VANCOUVER — The Knights had the night all to themselves.
The King’s Way Christian Knights and Fort Vancouver Trappers opened the 2017 high school football season Thursday, and it turned into a one-team showcase.
Michael Garrison scored four touchdowns, and the King’s Way defense was just as impressive in a 56-0 non-league victory at Kiggins Bowl.
For close to 24 hours, the Knights get to say they are the only 1-0 team in Clark County. That is the benefit of a Thursday game to kick off the season.
By Friday night, all but one of the Clark County football teams will have played a game. This week is a chance to see how every team has adapted to change.
King’s Way Christian, for example, graduated more than 20 seniors from last year’s team. The Knights also have a new coach. Those are big changes.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said defensive lineman Chandler Wann. “We thought they’d score a little bit, and we’d score a little bit and see where we stood. It was great to come out and show them who we are.”
“I expected us to win by a couple touchdowns, but I thought they would score at least one or two touchdowns,” defensive lineman Nathan Snider added.
Those two combined for quite the highlight when Wann got a quarterback sack on one play, and then the two combined for a sack on the next play.
It was that kind of night for King’s Way. The Knights ruled in every part of the game.
Quarterback Kemper Shrock had an impressive debut, completing 14 of 18 passes for 201 yards and three touchdown passes. Garrison caught all three, finishing with seven receptions for 116 yards. Garrison also had a fumble recovery and return for a touchdown. Oh, and he intercepted a Fort pass in the end zone.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” King’s Way coach Tom Schroeder said after winning in his first game as a head coach. “Dream come true, and the kids just stepped up big-time.”
At Fort Vancouver, it might not look like much has changed. But look closer.
The Trappers also have a new coach. Steve Broussard is trying to change the culture at Fort, is looking to build. It is just going to take time. Less than 20 players were in full uniform for the Trappers in the opener. Next week, Broussard expects to have six to eight more players who will hit the required number of practices in order to play. By Week 4 or 5, he expects another 10 or so players to become eligible.
The big change that everyone could see from Fort’s point of view was Fort’s point of view. The Trappers, playing a home game at Kiggins Bowl, set up their bench on what is traditionally the visitor’s sideline. Broussard said that might not make all of the fans happy, but he wanted something of a symbolic change as well.
Things will improve, he promised.
“I believe it. These guys just have to keep grinding, keep believing,” Broussard said.
The effort was there, he added, and he saw a lot of hurt in the locker after the game.
“It means something to them,” Broussard said, and that is a good thing. “I know I have something to work with.”
King’s Way Christian and Fort Vancouver both have that first one out the way now. It is a long season. Fort Vancouver knows not every game will be like this one. King’s Way Christian knows not every game will be like this one.
“It relieves a little bit of the nerves,” Snider said of playing that first game of the season. “It gets us excited for the next game.”
King’s Way Christian 56, Fort Vancouver 0
KWC 21 21 7 7—56
Ft. Van 0 0 0 0—0
KWC – Michael Garrison 29 pass from Kemper Shrock (Coby Burns-Atkins kick)
KWC – Gideon Rounsley 1 run (Burns-Atkins kick)
KWC – Garrison 10 fumble return (Burns-Atkins kick)
KWC – Garrison 15 pass from Shrock (run failed)
KWC – Garrison 15 pass from Shrock (Burns-Atkins kick)
KWC – Safety, Fort snap goes into end zone
KWC – Mat Fronk 1 run (kick failed)
KWC – Gage Koenders 6 run (Burns-Atkins kick)
KWC – Mason Packer 2 run (Burns-Atkins kick)
RUSHING: King’s Way Christian – Rounsley 13-53, Koenders 8-42, Fronk 11-36, Packer 1-2. Fort Vancouver – Rickie Williams 8-16, Nick Hawk 4-9, Joseph Endonino 6- (minus 38).
PASSING: King’s Way Christian – Shrock 14-18-0-201. Fort Vancouver – Endonino 9-19-2-74.
RECEIVING: King’s Way Christian – Garrison 7-116, Dylan Scott 3-32, Brannan Meriwether 1-15, Bailey Meek 2-7, Bryce Dodge 1-31. Fort Vancouver – Shawn Mintah 3-66, Angel Gonzalez 2-7, Austin Real-James 1-7, Hawk 2- (minus 6).