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Verndale football team gets on track

Photo by Brian Hansel Verndale's Colton Moyer (18) gains ground on a slippery Verndale gridiron during a Sept. 10 game with Ashby. Coming up to meet Moyer is Gage Olson (29).

The Verndale Pirates blew off an opening week loss to Wheaton-Herman-Norcross Friday by crushing a young Ashby team 44-8 on soggy night for football.

The victory evened Verndale's record at 1-1 going into a big road trip to Bertha.

Mike Mahlen's senior-dominated team amassed 24 first half points and added 14 in the second half for a commanding 38-0 lead in the steady rain.

Matt Willis hit paydirt on runs of 21 and 26 yards. Cody Yungbauer Jacob Perius and Dustin Motschenbacher broke off scoring runs of 60, 21 and 20 yards.

The Arrows lost freshman linebacker Reed Hanson on the slippery turf in the second quarter. Hanson was taken to Tri-County Hospital in Wadena where he was treated for a concussion. The Arrows also lost standout running back and linebacker Mason Johnson in the first quarter with a fractured ankle.

The Pirates racked up 322 of their 328 yards on the ground. Yungbauer rushed five times for 104 yards. Willis gained 76 yards on seven carries. Perius picked up 70 yards on six attempts. Colton Moyer and Dustin Motschenbacher got into the act by combing for 47 yards on six attempts.

Perius scored his second touchdown on the game in the third quarter on a 35-yard scamper.

The Arrows, who entered the game with four seniors on the roster, were unable to get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter when Gage Olson found the end zone on a three-yard run.

The Arrows had a tough time against Verndale's defense gaining just 55 yards on the ground and 62 through the air.

Andy Bounds was Verndale's top tackler with nine stops. Tim Kern and Dan Kneisl both had seven tackles. The Pirates racked up four quarterback sacks. Kern had Verndale's only fumble recovery.

Ashby 0 0 0 8 - 8

Verndale 24 14 6 0 - 44

Ashby: Gage Olson 3 yd run (PAT J.P. Moe pass from Sam Graham)

Verndale: Matt Willis 26 yd run (PAT Cody Yungbauer run), Willis 21 yd run (PAT Yungbauer pass from Nate Bart), Yungbauer 60 yd run (PAT Kyle Booth pass from Bart), Jacob Perius 21 yd run (PAT Dustin Motschenbacher (run), Motschenbacher 20 yd run (PAT failed), Perius 35 yd run (PAT failed)

Ashby Vern.

First Downs 7 14

Yds Rushing 55 322

Yds Passing 62 6

Total Yards 117 328

Penalties 5-25 2-10