The win was the fourth straight for R-U (5-3, 4-2) after beginning the season 1-3. The Rockets looked to the passing game to gain momentum in the first half.
"(RSM) came out and tried to take away our running game," said R-U head coach Colin Youde. "So we got some passing game going."
R-U took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Cam Kuchel to Jeremy Sanchez. Neither team would score again until the second quarter when Sanchez returned a punt 38 yards for a touchdown. R-U led 14-0 after a successful 2-point conversion.
"We've been pretty fortunate this year to get a lot of returns," Youde said.
The teams traded scores as halftime neared. R-U fumbled on the kick return following a touchdown by RSM (, ). The Rockets were able to get a stop on defense and get the ball back with over a minute remaining in the first half.
Nick Braun scored on a 58-yard touchdown run with less than a minute before halftime. The Rockets went into halftime with a 30-6 lead.
"That was a huge turnaround for us," Youde said. "It got us into the halftime with some good feelings. Then we just came out in the second half and ran the ball really effectively."
"We had our opportunities to make it a game, but we just didn't capitalize," said RSM head coach Jordan Halvorsen. "We dropped a touchdown and missed a wide open receiver downfield. Those are plays that you have to make when you're playing a quality team, because you don't know when you're next chance at a big play will be.
"I give R-U a lot of credit. They're as good and disciplined as any team we have played this year. Defensively, they are assignment-sound and incredible tacklers. Its a program that everyone should strive to be similar to."
The R-U defense focused on pressuring RSM quarterback Tyler Delperdang to slow the RSM passing game.
"Delperdang does a great job at quarterback," Youde said. "Their receivers are very confident. We just tried to do a great job of getting pass pressure. We didn't get a lot of sacks, but we got a lot of tipped football and a lot of pressure. The wind tonight made a huge difference on some of those passes.
"We just did a nice job of tackling, giving them short passes and not giving them any home run balls. We tackled really well and limited their offense."
"Anyone who has watched our offense knows we thrive on getting the ball to our athletes in space and trying to making people miss, but we couldn't make them miss and our big plays were limited," Halvorsen said. "They also did a great job of bottling up Delperdang when he pulled the ball down to run. Couple that with the fact that we missed the few opportunities we did have and they made it a long night for our offense."
RSM was limited to under 200 yards of total offense.
"A lot of Friday night was guys just came out wanting to do well too bad," Halvorsen said. "That caused us to try to do too much instead of just reading our keys and doing our own job.
"I credit a lot of that to our big game inexperience. Last year, our last two games didn't matter in terms of playoff implications, and two years ago our seniors were mainly JV players. Couple that with the fact that we play a lot of sophomores and that's a lot of inexperience, especially considering the experience R-U brought to the table."
Tyler Nielsen led the RSM defense with 12 tackles and a sack. Matt Gerrietts finished with six tackles.
Cam Kuchel finished 8-for-16 passing for 111 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Kuchel ran for 24 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Sanchez finished with 121 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Braun carried nine times for 90 yards.
Tanner Hilbrands caught two touchdown passes and gained 67 yards on four catches. Sanchez made two catches for nine yards and Braun made one reception for 25 yards.
Austin Felts led the R-U defense once again Friday night with 10 solo tackles and 15 total tackles. Ethan Van Dam made eight solo stops and assisted on two more.
Sanchez made seven solo tackles on defense and recorded the Rockets' only sack. Hilbrands made five solo tackles and three assisted tackles. Cole Owens made five solo stops and assisted on one more.
R-U will wrap up the regular season at home on Friday against Whiting (1-7, 1-5).
"In the first half against everybody, (Whiting) played really hard and really tough," Youde said. "This will be their last time out this season. They're going to come down and give a great effort. We're going to get our guys in there and try to play at least a half or at least three quarters and try to turn it over to our JV guys as soon as we can in the second half.
"We're going to come out and just try to continue to build on what we've been doing here the last four weeks and try to get better every day. Our guys are going to have to play as long as needed before the JV guys come in and take over."
RSM will have to earn a playoff spot the hard way with a road matchup at Harris-Lake Park (6-2, 5-1) in the final week of the regular season.
"Next week we play another really talented team at Harris Lake Park, and like last week, with a win we will likely be in the playoffs," Halvorsen said. "So we have to come work on Monday and draw from the experience we gained Friday night and see what can happen. We are going to go down swinging, I do know that."