Pirates to meet Rockets at Fargodome
The Verndale Pirates made their final home game of the 2013 season count Saturday night as they beat Isle 60-20 to qualify for a berth in Friday’s Section 4 championship game at the Fargodome.
The top-seeded Pirates will take a 9-1 record into Friday’s 12:30 p.m. game with the third-seeded Underwood Rockets. The 7-3 Rockets pulled off a 21-0 upset of No. 2 Wheaton-Herman-Norcross Saturday. Friday’s meeting will be the first for the two teams since Sept. 6 when the Pirates posted a 44-13 win over the Rockets at Verndale.
Mahlen sees his Pirates stepping onto the Fargodome’s artificial turf against a vastly improved Underwood team.
“Underwood has been playing very well over the second half of the season,” Mahlen said. “They’re a lot bigger than we are, they are huge up front.”
According to Mahlen, the Rockets also have the leading rusher in all of Minnesota’s six classes – junior Noah Thompson. The Underwood standout logged 259 yards in the win over Wheaton-Herman-Norcross Saturday and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 90-yard run. Underwood Head Coach Chuck Ross said Thompson has two 300-yard games to his credit and goes into Friday’s game with a school record 2,030 yards on 220 attempts. Thompson has also scored 20 touchdowns.
“It’s going to come down to who can run the ball successfully,” Mahlen said in sizing up Friday’s section title game.
The Pirates ran the ball very well against Isle on Saturday night out-gaining the Huskies 379-171 on the ground. Dillon Card picked up 152 yards on 14 carries and Dakota Finck gained 104 yards on 10 attempts. Card goes into the section finals with 1,133 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Finck is not far behind with 915 yards and eight TDs.
Card put the game’s first touchdown on the board in the first quarter with a 52-yard ramble. Finck added six more in the first with a nine-yard run. Isle countered with a 64-yard run by Blake Zortman.
The Pirates owned the second quarter 22-0 as Finck broke off a 17-yard scoring run, Colter Ehrmantraut scored from eight yards out and Card went over from the one.
The Pirates did not let up much in the third quarter. Finck scored his second touchdown of the game on a four-yard run and Marshall Willis struck for six on an 18-yard run.
Trevor Oswald and Matthew Petty accounted for both of Isle’s second half touchdowns on a pair of seven-yard flips.
Mac Schluttner racked up Verndale’s final touchdown in the fourth period when he broke free on a 44-yard gallop.
Bradyn Sickels was credited with a team-high 10 tackles for Verndale. Seth Zins had eight tackles and one sack. Marcos Gomez recorded two of Verndale’s three interceptions.
Verndale 60, Isle 20
Isle 8 0 6 6 – 20
Verndale 16 22 14 8 – 60
Isle: Blake Zortman 64 yd run (PAT Ethan Schmidt pass from Trevor Oswald), Oswald 7 yd pass from Matthew Petty (PAT failed), Oswald 7 yd pass from Matthew Petty (PAT failed)
Verndale: Dillon Card 52 yd run (PAT Card run), Dakota Finck 9 yd run (PAT Card run), Finck 17 yd run (PAT Card run), Colter Ehrmantraut 8 yd run (PAT Card run), Card 1 yd run (PAT failed), Finck 4 yd run (PAT Card run), Marshall Willis 18 yd run (PAT failed), Mac Schluttner 44 yd run (PAT Zach Johnson pass from Schluttner)
First Downs 14 22
Yards Rushing 171 379
Yards Passing 66 66
Total Yards 260 445
Passes 13-31 6-9
Penalties 2-25 4-30
Verndale 42, Bertha-Hewitt 14
A quick dose of Dakota Finck was more than the Bears could take last Tuesday as the Pirates marched past the Bears in a Section 4, Class Nine-man quarterfinal game at Mahlen Field.
Finck sparked a 20-point first quarter with scoring runs of five and 20 yards After Finck put his first touchdown on the board and Dillon Card added the conversion points, the Verndale defense came up with a Bertha-Hewitt fumble. The turnover set up Finck’s 20-yard scoring run on the first play from scrimmage. Finck went on to rack up 180 yards on 20 carries.
Dillon Card also scored a pair of TDs for Verndale and hit Eric Blaha with a 14-yard scoring aerial. Blaha also caught a 41-yard pass from Card to account for all of Verndale’s receiving yardage.
Mac Schluttner capped the scoring for the Pirates in the fourth quarter when he rambled 19 yards for six.
The Bears did their scoring through the air with Preston Riewer finding Nick Bennett on a 17-yard toss an Austin Mattson taking a two-yard flip from Zach Mousseau.
Card had a big night on defense with two fumble recoveries. James Kveton led the Pirates with 11 tackles while Andy Bounds and Bradyn Sickels made eight and Marcos Gomez was credited with six.
Verndale 42, Bertha-Hewitt 14
Bertha-Hewitt 0 0 8 6 — 14
Verndale 20 6 8 8 — 42
B-H: Nick Bennett 17 yd pass from Preston Riewer (PAT Bennett run), Austin Mattson 2 yd pass fro Zach Mousseau (PAT failed)
Verndale: Dakota Finck 5 yd run(PAT Dillon Card run), Finck 20 yd run (PAT failed), Card 4 yd run (PAT failed), Card 8 yd run (PAT failed), Eric Blaha 14 yd pass from Card (PAT Colter Ehrmantraut run), Mac Schluttner 19 yd run (PAT Marshall Willis run)
First Downs 12 20
Yards Rushing 132 304
Yards Passing 62 55
Total Yards 194 359
Passes 6-12 2-5
Penalties 4-20 2-20