Rogers turns tables in playoffs

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 26, 2013 - 11:01 PM

The Royals were the running force this time in avenging two earlier losses to the Elks.


Nate Weber protected the ball as Elk River defenders brought him down in the first half, but the Rogers ground game was just getting cranked up Saturday.

Photo: BRE McGEE • Special to the Star Tribune,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

One loss can happen to anyone. Losing two consecutive games to the same opponent is frustrating. But three? Well, Rogers was simply not going to let that happen.

After losing two years in a row to intra-district rival Elk River, host Rogers looked like a team on a mission Saturday, routing the Elks 52-14 in the Class 5A, Section 6 semifinals.

“There was a ton of motivation to beat these guys,” senior running back/linebacker Nate Weber said. “My brother was a senior and he lost to them. I wasn’t going to do it in my senior year.”

Stopping Elk River’s wing power-T offense, with its fakes and deception, is not a simple task. Just ask Monticello, which gave up 69 points to the Elks in the quarterfinals. But the Royals had a plan. They stacked their defensive fronts with six and sometimes seven linemen, basically shutting down the middle of the field.

“That’s not our normal defense,” Royals coach Marc Franz said. “Elk River runs a unique offense where they really make you play assignment football. They are big and they are physical and they want to run right over you. We had to make special substitutions, get our defensive linemen in there.”

After giving up touchdowns on two of their first three possessions, Rogers shut down Elk River for the rest of the game. The Elks’ Denis Bardashevskiy, who entered the game with 1,733 yards rushing on the season, was held to 37 yards rushing, his lowest total of the year.

“They played smart football,” Bardashevskiy said. “They figured out our offense.’’

The Elks wish they could say the same.

While the defense was in shutdown mode, the Royals’ offense — the highest-scoring offense in Class 5A — was running at peak efficiency. Behind a fast and aggressive offensive line, junior Gunnar Bloom rushed nine times for 127 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Royals built a 24-14 lead.

They blew the game open with four third-quarter touchdowns — three by Weber and a fourth by Bloom, who finished with 231 yards on only 13 carries.

Weber, who had scored 14 touchdowns going into the game but didn’t carry the ball in the first half because he was needed on defense, scored on runs of 12, 29 and 49 yards but gave much of the credit to the unselfishness of Bloom.

“That actually was Gunnar’s idea,” Weber said. “We were running our jet-sweeps for success, so he talked to our offensive coordinator and said to run him one way and send me off the edge and that’s what we did.”

  • related content

  • Rogers’ Cole Flander, left, and Nate Weber’s takedown of Elk River’s Nolan Dwyer resulted in a fumble during the first half.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Cleveland 1
San Francisco 4 Top 7th Inning
Washington 2
St. Louis 4 Top 7th Inning
Philadelphia 5
Chicago WSox 3 Bottom 6th Inning
NY Yankees 3
Tampa Bay 7 Top 7th Inning
Toronto 0
Atlanta 1 Top 7th Inning
Cincinnati 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Boston 0
Kansas City 4 Top 4th Inning
Texas 1
Pittsburgh 4 Bottom 3rd Inning
Milwaukee 2
Detroit 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Minnesota 6
Miami 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
San Diego - O. Despaigne 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
LA Angels - H. Santiago 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
NY Mets - J. Niese 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Carolina 0 3rd Qtr 14:37
New England 13
NY Giants 7 3rd Qtr
NY Jets 10
Jacksonville 6 3rd Qtr 15:00
Detroit 7
Oakland 7 2nd Qtr 10:51
Green Bay 14
Chicago 9:00 PM
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 8:00 PM
FC Dallas
Montreal 0 14:09
Winnipeg 1
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Chicago 64 4th Qtr 6:23
Atlanta 66
Los Angeles 9:00 PM





question of the day

Poll: How closely will you follow the Lynx in the WNBA playoffs?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters