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


San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Carolina 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Montreal 7:30 PM
Arizona 8:00 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM





question of the day

Poll: Is Paul Molitor the best choice to manage Twins?

Weekly Question


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