WADENA — The Underwood football team was ready to celebrate a regular season finale victory Wednesday, but the hosting Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines scored a fourth-quarter touchdown and held the Rockets late to pick up a 22-20 win.
The Rockets jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter as Reed Leabo hit Tristen Evavold for a 9-yard touchdown pass midway through the quarter. The Wolverines responded as Josh Dykhoff hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Payton Rondestvedt and a successful two-point conversion gave Wadena the lead.
Underwood regained the lead late in the second quarter as running back Slade Moore pushed his way into the end zone from 9 yards out. Logan Schleske ran in a two-point conversion to give the Rockets a 14-8 halftime lead.
The second half started out slow as neither team added to the score. The Wolverines would knot the game at 14-14 as the connection of Rondestvedt and Dykoff added an 11-yard touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Underwood went back on top as Krosby Aasness plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out, but the two-point attempt would be stopped by the Wadena defense. The Wolverines rallied behind their quarterback as Rondestvedt threw a 39-yard touchdown to tie the game and hit another receiver for a two-point conversion to take the lead and the victory.
The Rockets rushed for 330 yards with Aasness leading the way with 165 yards on 26 carries. Teammates Schleske (17 carries, 79 yards) and Moore (11 carries, 71 yards) combined for 150 yards on the ground. Moore also led the Rockets in tackles with eight.
The Rockets will now wait to receive their seed in the Section 6A football playoffs beginning Tuesday.