COLD SPRING – There’s nothing like a homecoming win to get your spirits up. It makes the dance that much more of a party.
“Exactly,” Rocori’s Brad Fabel said. “We finally executed all four quarters.”
Rocori beat Alexandria 26-21 Saturday afternoon before a large, loud crowd at William J. Virant Memoral Field.
The Spartans (1-3) earned their first win with a balanced offense and their best defensive effort of the season.
Alexandria (0-4) trailed 20-6 at halftime and it might have been worse. The Cardinals managed 174 yards, including six on 26 first-half plays.
A 60-yard interception return by Joe Gorghuber recorded Alexandria’s only first-half points. The Cardinals also had a 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Parker Bowden with 4:17 to go in the third quarter.
Alexandria also scored late fourth-quarter touchdown on a six-yard John Vogeler to Gorghuber pass and had the ball as time expired.
“I still think our kids played well,” Rocori head coach Mike Rowe said. “They were really sharp defensively. I also think we did a good job controlling the ball in the second half.”
Rocori junior quarterback Tim Hansen completed 12 of 16 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
He hit Mason Ruegemer, Fabel and Alex Budde with scoring strikes.
“We had a great performance from both sides (of the ball),” Fabel said. “Offensively, we moved the ball really well and I’m so proud of our defense.
“The defense did a great job. It stepped up.”
Alexandria fumbled five times, losing four. The Cardinals’ first two offensive plays were fumbles lost on bad snaps out of the shot gun that went for 29 yards in losses and amounted to an easy Rocori touchdown and a safety for an 8-0 lead.
Alexandria rushed 26 times for 36 yards. Meanwhile, Rocori’s Victor Schleppenbach ran for 65 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s good to have him healthy,” Rowe said of the junior running back, who was in the lineup for only his second game.
Rocori plays Friday at Bemidji (4-0). Alexandria is host to Willmar (3-1) at 3 p.m. Saturday in its homecoming game.
R — Mason Ruegemer 4 pass from Tim Hansen (run failed)
R — Safety, Alexandria’s Mitchell Peck tackled in the end zone
A — Joe Gorghuber 60 interception return (Daniel Kuhn kick)
R — Brad Fabel 36 pass from Hansen (run failed)
R — Alex Budde 58 pass from Hansen (pass failed)
R — Victor Schleppenbach 5 run (pass failed)
A — Parker Bowden 79 kick return (Kuhn kick)
A — Gorghuber 5 pass from John Vogeler (Kuhn kick)
Rushing: A — Voegeler 19-47, Peck 7-(-11). Total: 26-36. R —
Schleppenbach 24-65, Hansen 16-55, Budde 6-14. Total: 46-134.
Passing: A — Voegeler 11-21-1 135. R — Hansen 12-16-1 193, Budde 0-1-0 0.
Receiving: A — David Krivanek 6-94, Peck 2-18, Riley Hvezda 1-11, Parker Bowden 1-6. R — Budde 5-106, Fabel 4-60, Justin Kunkel 1-17, Schleppenbach 1-6, Ruegemer 1-4.
Sauk Rapids 1, Little Falls 0
SAUK RAPIDS – Issa Ibrahim scored the game’s only goal at 21:13 of the first half, and Storm goaltender Dean Wick made six saves to make it stand up as Sauk Rapids held off Little Falls in a nonconference game.
Goalie Noah Eliason made nine saves for Little Falls (4-6 overall).
MOORHEAD 2, SARTELL 1
SARTELL – The Spuds scored on a direct kick in the first half for the game-winner.
Senior Kellen Cameron tied the game at 1 with a first half goal and Colin Johnson had two saves for the Sabres (7-2-1).
HILLCREST 4, ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL 0
The Crusaders kept pace with the Comets through most of the first half at Whitney Field, finding themselves down by a goal at the break. However, three additional Hillcrest goals went unanswered in the second half, and the Crusaders fell to 8-2-1. Phil Ruegemer made 15 saves for Cathedral.
ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL 1, PROCTOR 0
PROCTOR – On an assist from Natalie Barron, Ellie Engel broke a 0-0 tie four minutes into the second half for the game-winner for Cathedral (8-2).
Mo Schroeder stopped 13 shots to earn the shutout for the Crusaders.
MOORHEAD 1, SARTELL 0
MOORHEAD – A goal late in the first half doomed the Sabres in a nonconference game. Allie Hemmesch made eight saves for Sartell (7-2-1).
BURNSVILLE – Albany went 2-4 at the Burnsville Showcase. Amazih Eickhoff had 40 kills, 44 digs and seven ace serves to lead Albany through six matches. In addition, Erin Navratil had 31 kills, 21 digs nine ace blocks and eight ace serves for the Huskies (8-9).
Team scores: Visitation 2, Albany 0 (25-13, 21-25); Kasson Mantorville 2, Albany 0 (25-22, 25-21); Roseau 2, Albany 0 (25-12, 26-24); Albany 2, Caledonia 1 (22-25, 25-14, 15-8); Albany 2, Cannon Falls 0 (25-22, 25-18); Roseau 2, Albany 1 (27-25, 22-25, 11-15).
LONG PRAIRIE – Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Upsala-Swanville seniors Brooklyn Levin and Payton Long defeated West Central’s Dawn Cleveland and Brittany Randt 6-3, 7-5 for third place at No. 1 doubles.
Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Upsala-Swanville sophomore McKenzie Barth defeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa senior Mackenzie Winter 6-1, 1-6, 10-6 for third place at No. 2 singles.
Prairie Conference tournament
Team scores: 1. Osakis 7; 2. West Central Area 16; 3. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 21; 4. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Upsala-Swanville 27; 5. Parkers Prairie 34; 6. New York Mills 42.
MONTICELLO – St. Cloud Tech went 3-0, winning 18 of 21 matches, to win the invitational. Tech was led by senior Leah Wurm, who won her 100th career match at No. 3 singles.
Taylor Tarrolly went 2-0 at No. 1 singles for the Tigers. Katelyn Tarrolly followed up at No. 2 singles with an undefeated day, going 2-0 for Tech (11-4).
Lexie Portz and Jill Kedrowski teamed up at No. 1 doubles to go 3-0 to round out the highlights for Tech on the day.
Match scores: St. Cloud Tech 6, Chisago Lakes 1; St. Cloud Tech 7, Orono 0; St. Cloud Tech 5, Monticello 2.