Entering Friday night’s game, Hazen and Renton were two different teams on two different tracks. The Highlanders were 3-0 and had outscored opponents 66-12. The Indians were 1-2 and had been outscored by opponents 78-72. It didn’t take Renton long to reverse its fortunes.
The Indians went up 36-0 by the half and cruised to a 54-0 win over Hazen on Sept. 26 at Renton Stadium.
Senior Ronnielle Battles provided a big-play spark for the Indians. Battles got things going in the first quarter with a 95-yard punt return. He added a 68-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Senior quarterback Darien Irby scored twice in the first half on touchdown runs from one yard and four yards. Mar’que Fluker and Jaron Dickson also added rushing touchdowns for the Indians’ powerful ground game.
Renton’s defense not only pitched the shutout to the Highlanders, the group also scored two touchdowns. One on a fumble return and one when Armin Basic returned an interception 30 yards in the second quarter.
Renton’s rushing attack has stepped up in the past three games. During that stretch Irby has rushed for four touchdowns, Battles has scored on three plays 65 yards or longer and Dickson has scored four rushing touchdowns.
Renton improves to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the Seamount League. The Indians host 3-1 Mount Rainier on Oct. 2. The Rams will pose a stiff test for Renton’s offense, as they’ve allowed just over 10 points per game so far this season. Renton is in fifth place in the Seamount.
Hazen stands at 3-1 overall and in league play. The Highlanders have to regroup before facing 3-1 Lindbergh on Oct. 3. Hazen is tied with Mount Rainier for second in the Seamount.