was getting some plays on third-and-long because he was getting out of the pocket, and then our guys were coming off the receivers; the kids did a more disciplined job after of staying on receivers, letting our linebackers and d-line get to the quarterback.”

After Lee’s touchdown run on their first drive of the game, Royal went three-and-out and fumbled on another drive before Allred’s two-yard touchdown run.

“Eatonville’s a really good team, they kind of stuffed our (offense),” Brown said. “But when we got rolling, it was tough for them to stop us. I think if we just get in our rhythm, get warm in the game we’ll be tough to stop.”

    Royal quarterback Lance Allred heaves a pass down the field against Eatonville on Friday night.
 
 


The Knights scored touchdowns on six of their next seven offensive drives.

Friday’s win was Royal’s fourth shutout in their past six games, and they’ve only allowed 48 points to opposing teams this season. Allred credited game plans by defensive coordinator Jeremy Scroggins and the buy-in from the players on the defensive side of the ball.

“They do what he’s asking, and he’s a very detailed coach,” Allred said. “Probably the best (defensive coordinator) in the state.”

Royal, the winners of the past three 1A state championships, will attempt to pick up another postseason win at home against No. 9 Omak on Friday at 6 p.m.

“Just keep doing what we’re doing,” Lee said. “Don’t get cocky, just stay humble and know that any team can beat us.”

    Royal junior Jackson Larsen (21) intercepts a pass in the second quarter against Eatonville Friday.
 
 


Box score

EAT: 0-0-0-0 0
ROY: 7-14-14-15 50