Royal has No. 1 winning streak in the nation

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Rodney Harwood

ROYAL - It’s official. The Royal Knights moved up into a tie for the longest active winning streak in the nation with Saturday’s 55-6 win over Mt. Baker in the 1A quarterfinals in the final home game at David Nielsen Stadium.

The streak now sits at 53 consecutive victories. Their win, combined with the loss of previously unbeaten Damascus (53) in the Maryland 2A playoff West final, put Royal and Caledonia, Minn., in the top position.

It’s not De La Salle-like numbers where the Concord, Calif. Team rolled up the national record with a 151-game winning streak spanning from 1992 to 2004. But it is pretty good shooting and four years without a loss.

Washington Football Coaches Hall of Fame coach Wiley Allred has kept his thoughts close to the vest on any of this for obvious reasons. Ask Damascus, these things can go away in the blink of an eye and that Any-Given-Sunday line of thinking can rise above all logic.

I’d of bet the ranch that the 2007 New York Giants wouldn’t beat the 18-0 New England Patriots back in 2008.

‘Nuff said, the Royal Knights (12-0) go into Saturday’s 1A semifinal game on Saturday at Lions Field in Moses Lake tied for the longest winning streak in the country.

Wonders of social media

It still takes me awhile to remember these guys out there playing on game day were born after the Y2K scare. They have no idea that people were worried at the turn of the century, at the stroke of midnight, everything just might lock up when the zeros in 2-0-0-0 all rolled around. They’ve never known anything but a phone, computer, jukebox all fitting in their pocket.

For a guy that grew up before internet, Google, and witnessed the great Bell Telephone Co. meltdown, I do. So it still amazes me when the kids use the wonders of social media to reach clear across the country.

Royal offensive lineman Leighton Bateman was surfing the net and actually made contact with a player from Damascus through Messenger.

“I was doing a bit of research on football teams that have long winning streaks like us. I was looking to Damascus recent loss,” he said. “I looked up one of their players and contacted him with a direct message on Messenger. We talked about the kind of offense they run. They’re kind of like us, bunch of hard working guys that love to play football.”

Jumping Jack Flash

Knights Jack Diaz went the distance from 82-yards out on a scoop and score Saturday that was a thing of beauty. At 6-foot, 230, Jumping Jack Flash wasn’t exactly running a 10-second 100-yard dash, but he ran faster than the guys giving chase. And with every step he took, you could just hear the air coming out of the Mt. Baker balloon as he ran right by their bench.

Got me to thinking, Diaz probably never heard of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott ust to play with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review back in the day. But the Royal linebacker did have a ramblin’ look as he made his way down the sideline.

So I reached in the treasure chest of recollect to compare Ramblin’ Jack Diaz to other song titles. Let’s see, there’s - Lily Rosemary & the Jack of Hearts (Dylan), Hit the Road Jack (Ray Charles), Jackstraw (Grateful Dead), Jack and Diane (John Mellencamp), Happy Jack (The Who), and a steamload of others.

I’m thinking he was Happy Jack when he finally saw the goal line after an 82-yard rumble.

Rodney Harwood is a sports writer for the Columbia Basin Herald and writes a weekly column for the Sun Tribune. He can be reached at rharwood@columbiabasinherald.com

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