Top-seeded Verndale knocked off number four seed Brandon-Evansville 46-8 in the Section 4 9-Man semfinals on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates led 8-0 after one quarter, extended their lead to 24-0 at the half and had a 38-8 advantage after three quarters. Verndale outgained B-E 375-200 on the day.
Gideon Ervasti’s 4 yard touchdown run five minutes into the first quarter and a two-point conversion run by Zak Olsson gave Verndale an 8-0 lead. A minute-and-a-half into the second quarter Ervasti scored on a 12 yard run and then ran the conversion in for a 16-0 lead for the Pirates. With 1:30 to go in the half, Ervasti’s 39 yard TD run and another two-point run by Olsson increased the Verndale lead to 24-0 at the half.
In the third quarter Hunter Schulke found the end zone from 9 yards out and Verndale led 30-0. Brandon-Evansville responded with 4:15 left in the quarter when Titus Fuller ran the ball in from the one yard line and then ran in a successful two point conversion to et the Chargers on the board, trailing 30-8. Olsson took a kick-off 92 yards for another Verndale TD with 4:15 to go in the third quarter and a two point conversion run by Hunter Schulke put the lead at 38-8. The Pirates put the final margin at 46-8 when Jaden Schulke scored on a 5 yard run and Kole Dampha scored the two point conversion.
Verndale had 375 total yards (9 passing, 366 rushing). They were led by Ervasti with 254 rushing yards on 19 carries.
B-E had 58 passing yards and 142 rushing yards for 200 total yards on the day. Fuller led them with 71 yards on the ground on 15 carries. He also completed 8-of-18 passes for 58 yards. Six different receivers caught passes in the game. Defensively, Fuller had two interceptions and the leading tackler was John Roers (4 solo tackles, 6 assisted tackles).
"Very tough game today but we fought to the very end,” commented Head Coach Tim Pattrin of Brandon-Evansville. “We have to say goodbye to 8 amazing seniors. Tyler, Titus, Hunter, Katrina, Philip, Ethan, Taylor, and John thank you for all you have done for the program. You are true role models and will always be part of the Charger Football Family."
Verndale will now face Wheaton/Herman-Norcross for the Section 4 9-Man championship at 10:00am Friday at the Fargodome.