Taylor-made win: Trojans run past rival Royals, 48-21

One week after surviving a near upset to Kentwood, the Auburn High football team left little doubt last Friday night what the outcome would be against longtime rival Kent-Meridian.

Behind 197 total yards of offense by Alphonse Wade and 134 on the ground from Chris Young, the Trojans tore apart the Royals 48-21 at Auburn Memorial Stadium in the 107th Taylor Trophy game. Auburn has now won the Taylor Trophy 12 straight years.

“Winning the Taylor Trophy is an important thing in the community,” said Auburn coach Gordon Elliott. “Everybody knows the story, and everybody knows it’s an important game.”

The Auburn/Kent-Meridian rivalry is the second-oldest in the state and dates back to 1905. With the win, the Trojans evened up the all-time series at 47-47. Since the beginning of the series, seven of the scores were never recorded and there have been 13 ties.

Friday night, there would be no tie.

The fourth-ranked Trojans (3-0) were in fine form from the beginning, bolting out to a 28-0 lead before the second quarter began. Austin Embody began the blowout with a 13-yard touchdown run, then pushed the Trojans’ lead to 14-0 on a 22-yard scoring strike from quarterback Marshall Klontz. Young then got into the act with a 14-yard touchdown run, which was followed by a 54-yard touchdown reception by Wade.

Wade scored four times in the game and finished with 143 yards rushing and 54 receiving.

“We’ve known for a while he was going to be a good player,” Elliott said of Wade, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior. “He’s pretty accomplished. But, obviously, it’s not all him because our other running backs are getting good yards, too. He’s also got the benefit of teams keying on Chris Young a little bit.”

On Friday night, however, it really didn’t matter who the Royals keyed on because, one way or another, the Trojans were going to find the end zone.

“You just can’t simulate what they do on offense,” said K-M coach Trevor Roberts.

Kent-Meridian (0-3) didn’t find the end zone until the second quarter, when fullback Va’a Logotala punched in a 2-yard score.

Despite the loss, Roberts wasn’t disappointed in his team’s play.

“Our kids had no quit in them,” he said. “We gave (Auburn) everything we had. Offensively, we were pretty effective. It comes down to (defensive) stops and we could not stop them.”

With Tahoma’s loss to Kentwood last Friday night, Auburn and Kentridge (3-0) remain the South Puget Sound League North Division’s lone unbeaten teams. The Chargers will play host to the Trojans on Thursday, Oct. 1 at French Field.