Facing one of the best opponents they've played this season, the Royal High School football team and Alex Myrick played one of their best games.
The Knights hope to do the same this weekend against River View in the Class 1A state semifinals.
On Saturday in the quarterfinals, Myrick rushed for four touchdowns and threw four more, as Royal hammered Cle Elum/Roslyn 61-27.
"The team is pumped," Myrick said. "Everyone was pumped after the game (Saturday). It is nice to get a smile on everybody's face."
And why wouldn't the Knights be smiling? They are in the semifinals for the first time since 2008, led by a tremendous group of seniors.
"This year we have a lot more focus on what the actual goal should have been the last couple of years," Myrick said. "The seniors this year are actually striving to get to the Dome and to actually take it.
"I think we have been working a lot harder this year than the last couple of years."
Myrick, a three-year starter, is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the state. He's 123-for-181 passing for 2,272 yards this season with 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also has rushed 107 times for 1,026 yards and 18 more TDs.
"He has had a good season," Royal coach Wiley Allred said. "He's a real unselfish player who just wants to get wins."
Myrick and company have certainly done that, rolling along undefeated and rarely being challenged. Their closest game of the season was a 39-7 victory against River View in Week 5.
A big part of that is a senior class that has been on varsity for three seasons and has taken its lumps.
"A lot of these guys were playing as sophomores, a year before they should've been," Allred said. "They've seen a lot of football for high school and they are a good group to work with. I think they've shown a lot of maturity."
Now, the Knights are one win from reaching the seventh state title game in program history.
"The main thing is to try and stay focused," Myrick said. "Execute on offense and do good on defense, that's what we should strive for."
Editor's note: Each day this week, the Tri-City Herald will publish a profile on one of the five Mid-Columbia teams left in the state high school football playoffs -- Tuesday: Royal; Wednesday: Liberty Christian; Thursday: Waitsburg-Prescott; Friday: River View; Saturday: Prosser.