By Brandon Mauk
No matter who was taking the handoff, Christ the King had no trouble running the ball against St. Joseph by the Sea.
Five different Royals scored rushing touchdowns to lead the team to a 39-6 Homecoming victory in CHSFL Class AA play at Franklin K. Lane last Saturday.
“Man, it’s great, because we get to go back to school and everybody’s happy,” running back Elyjah Campbell said. “We’ll have a good time.”
The Royals are now 4-0 under second-year head coach Jason Brown, and are firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball.
Christ the King started out quickly, unlike in previous weeks. They scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game, jumping out to a 19-0 halftime lead.
Campbell ran for the first two scores, one from 12 yards out and the second from 16 yards. The CK defense also played a huge role in the victory, as they forced three interceptions, including two by defensive back Garfield Hall.
“We put a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” Brown said. “We have a lot of athletes on defense. Their guy helped a lot. He forced a lot of throws that made a lot of interceptions.”
Their defense needed to play especially well in the second and third quarters, as the Christ the King offense stalled with limited time to pass the ball on a cold and windy afternoon.
“Whenever our offense struggles, we’re going to help them out,” Hall said.
After St. Joseph-by-the-Sea (1-3 overall, 0-3 in league play) got on the board with a 57-yard touchdown pass to make it 19-6, Christ the King immediately snapped out of its offensive funk. The coaches and team leaders had to keep their heads in the game.
“I think it was more the atmosphere because it was Homecoming,” Brown said. “A lot of guys got excited and didn’t focus on what they needed to do.”
His team went back to their ground game to do that. On the first play from scrimmage following Sea’s score, they got the touchdown back on a 90-yard run by Giovanni Downie.
The Royals put on the finishing touches with two more scores. Maalik McClymont set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Siddiq Muhammad with an interception, and Aron Sanabria iced the game with a 35-yard score on the ground. The officials called the game early after a scuffle between the teams broke out after the last touchdown.
“The run was working really well,” Brown said. “I would have liked to have complete more passes down the field, but you run the ball, you win a lot of games faster that way.”