Rogers defeated Cambridge-Isanti for the fourth season in a row by racking up a 17-0 shutout Oct. 17. The victory allowed the Royals to tie Monticello for the Mississippi 8 Conference championship; the Magic beat St. Michael-Albetville 24-10 Wednesday evening.
The loss also cost the Bluejackets (6-2) the No. 1 seed for the Section 7AAAAA playoffs. Chisago Lakes edged them in the final QRF standings for home-field advantage by defeating Irondale 24-21. Cambridge-Isanti will be the No. 2 seed, also getting a first-round bye into the Oct. 27 semifinals where the team will host either No. 3 Bemidji (5-3) or No. 6 Duluth Denfeld (0-8).
Essentially, Rogers stopped the Bluejackets running attack cold (33 attempts/88 yards for C-I), used its special teams to perfection on the windy evening (41-yard field goal, long spiral punts) and got just enough offense out of its 232 rushing yards to control the tempo.
With the Royals playing on short fields, a C-I defensive breakdown allowed Rogers to score on a wide-open 31-yard pass reception by Parker Veith which made it 10-0 late in the first quarter. The Jackets had their deepest penetration into Royals territory to start the third quarter, but d-back Nate Weber ripped the ball away from receiver Travis Holt at the R 40. Rogers drove to score off that turnover on a 1-yard Weber run for the 17-0 lead.
The biggest disturbing factor for Jacket fans came in the team’s no sense of urgency after that score. There was still 11:37 on the clock, but the offense took 20-30 seconds between each play, waddled up to the line after breaking huddle, and made it look like they were content to just not let Rogers score more points. And this with the conference championship on the line and the No. 1 playoff seed in reach (ie. no attempt at all for a hurry-up offense).
Braham 34, Ogilvie 8
Braham reversed its outcome from the past three weeks by taming the Lions at home Oct. 17. Elijah Overton scored on three runs, including a 71-yard scamper, and John Larson connected on TD passes to Dylan Altendorf (30 yards) and Zach Dahlman (41 yards).
Despite the win, the Bombers (4-4) remained the No. 6 seed for the Section 7AA playoffs. They travel to No. 3 Hinckley-Finlayson (6-2) for the Tuesday, Oct. 23 quarterfinals (7 p.m.). Also in their half of the brackets are No. 2 Duluth Marshall (5-3) and No. 7 Deer River (3-5).
Moose Lake-Willow River (8-0) is again the top-seed for Section 7AA, opening against 0-8 Two Harbors. No. 4 Eveleth-Gilbert (4-4) and No. 5 Rush City (3-5) are the other 7AA quarters matchup.