E.A. Sports Today

Royal rumbles

Alexandria freshman rushes for 309 yards, five touchdowns as sixth-ranked Valley Cubs overrun Lincoln

By East Alabama Sports Today

LINCOLN – Ronnie Royal has had some big nights in a career at Alexandria that’s still in its infancy, but Friday night might have been his most explosive ever.

The ninth-grader – “My God, a freshman,” Georgia broadcast legend Larry Munson would have said – rushed for 309 yards and five touchdowns as the sixth-ranked Cubs routed Lincoln 42-17 to remain undefeated and on track for a region title showdown with Leeds in two weeks.

His touchdown runs alone would have produced an extraordinary night for most backs. Royal scored on runs of 69, 68, 17, 42, 37 – 233 yards. The first three times he touched the ball he went for 16, 69 and 68 yards.

“He had a phenomenal game,” Valley Cubs coach Todd Ginn said. “I knew he had a special night, but I didn’t know until they handed me the stats that he went for 309 and five touchdowns. Any time you start the game out like that – I keep saying it over and over and Ronnie will tell you, too – it’s a tribute to how good our line is blocking right now, and then also he is a special player.

“Lincoln has athletes all over the field. We’re not talking about just running against a non-athletic team. He’s doing this against guys who can run and our line just blocked really, really well. And Ronnie had just a heck of a night, an unreal night.

“Tonight it was like the perfect storm. He was running outside and they were struggling to stop us on the outside and then he’d stick his foot in the ground a couple time and just took off. It almost looked like he was floating around out there. When a fast guy’s on turf he just looks like he’s just kind of floating along, and that’s what it looked like.”

And it could have been a lot more. He had two carries that netted zero yards and a couple other big runs that went for touchdowns negated by penalties. He also completed two passes to Javais McGhee for 20 more yards.

He had three touchdowns in the first half as the Valley Cubs (7-0, 5-0) opened a 28-7 lead. His fourth touchdown gave them a 35-7 lead and his fifth one closed the scoring.

Royal’s previous single-game rushing high this season was 261 yards against St. Clair County. For the season, he has 1,077 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing, with 17 carries of 20 yards or more.

Antonio Ross scored the Cubs’ other touchdown Friday and finished with 36 yards rushing. McGhee caught four passes 49 yards and completed a 26-yard pass to Ross.

“It just helps when you’ve got speed and we’ve got some speed,” Ginn said. “Ronnie’s getting to do some things because of that.”

But he’s not just a standout on offense. He’s a hard-hitting defender and he hit a Lincoln player so hard on the kickoff it may have contributed to the Golden Bears starting 0-for-7 and 1-for-10 in their passing game.

“He’s playing both sides of the ball at a really high level,” Ginn said.

Alexandria 42, Lincoln 17
Alexandria            21  7 7  7  –  42
Lincoln                   0   7  3  7  –  17

A – Ronnie Royal 69 run (Grayson Forrest good), 9:32 1Q
A – Ronnie Royal 68 run (Grayson Forrest good), 7:53 1Q
A – Antonio Ross 15 run (Grayson Forrest good), 3:22 1Q
A – Ronnie Royal 17 run (Grayson Forrest good), 8:24 2Q
L – Jakorrian Davis 19 run (Nick Munroe kick), 0:16 2Q
A – Ronnie Royal 42 run (Grayson Forrest good), 10:30 3Q
L – Nick Munroe 25 FG, 3:11 3Q
L – Latavious Wilson 1 run (Nick Munroe kick), 8:35 4Q
A – Ronnie Royal 37 run (Grayson Forrest good), 4:21 4Q

Alex (7-0, 5-0)Linc (1-7, 1-4)
75Passing yds77

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