ROYAL CITY — Royal High School faced Othello in its home opener on Friday night, defeating the Huskies 49-0 to move to 2-0 on the season.
The game got off to a slow start, as Othello pounded the run game, with the Knights unable to put any points on the board in their short time of possession in the first quarter. Scoreless going into the second quarter, Caleb Christensen connected with Derek Bergeson for the 50-yard touchdown on Royal’s first offensive play of the quarter to go up 7-0.
Elliot Delay picked off Othello’s Logan Hollenbeck for the pick-six with just under four minutes left in the half to put the Knights up a pair of touchdowns. A six-yard touchdown pass from Christensen to Tyler Allred put the lead up to 21-0 going into halftime.
Christensen opened up the scoring in the second half with another touchdown pass, this one going eight yards to Kevin Reyes. An interception by Allred gave the Knights the ball back a few minutes later, with Lorenzo Myrick capping off the drive with an eight-yard run for the score. Derek Bergeson caught his second touchdown pass of the day with just over two minutes left in the third to put Royal up 42-0 going into the fourth quarter.
Elliot Delay would run in from 12 yards out in the fourth for his second touchdown of the game, first offensive, as the Knights held on for the shutout in the 49-0 victory.
Royal head coach Wiley Allred said he liked the effort from his team in their second game this season.
“They turned the ball over, it was a good battle, especially early on, just like we expected,” Allred said. “And then with the turnovers, kind of got out of hand. I think the other part was our offense was clicking and hard to stop. And I think we’re just getting enough opportunities and made the most of them.”
With Othello’s run-heavy offense, Allred said it was a different style compared to what the Knights faced in Ellensburg in their first game. The Royal head coach said the Huskies were successful in their approach early on, especially in the first quarter.
“We didn’t let them pop any big runs, and I think that was key,” Allred said. “They’re a tough team. They want to grind it and they do a good job. They’ve got a big line. We had trouble with the fullback, who had a really good game for them.”
Caleb Christensen had another big game for the Knights, going 14-17, with 174 yards and four touchdowns in his second game at the helm. Allred said Christensen is simply a very accurate quarterback, while giving a lot of credit to his core of receivers who made some big catches in the game.
Christensen said coming out and getting a win against a good football team was big, giving credit to his defense making big plays. In his second game under center, the Royal quarterback is beginning to feel more comfortable.
“It feels good knowing where, and you just have that much more confidence in your reads and where everybody’s going to be,” Christensen said.
The Huskies were playing without two of their varsity players in the game, Patrick Azevedo and Isaiah Perez. Othello defensive coordinator Jacob Johnston said missing those two players, with younger guys filling in gave them a chance to grow going into the core of the schedule.
“Moving forward, just getting that experience against these guys, it’ll help us with our league games because that’s really what matters,” Johnston said.
Johnston said coming out against Royal is always a challenge, giving credit to the coaching staff and the player preparedness that comes with that.
“They’re tough to game-play for,” Johnston said. “You can’t cover everything. You try to cover what you can.”
In a loss like this, Johnston said the main lesson to take away is how the players will handle facing adversity.
“What are you gonna take?” Johnston said. “You can’t give up, you’ve got to stay positive. You can’t take plays off, can’t get down on each other. So really more bringing them together as a team — team unity.”
The Knights finished with 328 yards of offense, giving up 123 yards to Othello. Royal forced six turnovers in the game, while surrendering just one fumble in the game. The Huskies did the bulk of their damage on the ground, rushing for more than 100 yards on the ground. Estevan Ochoa did the bulk of the damage, rushing for 78 yards on 17 attempts.
Next up for the Knights is a trip to face Wahluke in Mattawa. Othello, at 1-1 on the year now, will face West Valley of Spokane on the road.