The Pelican Rapids Vikings compiled 357 yards of offense and held Underwood to just 3 total yards and two first downs on Thursday night as the Vikings shutout the Rockets 42-0 in the high school football opener for both teams.
Pelican Rapids quarterback Timmy Guler completed 9-of-15 passes for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
The Vikings scored on their first possession of the game when they went 60 yards in 7 plays and Peyton Blakeway scored on a 12-yard run with 8:55 to play in the first quarter.
The Rockets took a huge risk midway through the second quarter when they executed a fake punt from inside the ten yard line. They failed to make the yardage needed for a first down, turning the ball over on downs to the Vikings at the 17 yard line. It took Guler one snap to convert the second Pelican Rapids touchdown with a 17 yard pass to Blakeway. Carter Johnson ran the ball in for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 Viking lead. The Vikings pinned the Rockets inside the five yard line on the ensuing kick-off and on the second play of the possession they stripped the ball away from quarterback Conner Nelson and Hayden Hart fell on the football in the end zone. Following the two point conversion run by Blakeway the Vikings led 22-0. Another Underwood fumble put the Vikings on the Rockets 26 yard line. Guler connected with Luke Sjolie on a 17 yard pass to make the score 28-0. Tristan Landberg recovered a third Rocket fumble on the Underwood 26 and four plays later Guler scored on a one yard run to give the Vikings a 34-0 lead at the half.
The final TD of the night came on a five yard run by Johnson with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
Evan Lundgren led the Rockets with 14 rushing yards on 2 carries. Brien Poser had 10 carries for 9 yards. Defensive leaders were Tristan Evavold (8 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss) and Brock Hasling (5 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss).
"Obviously this wasn't at all how we wanted this game to go for us, we never got anything going offensively and we will have to fix that really quickly,” said Underwood Head Coach Ryan Hendrickson. “Even with the score how it was, I can say that our Defense did a lot of good things; our offense just put us in bad spots all game long. Outside of Pelican scoring 3 quick touchdowns at the end of the second half, our defense made some good adjustments which will help in the long run. Pelican is a really athletic squad, they will have a great season yet again this year. We cannot define our season off this just yet. We have resilient men on our Football Team, we will come back stronger."