Football: Rogers pummels Hornets 35-8 at homecoming; Elks next

Kyle Williams plowed forward on a four-yard touchdown run for Rogers. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Rogers Royals scored twice in the last three minutes of the first half to break the game open and stayed unbeaten with a 35-8 homecoming conquest the Big Lake Hornets on Friday night.

With five rushing touchdowns, three of them by Jack McGuire, the No. 4 ranked Royals (6-0) posted their 15th straight conference win and neared their third straight title.

Jack McGuire of the Royals turns the corner on a 20-yard touchdown run. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

The victory sets up a championship game next Friday — against District 728 sibling Elk River no less, in Elk River. A Rogers win will clinch an outright championship even with one week remaining, while the Elks can tie for first place with a victory.

With gusting winds making for a difficult passing game, the Royals kept the ball on the ground for the most part and steamrolled over the Hornets (2-4).

McGuire ran for touchdowns of four yards around left end and 22 yards around right end in the first two Royal possessions, with Mitch Grupa kicking the first two of five conversions.

Big Lake made a game of it  briefly with two takeaways. An interception (name not available) and 40-yard return to the Royal four set up a touchdown burst by A.J. Sanford, with Brandon Holthaus passing to Logan Snare for two points.

Rogers cheerleaders encouraged the homecoming spirit. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

The Hornets then stopped a long Rogers drive by stripping the ball from McGuire at the six yard line.

But the Royals quickly forced a Hornet punt, scored on quarterback Matt Weber’s two-yard sneak with 3:05 left in the half, forced another punt, and got a 46-yard run by Kyle Williams and a four-yard TD by McGuire with :37 left.

That put the Royals up 28-8 for the halftime festivities including introduction of royalty and a dance team performance.

Williams notched the lone score of the second half on a four-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Williams gained 141 yards on 12 carries, and McGuire gained 111 yards on 18 carries.

 

Rogers 35, Big Lake 8

Big Lake ……… 0    8   0   0  — 8

Rogers ………. 14  14   0   7 — 35

 

Scoring plays

Rog — Jack McGuire 4 run (Mitch Grupa kick)

Rog — McGuire 22 run (Grupa kick)

BL–AJ Sanford 5 run (Logan Snare pass from Brandon Holthaus)

Rog–Matt Weber 2 run (Grupa kick)

Rog–McGuire 4 run (Grupa kick)

Rog–Kyle Williams 4 run (Grupa kick)

Team statistics

First downs — Rogers 19, Big Lake 9

Rushing — Rogers 45-324, Big Lake 32-72

Passing — Rogers 6-10-101-1, Big Lake 5-19-82-1

Total yards — Rogers 425, Big Lake 154

Penalties — Rogers 6-50, Big Lake 8-60

Rogers statistics

Rushing — Williams 12-141, McGuire 18-11, Nate Roehl  2-32, Weber 4-25, Grupa 3-12

Passing — Weber 6-10-101-1

Receiving — Andrew Smith 3-32, Austin Derouin 1-44, Mitch O’Neill 1-16, Chase Cleveland 1-9

 

MISSISSIPPI 8 CONFERENCE

Standings 

Rogers ……………………….. 4-0    6-0

Elk River …………………….. 4-1    5-1

Monticello …………………… 3-2    4-2

St. Michael-Albertville …….. 3-2   4-2

Becker ………………………… 2-2   4-2

Buffalo ………………………… 2-4    2-4

Big Lake ……………………… 1-4   2-4

Cambridge-Isanti …………..0-4   0-6

 

Results Friday

 

Rogers 35, Big Lake 8

Elk River 35, Buffalo 22

St. Michael-Albertville 14, Cambridge-Isanti 0

Monticello 42, Becker 7

 

Games next Friday

 

Rogers at Elk River

Monticello at St. Michael-Albertville

Alexandria at Buffalo

Becker at Cambridge-Isanti

Milaca at Big Lake

 

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