The Underwood Rockets protected their 12-6 halftime lead through a scoreless second half battle with New York Mills on Saturday afternoon, advancing to the Section 6A championship game by beating the Eagles by that 12-6 score.
Logan Small got the visitors on the board at 5:18 of the first quarter on a 70 yard run to the end zone, but the Rockets stopped his two-point try short.
Underwood tied the game one minute into the second quarter when Nik Gardin intercepted a Bren Salo pass and returned it for a touchdown. Gardin was stopped short of the goal line on the two-point attempt. With four minutes left in the first half Gardin connected with Winston Heifort on a 16-yard TD pass, giving Underwood their 12-6 lead.
Underwood compiled 280 yards of offense with 264 coming on the ground. Their only passing yardage came on the game winning TD pass as Gardin completed one-of-three passes on the day. Zane Swanson ran the ball 20 times for 148 yards. The Rockets held the Eagles to 128 yards in the game. Small led New York Mills with 83 yards rushing on 6 carries. Defensively, Swanson led with 6 solo tackles, Slade Moore had 4 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles and half-a-sack, Wyatt Thorson finished with 4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles and half-a-sack, and Krosby Aasness added an interception.
Dane Niemi led New York Mills with 8 solo tackles and Small added 7 solo tackles and a pair of interceptions.
Underwood will now face Breckenridge at 5:30pm Friday at the Fargodome in the Section 6A title game.