by Jake Schroer
Contributing Sports Writer
The Rogers Royals are off to a 0-2 start after a 34-20 loss to their new rival, the Andover Huskies Friday night.
John Torresani had a 13-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and the Royals struck first in the contest. Toward the end of the quarter, the Huskies scored to even the odds, but Rogers stopped the 2-point conversion to keep a 1-point lead at 7-6.
Andover dominated the second quarter. Two touchdowns by the Huskies less than three minutes apart gave them a 20-7 lead, which stood as the halftime score.
The Royals came storming back in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns to tie the game. First, quarterback Cole Larson hit Eli Solberg for a 12-yard score, and he later threw a 35-yard touchdown to Torresani, making the score 20-20 as they headed to the fourth quarter.
The teams remained in a stalemate for much of the fourth until Andover scored again with 4:16 remaining in the game. Although the Royals stopped the conversion, Andover led 26-20. Then, with 1:47 left, the Huskies scored again to make the score 34-20 after a successful 2-point conversion.
The Royals finished with 330 yards of offense. Larson finished 14 of 30 for 204 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Royals got four interceptions from Andover’s Connor Knoepfle, with Ehud Neepaye intercepting two passes.
Solberg led all receivers with 10 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Head coach Marc Franz said that the team is obviously not happy with two losses to start the season, but they are encouraged by the direction they are headed. Overall, he felt they took a step in the right direction with a very competitive game.
“Nothing has changed. I still expect us to be a very competitive team at the end of the year when we’re talking playoffs coming around,” Franz said.
With the loss, the Royals’ record stands at 0-2, 0-1 within the division. Next week, the Royals play Cambridge-Isanti in their home opener; the first of two straight home games for Rogers.