Jake Ismil rushed 14 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns while Dilan Orlando rushed for three scores and passed for another in leading Verndale to a 50-14 District 9 West (South) 9-man football victory over United North Central at Sebeka on Friday, Sept. 13.
Orlando scored on a 1-yard run and Ismil scored on a 24-yard run as the Pirates led 16-0 after the first quarter. Orlando scored on TD runs of 17 yards and 1 yard and Ismil added a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter to give Verndale a 36-0 lead at the half.
After Orlando hit Zack Olsson on a 27-yard scoring route to make it 42-0 in the third quarter, UNC opened the fourth quarter with Jonah Howard’s 4-yard TD run and Mason Heino’s conversion. Zack Brownlow’s 5-yard TD run gave Verndale a 50-8 lead before Brock Berttunen concluded the scoring with an 8-yard TD run. Berttunen completed both of his passes in the final scoring drive, hitting Hank Tellers on a 34-yard route and Collin Olson for a 23-yard gain to set up the final TD.
Howard led UNC’s offense with 23 carries for 109 yards while Heino completed 3 of 6 passes for 52 yards as the Warriors fell to 0-3 on the season.
Brandon Miller (5 solo, 7 assists) contributed on 12 tackles and Eion Ness (3 solo, 8 assists) was in on 11 tackles to lead the Warriors’ defense. Howard (1 solo, 6 assists), Tyce Lee (3 solo, 4 assists), Hunter Skaro (2 solo, 3 assists), Logan Torma (1 solo, 4 assists) and Ivan Anderson (1 solo, 3 assists) were also among UNC’s leading tacklers.
Craig Orlando added 113 yards on 12 carries, Dilan Orlando completed 8 of 12 passes for 99 yards, and Ismil added four receptions for 60 yards as the Pirates improved to 3-0. Verndale was rated No. 5 in the latest state 9-man poll.
The Warriors travel to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley this Friday (Sept. 20) for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.