Football: Royals face Rocori in state opener

The Rogers Royals face an athletic and resourceful Rocori team in the state Class 4A quarterfinals Thursday, 7 p.m., at St. Cloud State.

Rocori (9-1) has won nine straight games after an opening loss to Brainerd, and has posted at least three touchdowns in all 10 games.

“Rocori is very athletic,” said Rogers coach Marc Franz. “Their quarterback, who, I’m told, is a three-year starter, runs a shotgun spread offense  and has several good athletes to distributed the ball too. This is a different offense for us as we have not faced true shotgun spread.”

Senior quarterback Nate Meyer has passed for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 466 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior tailback Sam Moriarty has rushed for 934 yards and nine touchdowns. Sean Terres has caught seven TD passes and Christian Pedroza four, both of them seniors.

“Their strength is speed and athletic ability,” said Franz. “I’m not saying we’re slow, but we are more of a physical, power team. And they have some strong kids, too.”

Rocori is ranked No. 10 and Rogers (9-1) is  ranked No. 7. The Spartans’ ninth straight win was 37-13 over Sartell-St. Stephen in their section finals Saturday. Sartell-St. Stephen is the two teams’ only common foe. Rogers  beat the same team 36-18.