Homecoming heartbreaker for Verndale
The cards continued to run cold for Mike Mahlen and his Verndale Pirates Friday night as they lost a 10-6 decision to Eagle Valley in their Homecoming game.
The Pirates were held to just one touchdown by the Rebels as their offensive problems continued to mount with the loss of Jerdan Stinar. The tight end-defensive end sprained his ankle in the first half. Already hamstrung by the loss of some key backfield people, the Pirates picked up only 14 yards through the air and were out-gained by the Rebels 226-168.
The loss was the third straight for Verndale. The Pirates, who started the season with 14 seniors on the roster, have been outscored 113-34 by their competition in their four losses this season. Their lone victory was a 44-8 romp over winless Ashby in Week 2.
"We've had trouble moving the ball all year," Mahlen said. "Most of our running backs have been out for one reason or another."
The Pirates were ready to welcome one of 2009's top running threats back to the lineup before Friday's night at Underwood. Senior Zack Meidinger was expected to play for the first time in 2010. Meidinger combined with Amos Schmidt to give the Pirates a lethal running combination over the first half of last season.
Nate Bart opened the scoring in Friday's game when he hit paydirt on a one-yard run. The Rebels countered with a 34-yard scoring aerial from Tyler Oftedahl to Taylor Bailey. Tate Benning caught the conversion pass for an 8-6 Eagle Valley halftime lead.
The Pirates drove inside Eagle Valley's 20 in the second half but came up short on a fourth down running play.
Eagle Valley's Blake Borst was credited with a fourth quarter safety.
Cody Yungbauer carried 37 times for 143 yards in the loss. Kyle Booth had Verndale's only completion for 14 yards.
Jacob Schauer led the Rebels with 68 yards on 13 carries. Oftedahl was seven for 15 through the air for 123 yards. Dylan Pratt caught three passes for 59 yards.
Yungbauer had 10 stops for the Pirates while Booth and Dan Kneisl both had eight. The Pirates took advantage of three turnovers by the Rebels. Yungbauer and Bart recovered fumbles and Bart added an interception.
Eagle Valley 10, Verndale 6
Eagle Valley 0 8 0 2 - 10
Verndale 0 6 0 0 - 6
Eagle Valley: Taylor Bailey 34 yd pass from Tyler Oftedahl (PAT Tate Benning pass from Oftedahl)
Verndale: Nate Bart 1 yd run (PAT failed)
First Downs 11 15
Yards Rushing 103 154
Yards Passing 123 14
Total Yards 226 168
Passes 7-15 1-8
Penalties 5-35 4-35