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Rogers holds off Elk River 40-36 in seesaw game

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 10/16/19, 8:00PM CDT


There were seven lead changes in the second half, the last when Easton Miller and Austin Auld connected on a 15-yard touchdown with 1:04 left.

Ben Dahl (7) of Rogers, who scored two touchdowns for the Royals, ran for a first down in the fourth quarter. Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com

The grin on Rogers coach Marc Franz’s face after the Royals’ wildly entertaining 40-36 victory over Elk River could have stretched all the way up Hwy. 101 to the home of their intra-district rivals.

The smile on the face of Elks coach Steve Hamilton was nearly as big.

The two teams had just combined for 76 points, nearly 900 yards of total offense, a second half that featured seven lead changes and a heart-stopping Hail Mary pass by the Elks on the game’s final play that came up 1 yard short.

“Someone asked what my favorite part of the game was and I told them ‘Right now. It’s over, it’s done with,’ ” Franz said with relief. “It was just a classic game.”

Despite being on the losing end, Hamilton was far from unhappy.

“Wasn’t that fun?” he asked. “We had some advantages, they had some advantages and they don’t match up. We had trouble stopping them and they had trouble stopping us. But it was so much fun, for both communities.”

Elk River entered the game with a 7-0 record but hadn’t won at Rogers since 2012. The Elks looked primed to break through when they took a 14-3 first quarter lead after scoring on their first two possessions.

The Rogers defense stiffened in the second quarter and the Royals cut the lead to 14-13 at halftime, setting up a second half in which the teams traded touchdowns.

Rogers quarterback Easton Miller attempted a pass in the first quarter against Elk River. Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com

First report

Easton Miller threaded a 15-yard pass to Austin Auld with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter to give Rogers a 40-36 victory over Elk River.

Elk River completed a pass to the Rogers 1-yard-line as time expired.

The game featured seven lead changes in the second half as the two teams took turns scoring touchdowns. Ben Dahl rushed for two touchdowns and Miller passed for two for Rogers, which won its seventh consecutive game.

Joe Nordstrom and Carter Otto each scored twice for Elk River, which fell to 7-1.

Check back later for more on the game.

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