The Magic entered Friday night’s game knowing it would take a fast start, and likely flawless execution, to have a chance at knocking off state-ranked Rogers.
Entering the game at 4-1, the Magic had reason to believe they could do those things, and give the undefeated Royals a scare.
Rogers quickly erased that belief.
Nine minutes into Friday night’s game, Rogers had scored three touchdowns. The Magic had run three plays. The Royals led 21-0, on their way to a 66-27 victory.
“I don’t think I did a good enough job getting them prepared,” said Coach Jason Telecky. “We did not seem ready.”
Things couldn’t have started much worse for the Magic. Rogers took the ball first and marched down the field, scoring their first touchdown four minutes into the game. The ensuing kickoff hit a Magic up man and bounced right back to the kicking team, where they fell on it near midfield. Again, they marched down to score. On Monticello’s ensuing possession, their first of the game, they went three and out. The Royals blocked the punt, taking over at the one-yard line and quickly punching it into the end zone.
“Can’t afford that [start] against a team like that,” said Telecky.
Monticello would eventually settle in, with the offense providing a handful of highlights, but it was too little too late.
The Magic trailed 28-0 before they got on the board late in the second quarter with a long drive that featured a nice toss and catch from Jake Berthiaume to McRae Voll, a fourth down conversion on a Nick Bomersine run and a six-yard touchdown pass from Berthiaume to Andrew Manning.
Rogers, as they would all night, had an answer. The Royals used the minute and change remaining in the half to get in position to kick a field goal, taking a 31-6 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, Monticello’s offense clicked as consistently as it has all year, but the Magic couldn’t slow down the Royals attack.
The Magic scored on four of six possessions spanning late in the second quarter to midway through the fourth quarter; yet, the lead never shrunk.
“They got a 21-point lead, then you can’t just trade scores back and forth,” said Telecky.
Offensively, Monticello got a strong performance from Berthiaume. The senior quarterback completed 11 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns. The second touchdown pass capped an 80-yard drive to open the third quarter and went to tight end Brenden Meyer for a 15-yard scoring play.
The third touchdown pass came late in the third, on a short jump ball to Manning.
“There were some positives,” said Telecky. “The passing game looked as good as it has all year.”
Voll was also a highlight, adding a few nifty runs to his big catch, including a 56-yard carry in the third quarter, on his way to a team-high 82 yards on just seven carries.
“McRae continues to impress,” said Telecky.
But with each touchdown, the Royals were sent back on the field to respond. And they did. The visitors racked up an astonishing 412 rushing yards, as six different guys carried for at least 50 yards. They scored nine touchdowns, getting at least one in each quarter and three in both the first and the fourth quarter. And they continued to make plays, even when it seemed like there weren’t plays to be made.
“There were times where we were out of position,” said Telecky. “But there were times where I don’t see a hole and they still got four yards.”
It was that kind of night for the Magic. They made mistakes. But they also did a lot of things right. Still, those things never seemed to be enough.
When Bomersine ran in Monticello’s fourth and final touchdown, the Magic were within 52-27, having played the Royals even in the second half to that point.
But Rogers, again, would get the last word, as their second string unit added two touchdown runs in the final minutes, providing the final margin.
The loss dropped Monticello to 4-2 overall this year, while Rogers moves to 6-0.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at firstname.lastname@example.org