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High school football: Highly-efficient Roy off to its first 4-0 start since 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — Roy is off to its first 4-0 start since 2014 — the same year it advanced to the 4A championship — and though coach Freddy Fernandes isn’t surprised by the perfect start, there are elements that have definitely been surprising.

With numerous new starters on both sides of the ball, most notably a new quarterback after Jaxson Dart transferred to Corner Canyon in January, the Royals have been highly efficient through the first month of the season.

“We’re four games in and we haven’t turned the ball over at all on offense so that’s a big plus. I knock on wood when I say that,” said Fernandes. “Defensively we replaced so many starters that I was really apprehensive on how good we were going to be.”

Roy’s turnover-free offense is averaging 35.6 ppg, while defensively it is allowing only 15.3 ppg.

Balance has been the key offensively.

“These first four games we’ve taken what the defense has given us offensively,” said Fernandes. “Depending on what the defense is doing, I think (offensive coordinator Luke) Hobbs has done a really good job of calling the offense and taking what’s available to us.”

Based on the stats from the first four weeks, defenses seem more willing to make Roy beat them with the run than the pass.

Roy’s rush attempts to pass attempts the first four weeks has been 29-15, 34-30, 40-19, 43-11.

Last week in a convincing 35-6 win over Layton, Roy ran the ball a whopping 43 times for 286 yards and four touchdowns.

New quarterback Parker Kingston accounted for 85 of those rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Fernandes said the junior QB has had plenty of opportunities to throw more in the RPO offense, but he’s making the right reads and taking what’s there — a big reason the offense hasn’t committed a turnover yet.

Kingston was Roy’s second-leading receiver as a sophomore last year with 491 yards and three TDs, a position he figured he’d be playing again this year until Dart transferred to Corner Canyon.

He’s made the most of his opportunity leading Roy to a 4-0 start just like his predecessor has at No. 1 Corner Canyon.

“I think he was planning on just being the quarterback for one year, but with Jaxson moving to corner that just sped it up a year. Parker’s been a quarterback his whole life and he’s played phenomenal. He’s throwing the ball well, making the right reads in the game and running it really well,” said Fernandes.

This Friday Roy travels to Syracuse, and though it looks like a bit of a mismatch with Syracuse’s slow start to the season, Roy will be plenty focused after last year’s double-overtime loss in the rivalry.

If Roy takes care of business, and region foe Davis does the same this week, Roy and Davis will both be 5-0 heading into their Region 1 clash in week 6.