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NYM Football: Royalton shuts out Eagles in opener

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By John George

Fresh off a second place finish in Class A last year, the Royalton Royals got their 2009 season off to a good start with a 44-0 win over New York Mills.

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Royalton finished with 502 total yards on offense with 30 first downs. The finished with 431 yards rushing on 50 attempts and scored on their first seven possessions of the game.

Mills finished with 103 yards of total offense with just five first downs. They had 38 yards on the ground on 25 carries. Senior running back Jordan Novak had 50 yards rushing on 13 attempts. He also had a catch for 10 yards.

The Royals scored a touchdown on their opening drive, then recovered a Mills fumble on the following kick-off and took it in to score a minute later for a quick 12-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, they were up 18-0, and had a 32-0 lead at halftime.

Royalton made it to the Class A State Championship last year where they lost 33-22 to fellow Prairie Conference South team, K-M-S. The Royals had beaten K-M-S in the regular season, 22-7. Their only regular season loss in 2008 was to Upsala/Swanville Area, 23-22.

The Royals have now beaten New York Mills three-straight times by a combined score of 161-35, including a 62-28 win last year. Royalton came into the game with 32 upperclassmen (11-12 graders), as the Eagles entered the night dressing just 27 players in grades 9-12.

"This was a great learning experience for our team as we played many underclassmen as well as a few new players who have little to no football experience," head coach Jon Kotaska said. "We started two freshmen with a third seeing some snaps as well as playing four sophomores for the start. Due to varying reasons the Eagles have multiple starters on the sidelines who can return in the coming weeks to improve the depth of the team."

Royalton junior running back Zach Lanners rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns and caught a pass for 50 more yards. He can become the Royals all-time leading rusher with 100 more yards against Osakis next week.

Home opener

The Eagles will play in front of the home crowd at Smith Field in New York Mills on Sept. 11 when they host Otter Tail Central at 7 p.m. OTC opened their season last week with a 21-12 loss against U/S A.

The Bulldogs won last year's contest in Battle Lake, 56-13, for their second straight win over NY Mills.

Thursday, September 3

Royalton 44, NYM 0

NY Mills 0- 0- 0- 0--0

Royalton 18-14-6-6--44

First Quarter

R--Schlicting 19 pass from Young (kick failed) 8:09

R--Lanners 15 run (kick failed) 6:36

R--Lanners 31 run (run failed) :58

Second Quarter

R--Lanners 10 run (Zimmerman run) 7:09

R--Schlicting 1 run (run failed) :21

Third Quarter

R--Lanners 1 run (kick failed) 2:43

Fourth Quarter

R--Zimmerman 2 run (run failed) 8:26

NYM Royals

1st Downs 5 30

Rush--yds 25-38 50-431

Pass yds 76 71

Return yds 87 39

Comp--Att-In 5-11-2 2-2-0

Fbles-lost 2-1 2-0

Pen-yds 4-15 4-25

Individual Statistics

Rushing--Jordan Novak 13-50, Erik Tumberg 4-6, Ryan Lee 2-7, Tanner Wegscheid 5 (-18), Nick Letourneau 1 (-7)

Passing--Wegscheid 5-11-2, 65 yds.

Receiving--Jarrod Norton 2-26, Tumberg 1-6, Novak 1-10, Charlie Peeters 1-33.

Defense--Novak 23 tkl., Norton 9 tkl.; Letourneau 9 tkl., Tumberg 8 tkl.

Prairie Conference

North Conf. All

OTC 0-0 0-1

UNC 0-0 0-1

Pillager 0-0 0-1

Parkers Prairie 0-0 0-1

New York Mills 0-0 0-1

South Conf. All

Royalton 0-0 1-0

K-M-S 0-0 1-0

Upsala/Swanville 0-0 1-0

Browerville 0-0 1-0

Osakis 0-0 1-0

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