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Pirates survive Underwood

Blow by blow, Verndale and Underwood traded touchdowns in the Pheasant Conference battle on Friday night.

Matt Moenkedick rushed for 276 yards and three touchdowns to help the Pirates remain unbeaten in the tough 32-28 victory. He carried the ball 43 times and scored on runs of 9, 7 and 5 yards.

Underwood's Todd Skauge intercepted an errant Monekedick pass in the second quarter and returned the pick 63 yards for a touchdown. Skauge also had a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and finished with 120 yard rushing on 26 carries.

But the Rockets couldn't deliver the knock-out blow by failing to convert on three of their two-point conversion attempts.

The Pirates, however, did take advantage to convert theirs to escape with the win. Moenkedick ran in three of the Pirate conversion attempts while Colby Schmidt added the other score.

Verndale's Amos Schmidt scored the Pirates first touchdown on a 10-yard run to finish the game with 28 yard rushing on seven carries.

Verndale (2-0) hosts Ashby at 7 p.m. Friday in the Pirates home opener.

The victory over Underwood put coach Mike Mahlen one closer to the all-time win mark among Minnesota prep coaches, but that goal is a bit farther away than was previously reported.

After Verndale school officials did a closer audit of the record books, it appears Mahlen could tie George Larson of Cambridge on Friday night with a victory, and could break the record the following week with a victory over Bertha-Hewitt. Mahlen's career victory mark stands at 306, with the record at 307.