ROGERS — One of the biggest triumphs of the year for the Rogers Eagles, and any other team that gets to do so in this pandemic-plagued season, was to play a full 10-game schedule.
To finish strong going into the playoffs is an added bonus.
Rogers got points from six players and routed the Florence Buffaloes 54-14 on homecoming Friday night in the regular-season finale at Merk Field.
“We were (idle) last week, so we wanted to come out and play well,” fourth-year Rogers coach Charlie Roten said. “The standard we are setting is to practice the right way and play the right way.”
Two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the first half were the right way, and an Eagles offense that generated 463 yards rushing on 24 carries made for some big plays and a lopsided score. Rogers utilized nine ballcarriers.
“That’s just how we’re built here, offensively,” Roten said. “We like to spread the ball around and run our quarterback. We had an awful lot of long runs.”
The first big play was the opening kickoff, which Alex Vargas took back 80 yards for a touchdown to set a tone from which the Eagles didn’t deviate the rest of the night.
Florence (0-10, 0-6) responded with a traditional drive to reach the Eagles 5 before settling for a field goal try that was blocked by Ben Hutka.
The Eagles wasted no time putting more points on the board. RJ Cook broke through on the first play and went 81 yards to the Florence 10, and Vargas finished the quick drive by rushing around the right end for a touchdown and Rogers’ 14-0 lead.
After holding Florence to a three-and-out, the Eagles scored again when Christian Watkins took a pitch around the left side and sprinted 47 yards for a touchdown. A few minutes later, Christian Riley escaped for an 80-yard touchdown run to complete a 97-yard drive in two plays and give the Eagles a 28-0 first-quarter lead.
A pair of connections from Riley Dolgener to Jacob Glasgow for a combined 58 yards set up a 2-yard scoring run for Bryan Campos. The point-after attempt was wide, and the Eagles led 34-0 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Florence got on the board late in the half with a six-play, 55-yard drive finished off by Brenden Woljevach’s 5-yard touchdown run to make it 34-7.
Rogers capped the first half like it started, with Riley taking the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown with 10 seconds left to put Rogers up 40-7.
The early part of the second half was much of the same. The Eagles’ first possession was good for 61 yards in seven plays, including a 16-yard reception and jarring run by Glasgow to set up Watkins’ 10-yard touchdown run on a reverse around left end. Julian Lashbrook’s extra-point kick made it 47-7 midway through the third quarter.
Rogers got another long scoring run when senior John Hill romped through the middle of the Buffaloes defense for a 51-yard touchdown to make 54-7.
Florence added a TD in the fourth quarter when quarterback Victor Bonilla broke free for a 42-yard scamper. Bonilla led all rushers with 202 yards on 19 carries.
Rogers ran out the clock on the following possession to preserve its win.
“They had some capable players, like that quarterback,” Roten said. “Our defense made adjustments at halftime to shut some of that down.”
ROGERS 54, FLORENCE 14
Florence 0 7 0 7 — 14
Rogers 28 12 14 0 — 54
Rog — Alex Vargas 80 kickoff return (Julian Lashbrook kick)
Rog — Christian Watkins 47 run (Lashbrook kick)
Rog — Christian Riley 81 run (Lashbrook kick)
Rog — Bryan Campos 2 run (kick failed)
Flo — Brenden Woljevach 5 run (Angel Perez kick)
Rog — Riley 98 kickoff return (kick failed)
Rog — Watkins 10 run (Lashbrook kick)
Rog — John Hill 51 run (Lashbrook kick)
Flo — Victor Bonilla 42 run (Perez kick)
First downs 11 15
Rushes-yards 41-280 24-463
Passing yards 17 73
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-8-0 4-8-0
Punts-average 5-39.2 1-36
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 0-0 5-45
RUSHING — Florence, Bonilla 19-202, Woljevach 18-72, Abraham Hernandez 4-6. Rogers, Riley 2-101, Cook 1-81, Riley Dolgener 6-60, Watkins 2-57, Hill 2-57, Ivan Lopez 5-56, Vargas 3-27, Joseph Vargas 1-16, Campos 2-8.
PASSING — Florence, Bonilla 3-8-0-17. Rogers, Dolgener 4-8-0-73.
RECEIVING — Florence, Jared Jimenez 1-9, Cooper Ellis 1-8, Zhane Shepard 1-0. Rogers, Jacob Glasgow 3-74, Jordan Werner 1-(minus 1).
x-clinched playoff spot
Buffalo def. Riesel, (ccd./forfeit)
Lexington 47, Clifton 12
Rogers 54, Florence 14