Regis football scored on its opening play Friday night. The Ramblers didn’t slow down much from there in their postseason opener at Carson Park.

Zander Rockow forced a running clock with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter with his third touchdown of the evening as part of his Ramblers’ stellar 43-14 showing against Blair-Taylor in Level 1 of the Division 7 playoffs.

The one-sided nature of the final was far from unexpected. Regis enters the postseason as the No. 1 small school in the state according to the Associated Press and fell on the smaller end of the cutline between Division 6 and 7 when the brackets came out.

Still, they had to execute. Evrett Tait opened the parade to the end zone with an 86-yard kick return on the first play of the night, setting the stage for an evening of celebration for the home team.

"We got off to a real fast start," Regis coach Bryant Brenner said. "Things seemed to roll pretty quickly from there. Credit to our kids. Coming off a bye week we weren't sure how we'd come out. We asked them to play with a lot of passion and come out excited, play with a lot of energy, and we did that."

Regis advances to play Glenwood City, which defeated Turtle Lake 9-0 Friday.

The Ramblers scored the first 43 points all in the first half, with 29 coming in the first 12 minutes. After Tait's return, Rockow scored on runs of 34 and 9 yards before Jack Weisenberger closed out the first quarter with a 21-yard TD scamper on a delayed handoff.

Krogman's 27-yard TD pass to Rockow to start the offense in the second quarter spurred the running clock that wouldn't be turned off until Blair-Taylor's second touchdown with 1:28 remaining in the fourth. Another delayed handoff to Weisenberger rounded out the Regis scoring, with the junior back trekking 66 yards this time.

Every touchdown came on efficient drives, often helped by positive field position. All the possessions lasted four plays or less.

"We've faced good teams before," Blair-Taylor coach Andy Nehring said. "But they are definitely the best we've played this year. Hats off to them." 

Weisenberger finished with 106 rushing yards, while Rockow had 61. Regis was able to sit its starters in the second half, an enormous perk considering the long playoff run the program is looking to string together.

"That's huge," Brenner said. "Our season, we had a tough schedule this year. We had four or five games where our guys had to play the whole game. That's been a little bit of a rarity. To have a bye week last week and let our starters rest here in the second half, it should give us some fresh legs going into next week."

Blair-Taylor got to the end zone twice in the final 15 minutes of action, both via Cain Fremstad passes to Evan Nehring. The Wildcats' season ends at 4-6. Blair-Taylor graduates a senior class of four, three of whom helped the program to a Dairyland title and an undefeated campaign last fall.

"That group of seniors has gone to the playoffs every year, which was not necessarily a goal of ours but it was a testament to their character and hard work," Andy Nehring said. "They stuck together. Even a game like this where the odds were pretty steep there, we didn't point fingers, we didn't find reasons to quit."

Regis 43, Blair-Taylor 14



First Quarter

R: Evrett Tait 86 return (Alex Erickson kick), 11:45.

R: Zander Rockow 34 run (Greg Sokup from Kendon Krogman), 8:37.

R: Rockow 9 run (Erickson kick), 4:15.

R: Jack Weisenberger 21 run (Erickson kick), 2:22.

Second Quarter

R: Rockow 27 pass from Krogman (Erickson kick), 9:40.

R: Weisenberger 66 run (Erickson kick), 6:22.

Third Quarter

B-T: Evan Nehring 11 pass from Cain Fremstad (pass failed), 2:59.

Fourth quarter

B-T: Nehring 1 pass from Fremstad (Colton Lejcher from Fremstad), 1:28.

Team & Individual Statistics

RUSHING (att-yds): Blair-Taylor (18-43): Ethan Knisley 4-25, Fremstad 8-9, Jackson Schramek 6-9. Regis (21-212): Weisenberger 4-106, Rockow 4-61, Alex Leis 1-32, Gus Theisen 2-15, Casey Erickson 1-5, Alex Picco 1-3, Chase Kostka 1-0, Alex Burdick 1-(-1), Ethan Eager 1-(-2), Brandon Myher 2-(-2), Krogman 1-(-2), Harrison Haas 1-(-3).

PASSING (comp-att-int-yds): Blair-Taylor (23-34-1-195): Fremstad 22-36-1-182. Regis (1-2-1-27): Krogman 1-2-1-27.

RECEIVING (rec-yds): Blair-Taylor: Gabe Armitage 5-56, Nehring 6-52, Lejcher 6-53, Zachary Nitek 2-17, Schramek 3-17. Regis: Rockow 1-27.