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Soggy weather fails to slow down Verndale Pirates in Section 4 victory

Verndale's Dillon Card (8) tries to evade a tackle by Isle's Caleb Weiers (13) as he rolls to his right on a conversion attempt Tuesday night at Mahlen Field. Flanking the Verndale quarterback are Dallas Ehrmantraut (5) and Alewx Walsvik (9). Coming up to support Weiers is Blake Zortman (24). Photo by Brian Hansel

Tuesday's soggy weather did nothing to dampen the effort of the Verndale Pirates in a 42-6 Section 4, Class Nine-man playoff victory over Isle.

Dallas Ehrmantraut put five touchdowns on the board, while Dillon Card threw three touchdown passes and scored twice in the quarterfinal game. The victory gave the Pirates their fourth straight win and sends them to Underwood Saturday for a 1 p.m. semifinal game with the top-seeded Rockets.

The misty October night saw the fourth-seeded Pirates racking up 442 yards while holding the fifth-seeded Huskies to just 134 yards.

Card punched in two back-to-back touchdowns in the first quarter. His 1-yard plunge opened the scoring at the 6:35 mark. A Matt Petty pass on Isle's answering series was picked off by Card from his defensive end position and taken 28 yards to the end zone.

"I think that broke their back right there," Verndale Head Coach Mike Mahlen said.

The Pirates also came up with four Isle fumbles in the game.

The points began to pour down for Verndale in the second quarter, as Ehrmantraut put Verndale up 18-0 with a 6-yard sweep. The senior wide out then exploded for a 68-yard touchdown run. On Verndale's next possession, Ehrmantraut drew single coverage on a deep fly route and made a leaping 37-yard catch in the end zone for a 30-0 halftime lead.

Ehrmantraut and Card hooked up for two second half touchdowns. The first score was a 24-yard pass play in the third quarter. The Ehrmantraut-Card connection stung Isle again in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard TD pass. Ehrmantraut has put up nine touchdowns for the Pirates in their last two games.

Card only missed on one of his nine passes and finished the game with 159 yards.

Ehrmantraut finished the game with 102 yards rushing on nine carries. He also had three catches for 71 yards. Walsvick also made three catches for 52 yards. Verndale's ground attack included an 18-carry, 84-yard effort by Card and a 14-carry, 91-yard rushing night by Dakota Finck.

Ehrmantraut also had a superb night on defense with a team-high 11 tackles and two fumble recovers. James Kventon came up with eight tackles, while Alex Walsvik and Grant Grossinger both made six stops. Walsvick was credited with two sacks.

Ryan Tramm's 1-yard TD run in the third quarter was Isle's only score.

The Pirates will take a 7-2 record to Underwood. Chuck Ross and his Rockets have put together an 8-1 record this season. The Rockets held Verndale to 17 yards in handing the Pirates a 36-8 loss Sept. 7 at Underwood. The Pirates were missing linebacker Cory Uselman and lineman Grant Grossinger in the first game.

"I think we are a much better team than we were the first time," Mahlen said.

The winner of Saturday's Section 4 semifinal game will advance to the Fargodome in Fargo on Nov. 2 to face either Onamia or Wheaton/Herman-Norcross in a 10 a.m. title game.

Isle 0 0 6 0 -- 6

Verndale 12 18 6 6 -- 42

Isle: Ryan Tramm 1 yd run (PAT failed)

Verndale: Dillon Card 1 yd run (PAT failed), Card 28 yd interception return (PAT failed), Dallas Ehrmantraut 6 yd run (PAT failed), Ehrmantraut 68 yd run (PAT failed), Ehrmantraut 37 yd pass from Card (PAT failed), Ehrmantraut 24 yd pass from Card (PAT failed), Ehrmantraut 10 yd pass from Card (PAT failed)

Isle Vern.

First Downs 10 18

Yards Rushing 104 283

Yards Passing 30 159

Total Yards 134 442

Passes 6-12 8-9

Intercepted by 0 1

Fumbles lost 4 0

Penalties 1-5 3-30