There's something special brewing in Elk River. If it wasn't evident before, it was undeniable after the Elks thoroughly dismantled a very good Rogers team, 49-7.
"You can feel it," senior running back/linebacker Sam Gibas said. "It's a pretty amazing feeling. You feel like you just can't lose."
This was expected to be the Elks' toughest test of the season. Rogers went into the game with only one loss and had shut out its past two opponents. While the Elks' victory was not a surprise, the dominant manner in which it unfolded was.
The Elks, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, were unstoppable in the first half, scoring touchdowns on all six of their possessions. They took the opening kickoff and went 59 yards in just three plays, with Gibas breaking off tackle for a 19-yard touchdown.
Nothing special about that. The Elks' power wing-T offense, with its deception and fakery, has developed a reputation for quick strikes. But it was Elk River's second possession that indicated something extraordinary was at work.
Quarterback Blake Hills, who had completed just five of nine passes in the season's first five games, hooked up with Gibas twice on the drive, once for 16 yards on third-and-13 and again for a 29-yard touchdown four plays later for a 14-0 lead.
Elk River's ground attack averages 460 yards per game. But passing? Who knew?
"We've faced Rogers a lot, and we knew our receivers could get behind them," Hills said. "I just had to put [the ball] on them and hope for the best."
Hills, brimming with confidence after his strong start, found Gibas again for a 77-yard score the next time Elk River had the ball. For the game, the senior completed all five of his passes for 183 yards and the two touchdowns, numbers that shocked even him.
"Wow. I would never have thought that. Not at all," he said. "We throw, like, twice a game usually."
Elk River kept the pressure on until halftime, scoring on all six of its possessions, taking a commanding 42-0 lead into the locker room. The Elks have outscored their six opponents by a combined 274-41.
"This is a lot of fun," coach Steve Hamilton said. "Every game has been pretty much over by halftime. It's really helping my stomach. No worries."