FARMINGTON — For much of this prep season, Roy football coach Fred Fernandes has been waiting for his left tackle to get healthy. Well, Zack Mendoza, the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder is back from a hamstring injury and so is the Royals running game. The Royals rang up 517 yards of total offense, improving to 7-2 after a 52-21 win over Farmington on Friday night.
Senior Kyrese Rowan delivered rushing touchdowns of 25 and 5 yards for the Royals and added a 75-yard interception return for a third score. Cade Harris added a rushing touchdown and sophomore Jaden Harris had two 2-yard plunges for scores in the win.
“We have a great backfield and that makes my job a lot easier,” Mendoza said. “Kyrese is fast as lightning, Cade Harris is shifty and Jaden Harris can power over some people.”
While the win was emphatic, coach Fernandes wasn’t entirely happy with the way the Royals played.
“I thought we played hard and I thought we played really crisp at times but we had eight holding penalties,” he said. “That is a little bit disappointing to bring touchdowns back and kill drives.”
Farmington received the games opening kick, ran three plays and found themselves in a fourth-and-1 at its own 40. The Phoenix went for it, the Royals stopped them and two plays later Roy had a 7-0 lead. Slippery running back Rowan scampered around right edge for a 25-yard first score of the game.
The Phoenix got the ball back, picked up two first downs, crossed midfield and looked to have an offensive rhythm. That momentum wilted when quarterback Wyatt Eversten’s over-the-middle pass was deflected and then intercepted by Josh Gallegos.
After a fumble from Roy and a punt from Farmington, the Royals got back to work.
Quarterback Jaxson Dart, got a nice rhythm going late in the first quarter, effectively completing screen passes and moving the Chains. A seven-play, 3-minute drive was consolidated with Rowan scoring on a 5-yard run.
Early in the second quarter, Roy took a 21-0 lead after a 3-yard run from Cade Harris.
The Phoenix, trapped deep in their own territory found some life when Wyatt Evertsen found Isaac Beckman over the middle with a 71-yard completion. Hayden Toone scored on a 1-yard run to close the gap to 21-7.
The Royals led 31-7 at the half.
Rowan intercepted an Evertsen pass in the third quarter and returned it 75-yards for a score and a 38-7 lead.
“The kid is the hardest worker I’ve ever had,” Fernandes said. “He’s the first one in the weight room and the last to leave.”
Evertsen warmed up in the second half, tossing touchdown passes of 27 and 75 yards to Carter Lopez and Jude Cantrell.
In their first year of football, the Phoenix will be making a trip to the playoffs. Fernandes paid tribute to a team he thinks will be very good, real soon.
“Farmington is a really good young team and they will be a force to be reckoned with very shortly,” he said.