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Larkin handles Elgin to keep Town Jug

Playing with an extra sense of purpose, Larkin's Erick Myrick enjoyed a memorable senior season performance against crosstown rival Elgin Friday night.

Myrick caught 3 touchdown passes and added an interception on the defensive side of the ball, helping lift Larkin (3-5, 3-5) to a 26-6 Upstate Eight Conference victory over the Maroons (1-7, 1-7) at Memorial Field.

With the win, the Royals secured the Town Jug for the third consecutive season.

“It means a lot for us,” said Myrick, who finished with 4 receptions for 74 yards, including the Royals' first 2 touchdowns covering 22 and 20 yards, respectively, from junior quarterback Tizairian Johnson-Williams.

“We've been dealing with a lot of adversity. We just had to come out and prove ourselves again.”

Larkin scored on its first offensive series, capping a 9-play, 37-yard drive with Myrick's touchdown reception on a 4th-and-goal play.

Elgin answered with a 4-play, 34-yard drive of its own following Lamyni Spates' 51-yard kickoff return. Spates finished the possession with a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Maroons botched the extra point try, leaving Larkin clinging to a 7-6 first-quarter advantage.

After senior inside linebacker Jalen Miller recovered a fumble, the Royals extended their lead to 13-6 when Johnson-Williams (5 of 14, 84 yards) threw his second TD pass of the game to Myrick.

Following a defensive stop, Larkin added another touchdown before halftime, as senior tailback Kevin Malone (9 carries, 94 yards) tiptoed down the sideline for 32 yards.

The Royals led 19-6 at halftime.

“They came out focused because it's always a game they get up for,” said Royals first-year head coach Vincent Ray. “It's a community game. Larkin versus Elgin – that's big time.”

Larkin took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched into the red zone before turning the ball over, as Elgin junior Andres Marquez recovered a fumble at the Maroons' 10-yard line.

A 3-and-out series ensued, and the Royals put the game away with a 3-play, 45-yard drive, highlighted by Johnson-Williams' 23-yard touchdown pass to Myrick — his third of the night.

“It was a great way to go out against them,” said Myrick. “It was a great team win. I dedicate all my touchdowns to my father (Erick, Sr.). He passed away in January.

“That was my theme — to come out and try to be a 'dog' for my father,” he said.

Myrick's effort didn't surprise his head coach.

“He's a senior, he's a focused guy,” said Ray. “He prepares well week in and week out. He's our go-to guy.”

Miller led the Royals with 95 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Johnson-Williams added 35 yards on 9 carries.

“Tizairian had a nice night as well,” said Ray, who served as the defensive coordinator during Larkin's 18-0 win over Elgin last season.

“As the head coach, it's good to have that (Town Jug) after losing the bucket to East Aurora.”

Elgin was led by junior quarterback Darin Ward (8 of 15, 56 yards) and junior receiver Julio Soto (4 catches, 36 yards).

“They've got talent,” Elgin coach Anthony Mason said of the Royals. “We couldn't find a hole on No. 3 (Myrick). We tried to lock him up and play over the top, but he kept getting loose.

“I felt like we came out with a good fight. I appreciate my guys for that.”