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Rockets rally in second half to top Pirates

Verndale's Dallas Ehrmantraut (5) fights through a leg tackle by Underwood's Chase Collins (19) in the second quarter of Saturday's Section 4, Class Nine-man semifinal game at Underwood. Ehrmantraut scored both Verndale touchdowns. Photo by Brian Hansel

Noah Rocholl scored twice and Chase Collins rushed 106 yards and scored one touchdown Oct. 27 as the Underwood Rockets rallied for a 26-16 Section 4, Class Nine-man victory over Verndale.

The Pirates gave an impressive effort in the first half of the physical game and led 8-6 at the midway point. The Rockets turned the tables in the second half with the help of some short field situations.

"We had a couple of fumbles inside our 40, which gave them two touchdowns," Verndale Head Coach Mike Mahlen said. "They didn't have any turnovers and we had three and that was the difference in the game."

The Pirates grabbed an 8-0 lead in the first quarter when Dillon Card lofted a 5-yard pass to Dallas Ehrmantraut.

The Rockets dominated the third quarter 14-8 as Collins went in from the four and Rocholl scored from the two.

The Pirates countered with a 37-yard flip from Card to Ehrmantraut.

Cody Karst iced the win with a 27-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The Rockets were held at bay until the second quarter when Rocholl punched in his first touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Card rushed 18 times for 100 yards while Dakota Finck carried the ball nine times for 36 yards. Ehrmantraut caught three passes for 47 yards. Alex Walsvik grabbed two passes for 38 yards.

Ehrmantraut was credited with 23 tackles. Josh Gilb and Grant Grossinger both had 12 stops. Walsvik and Dan Fisher made 10 tackles apiece.

The loss stopped a four-game winning streak by the Pirates and ended their season with a 7-3 record.

The victory propelled the 9-1 Rockets into the Section 4 championship game with Wheaton-Herman-Norcross.

Verndale 8 0 8 0 - 16

Underwood 0 6 14 6 - 26

Vern: Dallas Ehrmantraut 5 yd pass from Dillon Card (PAT Card run),

Ehrmantraut 37 yd pass from Card (PAT Card run)

Und: Noah Rocholl 1 yd run (PAT failed), Chase Collins 4 yd run (PAT

Rocholl run), Rocholl 2 yd run (PAT failed), Cody Karst 27 yd run (PAT failed)

Vern. Und.

First Downs 9 14

Yards Rushing 158 202

Yards Passing 98 46

Total Yards 256 248

Passes 7-12 2-2

Penalties 5-40 3-15