Verndale falls to CGB, 46-8
A clipboard went flying on the Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley sideline as Amos Schmidt broke into the open field and scored the game's first touchdown from 46 yards out.
The Verndale scoring machine had done something that no CGB opponent had done this year -- scored first.
Schmidt's touchdown galvanized the Wolverines on a night where a thin, warm mist made the artificial turf at Big Cat Stadium in Morris wet and spongy. By the time the half had arrived, they had scored 30 straight points. A pair of second half touchdowns by CGB closed out Verndale's season with a 46-8 loss.
The Pirates, like the Wolverines, entered the game with an 11-0 record. The two Pheasant Conference teams had been ranked in the state all year after they both made the Class Nine-man state tournament in 2008. Both teams lost to eventual state champ Houston last year, Verndale in the state quarterfinals and CGB in the finals.
The loss to Houston in the Prep Bowl finals filled the Wolverines with resolve. Most of the players from that runner-up squad went directly into the weight room. They were already planning to go back to the Prep Bowl finals.
The Pirates had the same idea. They approached head coach Mike Mahlen last spring and asked him to conduct extra practices. Until Friday night, the Pirates were right on track.
The Wolverines racked up 384 yards of rushing offense and 23 more through the air for a 407-184 advantage over Verndale. Nate Vogt rushed 12 times for 162 yards and Levi Nelson added 105 yards on 22 attempts.
Schmidt picked up 122 yards on 23 carries behind Verndale's veteran line.
The Wolverines blocked two Verndale punts in the first half as Nelson, Vogt and Isaiah Athey scored on the ground and Zack McNally hit Justin Seifert with a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Big Levi Lupkes hit paydirt on a 42-yard run in the third quarter and McNally scored CGB's final touchdown on a one-yard keeper.
Dan Kneisl had another strong defensive game for Verndale with 19 tackles. Jon Kohlhase made 15 stops while Amos Schmidt and Cody Yungbauer combined for 25.
The Pirates were stymied on the ground and ran only 39 rushing plays. Colby Schmidt completed four of his seven passes for 43 yards.
The Pirates closed out their season with a record of 11-1.
Verndale 8 0 0 0 - 8
CGB 0 30 8 8 - 46
Verndale: Amos Schmidt 46 yd run (PAT Colby Schmidt run)
CGB: Levi Nelson 1 yd run (PAT Isaiah Athey run), Justin Seifert 23 yd pass from Zack McNally (PAT Levi Nelson run),
Nate Vogt 13 yd run (PAT McNally run), Athey 6 yd run (PAT failed), Levi Lupkes 42 yd run (PAT Nelson run), McNally 1 yd run (PAT Nelson run)
First Downs 8 19
Yards Rushing 141 384
Yards Passing 43 23
Total Yards 184 407
Passes 4-7 1-2
Penalties 4-25 4-30