Royals win 44-0 on Senior Night


Mike Brown | For The Daily Reporter

By Brady Extin | Daily Reporter

[email protected]

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Senior Night at Eastern Hancock High School turned out to be a “get-right” game for the Royals.

After a 40-0 loss last week to North Decatur, they flipped things around by shutting out the visiting Wes-Del Warriors by a score of 44-0 Friday.

“We were hoping this would be a victory for us, but what I really wanted to see was how our kids responded in practice this past week,” Eastern Hancock head coach Pat Echeverria said. “It’s always good to get a comeback win after a tough loss.”

A well orchestrated opening drive — capped off by a Kayden Ruble 17-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Edon — got the scoring started quickly, and the Royals never looked back.

Immediately following the score, issues began to arise for the Wes-Del offense.

On their first play from scrimmage, Eastern Hancock’s Brady Jordan recovered a fumble by Warriors quarterback Carter Flynn.

To say the Royals were in control from then on would be an understatement.

The Royals not only shut out the Warriors, they held them to less than 50 yards of total offense, forced them to punt four times, forced five turnovers and a safety.

Each and every member of the Royals defense caused fits for the freshman Flynn in his first start under center.

“They were flying around. Last week we had trouble with communication and getting lined up. That was a big emphasis for us and our team did a great job with that,” Echeverria said. “It was a good comeback game for our defense, no question about it.”

Along with the earlier fumble, Flynn was intercepted by Eastern Hancock’s Kain Sotelo in the first quarter.

Sotelo took the ball back 59 yards to the end zone, but the touchdown was overturned by an illegal block in the back.

If there was one hiccup in the Royals night, that was it — penalties.

“When you play the best teams on your schedule you can’t have self-inflicted, silly mistakes like that. It’s going to cost us, and that’s a lesson that we have to learn,” Echeverria said. “We can’t do that against pretty much anybody else on the remainder of our schedule.”

But outside of penalties, the Royals were near perfect on both sides of the ball.

The offense was fueled by the best start of Edon’s young career.

He contributed five touchdowns — four passing and one rushing.

After the opening touchdown to Ruble, he connected with him again from 13 yards out. He found Cameron Volz on a 10-yard score, and Eli Manship on a three-yard shovel pass.

“Any opportunity he gets and the more experience he gets to see things and situations that you can’t simulate in practice, it’s good for him,” Echeverria said about Edon. “He had a couple of moments where he did some really good things and a couple where I wanted to bring him over to the sideline and explain what he did wrong. For the most part he’s doing a really good job as a freshman taking in everything we want.”

Along with Edon’s rushing touchdown, Peyton Speer added one of his own from 18 yards out.

Those two may have both scored on the ground, but the Royals used this game to get a look at another freshman on the roster – running back Mark Kube.

After having just seven rushing attempts on the season, he led the Royals in carries, rushing 10 times for 76 yards.

“He’s another freshman that is really talented and he’s starting to come into his own. We wanted to feed him just to see how he handled more carries,” Echeverria said. “The more experience that these young guys get means the more depth that we have as we get later into the season.”

The Royals are now 2-1 and 1-1 in the Mid-Eastern Conference. Next Friday they travel to Indianapolis to take on Heritage Christian.