San Marcos broke into the win column, and the Royals did it with a shutout.

The Royals’ defense forced an intentional grounding call in the end zone for a safety, recovered four fumbles and Matt Pencek and Tristian Wallace intercepted passes in a 21-0 victory at Channel Islands on Friday night in a non-league football game.

“I am proud of the way we fought,” San Marcos coach Jason Fowle said. “We knew it was going to be a battle from start to finish.  It was important for us to play one play at a time and maintain our focus  whether we were having success or facing challenges.  Really proud of the entire team, offense, defense and special teams.”

The Royals had trouble holding leads in the second half in three of their first four games. But against CI, the defense made sure a halftime lead wouldn’t get away again.

“The difference for our team in the second half was our ability to force turnovers on defense, gain positive field position on special teams, and execute in the running game and move the chains on offense,” said Fowle.

Ahead 7-0 on Tommy Schaefer’s 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, the Royals’ defense added two points when it pressured the Raiders’ quarterback in the end zone and forced him to throw the ball away. The officials called intentional grounding and San Marcos was awarded a safety.

Quarterback Ben Partee connected with Schaefer on a 15-yard scoring pass to make it 15-0 in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Dane Sterndahl scored on a 10-yard run to complete the scoring.

The victory gives the Royals a big boost of confidence going into their bye week. They open Channel League play the following with the Big Game against Santa Barbara at La Playa Stadium.

“This win provides us with some positive momentum and a foundation to build on moving into league play,” said Fowle.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.