Prep Football: Turnovers doom Roy in playoff blowout to Alta

Friday , October 27, 2017 - 11:07 PM

BOB JUDSON, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

ROY — A solid game plan for Roy would be to maintain possession of the football and get off to a good start against Alta, a scary team that had scored more than 60 points four times this season, and had six games north of 40.

Six turnovers for the game and six points at the half would not turn the trick for the Royals on the weekend before Halloween.

In a recipe for disaster, the Hawks mixed a blend of run and pass to overwhelm Roy 52-6 in the first round of the state 5-A football playoffs during a Friday night lights television broadcast.

Zach Engstrom rushed for three first-half touchdowns and quarterback Will Dana threw for two more as Alta took a huge 38-6 lead into the locker room at half.

“We got in a hole early and that changed the game plan quite a bit,” Roy coach Fred Fernandes said. “They were a lot quicker and they were bigger and they were better than we were.”

Freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart left the game late in the first period with an injury which further complicated things for the Royals, who trailed 17-0 after one.

“Then we lost our quarterback and we really had to change things. We weren’t positive we could run on them but we thought we could throw it on them and then he went down,” Fernandes said. “He got almost all the reps in practice; we just kind of scrambled to find some offense.”

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Roy scored its only touchdown of the game with 40 seconds left in the second stanza when backup quarterback Dylan Parish connected with Josh Gallegos over the middle for a 33-yard score, but even then, Alta added another touchdown before the half ended.

The six Royal turnovers gave Alta great field position several times. The Hawks started drives from the Roy 18 (twice), 11, 19, 36 and 28-yard lines.

“And then we turned it over. I’ve never had a team turn it over this much,” Fernandes said. “It gave them short fields. A couple of the turnovers were uncharacteristic. I don’t think we’ve had a quarterback-center exchange problem all year. We had three or four of them tonight and lost a couple of them.

“So that changed things in a hurry, when they only have 11, 18 yards to go.”

With the clock winding down due to the mercy rule, Alta added two touchdowns in the second half on runs of 18 and 40 yards by Tu’u Afu.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to them. They were the better team. They were much more prepared to play than we were. I thought we could hang with them, but they played at a different speed than we did,” Fernandes said.

“Their defense was a lot better than I thought. Their front seven were big and we had a hard time blocking them. On this one game, we were outplayed by a better team.”

Roy finishes 5-5.

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