SIBLEY - The improving Cherokee Braves spotted Sibley-Ocheyedan an early touchdown after throwing a pass interception on their second play of their first possession, and then erupted for 41 first-half points on the way to a resounding 55-7 Class 2A District 1 victory here Friday night.
After scoring a TD early in the third quarter for a 48-7 lead, the mandatory continuous clock (after a 35-point lead) hurried the game along and allowed the Braves to substitute freely in the final two quarters.
The host Generals took advantage of an early scoring opportunity following an interception, culminating in a two-yard TD run by Craig Hertz. However, that score was to be the Generals' last, as the Braves, behind quarterback Tyler Jones' passing, ripped off 21 first-quarter points, and another 20 in the second frame to blow the game open.
All told, Cherokee rang up seven TDs and superb kicker Andy Dawson boomed field goals of 36 and 30 yards, to go along with six PATs.
The Braves scored their first TD on a three-yard run by Tyler Jones, and added two more in the first quarter on a 29-yard pass from Jones to Chris Campbell, and a one-yard run by Dawson.
The 20 points in the second period came on a Jones to Josh Mugge four-yard pass, a 44-yard TD pass to Michael Boothby, and those two Dawson field goals.
Jones hit Mugge for an 11-yard TD in the third quarter too keep the clock moving, and Mugge passed to himself (after a tipped QB pass) with about two minutes left for the final margin.
"We started out slow and then played great," said Cherokee coach Tony Napierala. "We got the offense going and Tyler had a great game. We keep getting better and we have to keep working hard during the week to make sure we keep getting better.
"Our defense played well after their first TD drive. We can't keep making mistakes to give the other team scoring chances."
Jones and Mugge were 30-42 passing for 388 yards, four TDs and one pick, with starter Jones seeing just a little over two quarters of action. The Braves rushed 15 times for 80 yards, with Jones 9-31, Dawson 4-17, and Mugge 2-32.
The Generals rushed 31 times for 83 yards against a stout Cherokee defense, with Hertz leading the way with 17 hauls for 47 yards. S-O passed 3-11 for 40 yards and one interception (by Dillon Moye).
Chris Campbell led Cherokee's receivers with 12 catches for 167 yards and one TD, followed by Mark Johnson six catches for 18 yards, Michael Boothby three catches for 58 yards, Kyle Schuett five catches for 63 yards, Mugge four for 31, and Kyle Ruehle three for 23.
Nick Daum, Ben George, and Nick Loughlin led the Braves defense with six tackles apiece, while Mugge, Tim Jones, and Dawson tallied five each.
The Braves racked up 19 first downs to seven for S-O.
Cherokee hosts Hull Western Christian Friday for Homecoming 2006.