Only a few seconds into Friday's game, Benilde-St. Margaret's running back Camden Royal looked ahead and saw nothing but open field between him and the end zone.
"From that first moment, I knew it was going to be a game," Royal said.
He was right. Royal sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown on that first carry and went on to score four TDs and rush for 271 yards on just 11 carries while leading the Class 4A, No. 4-ranked Red Knights to a 37-14 homecoming victory over Holy Angels.
Royal went untouched on a 35-yard second-quarter TD, scored from 10 yards out in the third and added a 91-yard jaunt in the fourth. He paced a trio of 100-yard rushers — Joe Marinaro added 112 and William Petty 107 — as the Red Knights totaled 540 yards on the ground.
"I felt the energy on the sideline and from the crowd and it gave me confidence," Royal said. "Our blockers were executing really well, especially the receivers giving me the corners."
The Red Knights (5-0) also executed on defense. They held Holy Angels scoreless until Emmett Johnson zigzagged his way to an 80-yard TD run in the final minute of the third quarter. The 10th-ranked Stars (3-2) entered averaging more than 41 points per game.
"We needed to know our assignment, know our alignment, and when we got there make the tackle," Benilde-St. Margaret's coach Jon Hanks said. "We knew if we stuck to details and kept it simple we could be successful."