St. Michael-Albertville's offense, a group with 10 new starters, has grown up quick in three weeks.
The Knights were explosive at home Thursday, routing rival Rogers 26-7 thanks to three touchdowns covering a combined 244 yards. The teams' previous two meetings were each decided by one point.
Senior Isaiah Weston caught touchdown passes of 60 and 90 yards while Eric Sjelin scampered 94 yards for a score. All three touchdowns for the Knights (2-1) came on the first play of a possession.
Weston was the unit's lone returning starter. The inexperience showed in the season opener as the Knights committed seven turnovers.
"I had confidence in my guys," Weston said. "Now our confidence is up and we think we can pretty much do anything."
Weston, a 6-4 speedster, turned a 3-yard hitch route into a 60-yard end-zone dash and a 10-7 lead. He got behind his man for the 90-yard score. And he drew double coverage to give Sjelin room downfield.
"He changes the game for us, even in ways where he doesn't have to catch the ball," Knights coach Jared Essler said.
The Knights' dismantling of Rogers (2-1), ranked No. 7 in Class 5A, sets up a showdown with No. 3 Elk River (3-0) next week.
DAVID LA VAQUE