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Football: Rockets' offense wrangles Lanesboro

Randolph wide receiver Carsyn Gunderson reaches over his shoulder for a reception during the first quarter of Friday's game against Lanesboro. Gunderson had 10 catches for 229 yards in the Rockets' 50-12 victory. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Randolph wide receiver Joey Erickson throws a stiff-arm at a Lanesboro defender during the first quarter of Friday's game at Klahr Field. Erickson had three catches for 55 yards in the Rockets' 50-12 victory. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Randolph quarterback Andrew Wenstrom looks for running room as Lanesboro's Bodie Mayer closes in during the first quarter of Friday's game at Klahr Field in Randolph. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Randolph running back Justin Wille (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown on a 5-yard run in the first quarter of Friday's game against Lanesboro at Klahr Field in Randolph. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

RANDOLPH — A week ago, Carsyn Gunderson wasn't lined up at wide receiver for Randolph.

Not due to injury. Nothing scandalous. Rather, he was grounded for dissing his dad.

"Yeah, just family issues," Gunderson said about his Week 1 absence. "I was very anxious today. I just wanted to come out with the boys and put on a show for Randolph."

His debut was delayed by a week, but his work against Lanesboro was enough to make up for it.

Catching 10 passes for 230 yards and two touchdown, the Rockets' aerial attack stole the show Friday with a 50-12 9-Man South East Division win against the Burros at Klahr Field.

"We knew they were a good team and we wanted to run up the middle. And when we got open outside, we took our chances," Gunderson said. "And the chances came often and we converted."

"We've been seeing that in camp with those two (Gunderson and quarterback Andrew Wenstrom) all fall," said first-year head coach Mike Schmidt. "We made the move to put Gunderson (from tight end) to outside receiver so we could open some of those big-play opportunities."

While Gunderson was the go-to guy on Friday, he was far from the only weapon at Wenstrom's disposal as the junior signal-caller was 14 of 20 passing for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

Running back Justin Wille (nine carries, 102 yards) scored two of his three rushing touchdowns in the first 12 minutes from 5 and 6 yards out to build a 16-0 lead. His final score came on a 31-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.

The second quarter had a 40-yard touchdown connection between Wenstrom and Gunderson, and Joey Erickson (three catches, 55 yards) caught a 12-yard touchdown pass with a minute to go before halftime to make it a 30-6 Rockets lead. Gunderson snagged his second score from 10 yards out in the third quarter.

"We've been working on running great routes and everybody now is running routes like they were supposed to and you can definitely tell on the field the last two weeks," Wenstrom said.

Gunderson added, "We have a mentality of 'Bring the wood,' and we brought the wood tonight."

With the offense clicking through the entire game, Randolph's defense caused four turnovers, with a pair of fumbles and interceptions by Isaac Stoesz and Erickson.

"We knew in watching film that they had some tendencies of putting the ball on the ground," Schmidt said. "We really stressed accountability to the kids this week and doing your job with that triple option. If everyone did their job and trusted their teammates to do their job, we were going to make some big plays and we did that."

The Burros ran for 131 yards, led by Andrew Luck's 58 yards on 11 carries. Connor Ruen had an 18-yard reception for a score in the first quarter on a Carson Schwichtenberg pass while Brett Wangen reached the end zone on a 15-yard run as time expired.

Next week, Randolph (2-0, 1-0 East) heads to Lyle-Pacelli.