Maurice Washington of King's Academy

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*The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week 3 goes to Maurice Washington of King's Academy in Sunnyvale, CA.
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The King's Academy Knights defeated the Overfelt Royals at home with a final score of 51-12 in Friday night's outing. Maurice Washington put on a show for the Knight's home crowd, having himself a night on the ground.

"He wasted no time," said King's Academy Head Coach Michael Johnson. "When he started rolling, we just tried to get him the ball and let him play."

It was a dominating performance by the Knights from start to finish. They came out of the gates on fire, scoring 23 points in the first quarter alone. Washington's first touchdown on the night came during that flurry, recovering a fumble and taking it to the house. The second quarter was all Overfelt, who managed to overcome the early deficit and put up 12 points finding the end zone twice, but missed both PATs. Those would be the only points the Royals would see for the rest of the night, as King's Academy came out in the second half and had a field day. The Knights scored a pair of touchdowns in both the 3rd and 4th, building the distance between them and the visiting Royals with 28 unanswered. Washington was responsible for both of King Academy's touchdowns in the third quarter, and had one of the two in the fourth, saving his longest run of the night for his final touchdown, running 81-yards for the score to top off his record breaking night.

"It was one of those games where he was running well, but we had to throw just enough to keep the safeties out of the box. We didn't have to throw a lot, just enough to keep it even and keep them honest. Then we just let him run," said Coach Johnson.

It is natural to assume the big threat play makers on the team to be your seasoned, experienced seniors, along with a handful of elite juniors. However, it is sophomore running back Maurice Washington leading the troops for King's Academy.

"We have a young team," explained Coach Johnson. With only 5 returning seniors, King's Academy has a young roster and hopes to see some of their young guys rise up and emerge as leaders. "He is only a sophomore, but he is one of the few guys with a lot of experience on offense. We are looking for his leadership, and relying on his production each and every week to be effective," said Johnson.

Head Coach Michael Johnson has already noticed his willingness to take on a leadership role this season and says his growth in this role has been evident to not only him, but the rest of the coaching staff and his teammates. His commitment to the team and "we" attitude has gained the instant respect from his teammates this season. In fact, Coach Johnson mentioned that when he spoke to the team about Maurice's award as 49ers Player of the Week, he chose to address the team personally after.

"I was very impressed," said the head coach. "He took over the huddle and addressed his teammates. His quotes were things that I would say, but I couldn't have said them any better than he did. I was really proud of the young man. It shows growth, maturity…. He gave a lot of his success Friday night to his teammates. He emphasized that his award to him was more of a 'team thing' than anything, "Johnson continued. In total, Washington rushed for 264 total yards and five touchdowns on just 16 carries Friday night. His longest run of the night was on his last touchdown of the game, good for 81-yards. He has three 20 runs and three 40 yard runs in the game as well, averaging a hefty 16.5 yards per carry. The young running back racked up the most yards offensively for the Knights, accounting for more than half of the Knight's total offense.

There is no doubt the sophomore back's efforts on the field are highly regarded, but at the same time he is also continuing to work on applying that same emphasis in the classroom as well, carrying a B average this year. The sophomore running back leads the team offensively with 394 total rushing yards in the first two games of the season alone. He has totaled 24 carries averaging 16.4 yards a pop and has seven touchdowns in two games.

Head Coach Michael Johnson passed along a quote from one of the founding fathers of King's Academy that he and his program embody in the locker room. That quote was, "We want to build champions, not necessary win championships. When you build champion people, the banners will follow." The head coach believes Maurice Washington is one of those people, and is looking forward to seeing him grow in all aspects of his life, with a very bright future ahead of him.

As the home school of the 49ers High School Player of the Week, The King's Academy will receive a $500 grant for their football program from the 49ers Foundation. Washington will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game and a certificate signed by 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula. At the end of the season, Washington will be invited to the SAP Performance Facility to accept a trophy recognizing his achievements.

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