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November 22, 2012

Royal Readies For Tow Games And A Shot At The Title


On this penultimate weekend for high school football in the state of Washington, two very familiar league foes will square off on Saturday morning in Kennewick for the right play for the Gold Ball on Championship Weekend.
Given the choice, Riverview Panther Head Coach Brett Jay would always choose "offensive shootout" over "defensive battle".  Last Saturday Coach Jay was as grateful as ever to have a sufficiently stout defense to shut out the Quincy Jackrabbits in what was clearly a defensive battle.  The two offensive sides were neutralized for most of the game, but just barely, until the Panthers were able to convert a one yard quarterback keeper by sophomore Ruvim Tyutyunnik in the fourth quarter.  
That was followed up by a Panther defensive score when Austin Weatherby pounced on the loose football in the endzone after a botched punt play by Quincy.  Those two scores were enough to come out on top, as the Panther defense held the Quincy offense to less than 125 yards total.
In stark contrast, the Royal Knights battled the Cle Elum Warriors in a contest that resulted in 88 total points.  Royal ended up with the lion's share of those points, as they imposed their will over a highly touted Warrior squad to post a 61-27 victory.  In truth, things didn't start out with the Knights imposing much of anything.  Cle Elum scored quickly and efficiently on their first possession then forced Royal into a three-and-out.  It just took a few more plays under their belts for Royal to settle in and go to work on both sides of the ball.
Spurred by big plays on the ground and through the air by senior quarterback Alex Myrick, Royal went on to score four of the next five touchdowns to close the half with a 27-13 lead.  The scoring landslide  for the Knights got underway in earnest on the first play of the second half when Myrick hit Brady Dixon on an out-pattern that Dixon turned into a 65-yard touchdown after running past and through the Warrior defensive backs.  
Myrick finished the game with four rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns and accounted for 410 of Royal's 550+ yards of offense.  The Knight defense held up their end of the bargain with timely quarterback sacks, interceptions, and blocked punts.  
Season-long defensive stalwarts Brady Dixon and Marcos Morales were assisted at linebacker by an outstanding performance by junior Luis Garcia, who registered double-digit tackles on the day. The end result of the two games is a rematch from mid-season between the Riverview Panthers and Royal Knights for the opportunity to compete the following weekend in the Tacoma Dome for the ultimate prize.  
With five state titles in school history, it is a prize the Knights are intimately familiar with.  While Royal has been to the semifinals 13 times, Riverview will be experiencing it for the first time on Saturday.  Will that thrill and excitement carry the Panthers through or will the Knights coaching staff be able to parlay there playoff experience and tradition into another trip to the Dome?
At their first meeting the Panthers gave the currently undefeated Knights their toughest game and closest margin of victory on the season.  Despite some sloppy play from both squads, Royal came through with a 39-7 win. It still remains the only loss on the Riverview schedule. That being said, defeating a quality opponent twice in the same season is a very ominous task, especially late in the playoffs with so much on the line.Both teams are keenly aware that they will have to be at their best on Saturday to pull off the victory.  Have the Panthers improved enough to pull off the upset in the rematch?  Which coaching staff will make the more effective adjustments in the second meeting?  Will we have an "offensive shootout" or "defensive battle"?
Come discover the answers with us this Saturday at 11 am at Kennewick's Lampson Field for heated 
playoff action.

If you can't make it to the game, join us andLISTEN LIVE at www.royalhighsports.com Kickoff will be at 11 am and the webcast will begin at  10:40 pm with game preview.

About the Author

I live on the “Eastside” of the State in Royal City, Washington. I am the father of 5 wonderful children and husband to the most patient woman to ever walk the planet. A small town football fanatic, Coach, and now writer of tales. Come join me as we find the greatest stories we can out here on The Edge.




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