by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Three talented athletes from other sports who joined the strong Rogers football program this fall made nice contributions as the Royals cruised 29-8 over the Monticello Magic on Friday evening in Monticello.
The victory was led by gridiron veteran Matt Weber, the 6-foot-5 senior quarterback and linebacker who rushed for three touchdowns and made some big throws to move the chains.
Mike Schreiber, 6-foot-8, 228-pound senior who’d been concentrating on basketball previously, gives Weber a big and mobile target. He caught passes for 31 and 16 yards on successive plays in a third-quarter drive, and totaled three catches for 56 yards.
Chase Cleveland, the track team’s star runner who also plays basketball, also decided to join the football team that played in the Prep Bowl last year. The 6-foot-2, 184-pound senior made a key catch-and-run that set up the Royals’ second touchdown, a 21-yard gainer on a fourth-and-12 play.
Isaac Aanerud, a sophomore who’s a second-year starter in soccer, suits up Friday nights for football, too, starting this fall. He nailed a 23-yard field goal and two extra points, and averaged 55.8 yards on kickoffs.
“One thing that’s really cool about Rogers High School,” said coach Marc Franz, “is every sports coaches believes in the high school experience of multiple sports. These guys decided to come out for football their senior year and we love to have them. Of course, we love having all of our players who come out.”
A year ago, basketball standout Trevor Morlock added football his senior year and helped the conference and section champs as a tight end and linebacker.
Franz likes Schreiber as “a big target who makes long strides after he catches the ball, a nice weapon to have.” About Cleveland’s reception, Franz noted, “He busted a couple tackles to get more yards. He’s a strong kid.”
Weber capped a first-quarter drive with a seven-yard score. After Cleveland’s catch put the Royals inside the Magic 10 in the second quarter, he scored again from two yards out.
Weber sneaked for another TD in the third quarter. Jack McGuire slashed five yards for the final score after making some nice gainers on the drive.
McGuire had 10 rushes for 89 yards and returned a kickoff 43 yards.
The Royals, who won their opener 33-0 over Spring Lake Park last week, had a shutout until Monticello sprung a 72-yard pass play late in the game.
Before that, the big highlight for the Magic was a startling 60-yard run by Ben Schaht in the third quarter when they were pinned on their own one-yard-line after muffing a kickoff.
“Thank goodness we had good pursuit on that play,” said Franz, who blamed a mistake in the way the defense lined up for the off-tackle long gainer. “But you know what — they still didn’t score. We stopped them right there. That’s what I like about our guys, they have a short memory and went right back to work. They didn’t let Monticello build on that.”
Rogers will play at St. Michael-Albertville next Friday.
Rogers 29, Monticello 8
Rogers ………. 13 3 7 6 — 29
Monticello …. 0 0 0 8 – 8
Rog–Matt Weber 7 run (Isaac Aanerud kick)
Rog–Weber 2 run (pass failed)
Rog–Aanerud 23 field goal
Rog–Weber 1 run (Aanerud kick)
Rog–Jack McGuire 5 run (kick blocked)
Mon–Haiden Laimer 54 pass from Matt Bonk (Bonk run)
First downs — Rogers 15, Monticello 10
Rushing– Rogers 39-199, Monticello 33-127
Passing (comp-att-yards-int) — Rogers 8-15-124-0, Monticello 6-11-103-0
Total yards — Rogers 323, Monticello 230
Penalties — Rogers 8-48, Monticello 6-40
Rushing — McGuire 10-89, Kyle Williams 6-37, Mitch Gruppa 4-26, Weber 5-22, Nate Roehl 3-17, Zach Grauf 3-11, Kent Hoover 2-8
Passing — Weber 8-14-124-0, Sam Spilles 0-1-0-0
Receiving — Matt Schreiber 3-56, Andrew Smith 2-24, Chase Cleveland 1-21, McGuire 1-12, Gruppa 1-11
Kickoffs — Aanerud 5-55.8
Punts — Josh Malin 2-30.0
Kick returns — McGuire 1-43
Punt returns — Smith 3-14.3
Rushing– Ben Schaht 4-61, Chase Holum 9-46, Birk Olson 12-31
Passing — Bonk 6-10-103-0
Receiving — Sam Taufen 2-11, Laimer 1-54, Jack Fair 1-24, Michael Fisette 1-10, Will Bauman 1-4