It's been a long time a-comin'. For the first time since 2003, and only the second time since 1992, the Randolph Rocket football team found a way to win in section playoffs.
The Rockets came back from an 18-6 deficit Tuesday night to beat Cleveland, on the road, 22-20.
Neither team scored in the first half. Randolph's first touchdown came on a 20-yard pass from Luke Dubbels to Austin Moorhouse. The two connected again in the 4th quarter, this time from 22-yards out, and the 2-point conversion from Dubbels to Hunter Ehlers was a success.
With the Rockets trailing 20-14, Joey Adamson recovered a Cleveland fumble and raced 35 yards for a tying touchdown. Dubbels and Moorhouse hooked up yet again on the 2-point conversion, giving the Rockets a 2-point lead and ultimately the win.
"Adamson had an unbelievable game, with two interceptions and the fumble recovery," coach Chris Stanton. "Cleveland has ended our season for the previous two seasons, and for us to beat them at their place was an awesome feeling. This is a big win for our program and all the hard work that was done in the off-season as we were the more physical team."
Dubbels completed 18 of 31 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns, both to Moorhouse, who had 93 receiving yards. Ehlers had 83 yards and Sam Feidt 53.
Charlie Wille Jr. had 14 tackles, David Speight 12, Brady Thesing 11 and Adamson 10; he also had two interceptions.
The big win meant the Rockets had to face undefeated and #1 seed Nicollet in the next round, where they lost 49-8.
Freshman Conor McElroy got his first varsity start at quarterback, after Randolph's top two QBs went down with injury the previous game, and David Speight also saw some time under center. He threw for the only score, a 30-yard pass to Moorhouse.
"It's difficult to have young guys play againstg a very good team in the playoffs," Stanton said, "but both Conor and David did some things well. We were a little flat to start but responded and played tough in the second half."
McElroy and Speight combined to complete 12 of 29 passes for 139 yards, and Speight gained 34 yards on the ground. Justin Waldvogel was the leading rusher with 45 yards. Moorhouse caught five passes for 87 yards.
Wille Jr. had 14 total tackles, and Speight and Waldvogel had eight each. Nick Wenstrom had an interception.