By Bruce Strand
The Rogers Royals ground out a 24-12 victory over St. Cloud Apollo on Friday night, overcoming the efforts of an Eagles’ big-play receiver and resourceful quarterback.
The Royals (2-0) had 210 yards rushing and 66 passing in the non-conference game at Michie Stadium in St. Cloud.
“They (Apollo) had a good quarterback, a sophomore, I think, who can already scramble while keeping his eyes downfield,” said Rogers coach Marc Franz about Apollo. “And they had a very tough, aggressive defense. I think they will win their fair share of games.”
Apollo (0-2), down 17-0 in the third quarter, made a game of it as Noel Teigen hauled in touchdown passes covering 58 and 10 yards from Ben Alvord. The duo hooked up five times for 122 yards.
The Eagles missed both conversions and trailed 17-12, and the Royals wrapped it up with a long drive capped by Gunnar Bloom’s six-yard for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“The most impressive thing,” said Franz, assessing his own team, “was to see this young, maturing team come out and drive 80 yards and control the clock after they got within 17-12. They really asserted themselves in a pressure situation.”
Scoring for Rogers were Nate Weber on a five-yard run, Nate Roehl on a 23-yard pass play from Connor Henderson, and Mitch Grupa on a 23-yard field goal.
Henderson played most of the game after starter Ben Spilles injured his collarbone.
Travis Deitl was top rusher with 11 for 65 yards, with Kent Hoover adding 47 on nine carries.
Franz cited his defense for a strong effort especially in shutting down the ground game.
The Royals, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, will play at Buffalo next Friday.
Rog—Nate Weber 5 run (Mitch Grupa kick)
Rog—Grupa 23 field goal
Rog—Nate Roehl 23 pass from Connor Henderson (Grupa kick)
SCA—Noel Teigen 58 pass from Ben Alvord (conversion failed)
SCA—Teigen 10 pass from Alford (conversion failed)
Rog—Gunnar Bloom 6 run (Grupa kick)
First downs — Rogers 14, Apollo 9
Rushing (att-yards)— Rogers 44-210, Apollo 28-55
Passing (comp-att-yards-int) — Rogers 4-11-48-0, Apollo 8-18-128-1
Total plays-yards — 55-258, Apollo 46-183
Fumbles-lost — Rogers 0-0, Apollo 0-0
Penalties-yards — Rogers 5-50, Apollo 3-31
Punts-average — Rogers 2-29.5, Apollo 5-26.8
Rogers individual statistics
Rushing — Travis Deitl 11-65, Kent Hoover 9-47, Weber 9-40, Roehl 5-25, Bloom 3-21, Grupa 3-14, Henderson 4-(-2)
Passing — Henderson 4-9-48-0, Ben Spilles 0-2-0-0
Receiving — Roehl 2-32, Levi Simpson 1-9, Weber 1-7
Interception: Parker Veith
Tackles (solo-assist): Trent Rgnonti 5-4, Kyle Halseth 4–3, Weber 3-4, Bloom 3-3, Josh Garner 5 -1
Sacks: Weber 2, Garner 1.5, Rgnonti 1, Halseth 1, Travis Stewart .5