Rogers holds off late Bemidji drive for state quarterfinal win
Derek Vidor's 2-yard touchdown run with 1:24 to play lifted Rogers past Bemidji 24-21 Friday night and denied the Lumberjacks a berth into the state Class 4A football semifinals.
The Royals trailed 21-14 heading into the final 12 minutes but closed the gap with a safety midway through the period and they completed the rally with the late touchdown.
The Lumberjacks, however, kept the crowd in suspense as they marched from their 20 to the Royals 31 before a fourth-down pass fell incomplete with 25 seconds to play.
"The kids battled every game and once again they gave it everything they had tonight," said BHS coach Troy Hendricks whose team ended a splendid season 9-2.
"Every week we built character. We were one play short of winning this game and I salute the players. I am proud of them."
Bemidji scored with eight seconds to go in the first half to take a 19-14 lead into intermission. Carey Woods had the honor as the junior caught a 15-yard pass from quarterback Mitchell Hendricks.
The touchdown was Woods' third of the half. In the opening quarter he found the end zone on a 7-yard run to tie the game 7-7 and, after Rogers forged a 14-7 lead, Woods drew the Jacks within 14-13 with a 9-yard scamper.
The extra point, however, sailed wide to the left. Following Woods' TD with eight seconds to play Bemidji went for the 2-point conversion but a run was stopped a yard short of success and the Jacks settled for the 19-14 lead.
Those two points were made up midway through the third quarter when Dominic Hayle blocked a punt and the ball sailed out of Rogers' end zone for a safety.
Bemidji, however, could not maintain the momentum as it fumbled the free kick and Rogers recovered at the Lumberjacks 40. The Royals advanced inside the 10 before being denied by Woods' interception.
On its next possession Rogers advanced to the BHS six before an interception in the end zone by Cody Rutledge stopped the threat.
But the constant play deep in Bemidji territory finally cost the Lumberjacks as Hendricks was sacked in the end zone and Rogers was within 21-16.
On the ensuing possession Rogers, which improved to 11-0, marched 71 yards for the decisive touchdown.
"In the third quarter we established momentum but we couldn't score and once they established the field position you could see the momentum switch," Troy Hendricks said.
"There were lots of turning points in this game and it could have gone either way. I'm proud of the way the kids battled and played."
Bemidji finished with 217 yards through the air and 92 on the ground. Woods was the main offensive weapon with 98 yards on five catches and 32 yards on seven runs.
Rogers 24, Bemidji 21
Bemidji 7 12 2 0 - 21
Rogers 7 7 0 10 - 24
R-Vidor, 8-pass from Bloom. PAT-Koeppe kick. 5:21
B-Woods, 7-run. Pat-Henry kick. 10:09
R-Bloom, 1-run. PAT-Koeppe kick. 4:15
B-Woods, 9-run. PAT-kick failed. 9:04
B-Woods, 15-pass from Hendricks. PAT-run failed. 11:52
B-Safety, Hayle blocked punt in end zone. 7:41
R-Safety, sack in end zone. 4:52
R-Vidor, 2-run. Pat-pass good. 10:36