The ROCORI Spartans beat the Becker Bulldogs 30-21 to capture the Section 8AAAA football championship Friday night in Monticello.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with a score on each of their first two drives. First, Zach Bengston found Carter Reckelberg for a 21 yard touchdown pass to make the score 7-0, then Sawyer Brown tossed a 26 yard score to Mitchell Soltau with 4:19 left in the first quarter.

ROCORI got on the board with a safety with 10:08 left in the second quarter and made the score 14-9 with a rushing touchdown by Spartans quarterback Will Steil with 4:18 left.

The Spartans took a 15-14 lead on Steil's second rushing touchdown of the night about halfway through the third quarter, but the lead would prove to be short-lived, as Becker responded with a 71 yard touchdown pass from Bengston to Mitchell Soltau to take a 21-15 lead.

ROCORI answered back with an extended drive that took over ten minutes off of the clock and culminated in Steil's third rushing touchdown with 6:27 left in the fourth to make the score 22-21.

Photo - Andrew Ritter
(file) PHOTO - Andrew Ritter

Steil then intercepted a pass to set up ROCORI in Becker territory, where the Spartans eventually scored again, with Steil gaining his fourth rushing touchdown of the game and fifteenth of the season. A successful two-point conversion made the score 30-21 with just 3:31 left.

Steil finished with 27 carries for over 150 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and also completed 7/15 passes for 79 yards.

Andy Pedroza had two interceptions for the Spartans, Grant Tylutki hauled in five passes for 73 yards and Anthony Rodriguez gained over 50 yards on the ground.

The Spartans will play against Orono Thursday night in Elk River. The Minnesota State High School League website currently has it scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.



The Cardinals advance to the state quarterfinals in Brainerd on Saturday, November 11th against Esko. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.


The Huskies scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to earn a trip to the state tournament. Albany will play against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in Alexandria Friday night.


Eden Valley-Watkins will play against Moose Lake/Willow River in Forest Lake Thursday night.

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