By Bruce Strand
The Rogers Royals pummeled a Duluth team for the second straight week, Duluth East this time, 56-21, in the port city on Friday evening.
Last week, the Royals (6-1) coasted 56-6 against Duluth Denfeld at home. The two Duluth schools joined the Mississippi 8 for football only this fall.
Special teams sparked the Royals, highlighted by Gunnar Bloom’s 58-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“We had a nice overall effort, but special teams, especially, set the tone,” said coach Marc Franz. “They gave us good field position most of the time. Gunnar ran back a punt for a touchdown and Parker Veith nearly returned a kickoff. We stopped a fake punt.”
The Royals were also 8-for-8 on extra points (six by Mitch Grupa, one each by Isaac Aanerud and Levi Simpson).
Nate Weber and Zach Graf ran for two touchdowns each, and Nate Roehl and Steve Hines ran for one each. Veith caught a 25-yard TD pass from Connor Henderson.
The Royals rushed 37 times for 315 yards. Roehl led with 83 yards on five carries. Henderson completed seven of 12 for 108 yards.
Rogers, Cambridge-Isanti, and Monticello are all 5-1 in the Mississippi 8, and the No. 8 ranked Royals will host Cambridge-Isanti next Wednesday in the conference finale.