The Royals’ 2019 homecoming was extra sweet for head coach Marc Franz. Rogers’ 21-0 win over Monticello was the 100th of Franz’ career and the Royals’ first shutout of the Magic in 11 years.
With seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Royals showered Franz with a bucket of water, a football tradition that goes back decades. Rogers is now 4-1 this season.
Franz said he was shocked when he was drenched by his players. His record in 17 seasons at the helm of the Royals is now 100-60. Franz became Rogers’ head coach in 2003, the program’s first season.
“I’m making sure we finish the game properly,” Franz said. “It caught me by surprise.”
The Royals took the lead in the first quarter when wide receiver Michael Olowo ran for a six-yard touchdown. It was Olowo’s third touchdown of the season.
Neither team scored in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Royals senior quarterback Easton Miller hit senior wide receiver Joe Moss for a 76-yard reception and a touchdown to give Rogers a two-score cushion. It was Moss’ first touchdown of the season and Miller’s sixth. Junior running back Ben Dahl sealed the deal for the Royals in the fourth quarter when Dahl ran for 10 yards for his sixth touchdown of the season.
After the game, Royals fans stormed the field and celebrated with the players. One fan waived a white flag with a blue letter ‘W,’ a flag that the Chicago Cubs used during Chicago’s 2016 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians. The Royals also won a trophy that students call “The Hammer,” a trophy awarded to the winning team of the regular-season game between Rogers and Monticello. The Magic swept the 2018 season series over the Royals, winning one regular-season game and the 2018 Section 6 Quarterfinal.
Franz became Rogers’ head coach in 2003, the program’s first season. He said he celebrated after Rogers’ first win over the Magic since 2017, but he has bigger aspirations after Friday night’s game.
“I’m a math teacher,” Franz said. “One-hundred is a nice round number, but I can think of a better number, and that’s 101.”
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Moss earns this honor. His touchdown in the third quarter proved to be the difference and gave the Royals breathing room.
Moss said Miller deserves most of the credit, not him.
“I kept running down the field,” Moss said. “He made a great play keeping the play alive. I caught it across the field and ran up field. It felt great. A perfect way to end homecoming.”
Miller said he knew Moss would score the moment he caught the ball.
“Being a close game 7-0, we needed a big play,” Miller said. “He made a big play. I was so happy.”
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
No single player stood out on Friday night. This was Rogers’ second shutout of the season and first since Sept. 6 when the Royals shut out Andover 13-0. It was truely a team effort.
Franz said Rogers wouldn’t have been successful if it didn’t stop Monticello’s run game.
“I’ll always go with defense stopping the run game,” he said. “We’re happy with this, coming out and stopping the run game and then going from there.”
The Royals were scheduled to visit St. Francis on Friday at 7 p.m. The Fighting Saints are 2-3 this season and are in fifth place in the North Central Blue conference standings. Rogers is in second in the conference behind Elk River. St. Francis defeated Rogers 24-20 on Sept. 21, 2018. The Royals last win over the Fighting Saints was a 15-12 triumph on Sept. 22, 2017. The Royals will face Chisago Lakes on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The Royals defeated the Wildcats 10-9 on Sept. 28, 2018.
The Magic, now 1-4 this season, was scheduled to host Buffalo on Friday at 7 p.m. Elk River will host Monticello on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The Elks defeated the Magic 40-28 in the Section 6AAAAA semifinal on Oct. 27, 2018.