Cherokee's talented, high-jumping receiver, Kyle Schuck (22) secures a pass and turns to dodge Pocahontas Area defender Jonathan Ritigers as a Braves teammate blocks downfield during Cherokee's thrilling 28-27 victory in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
Kyle Schuck's sensational, acrobatic catch in the end zone of a Tyler Jones pass on fourth down and three in the third quarter sealed the deal in the Cherokee Braves thrilling 28-27 Class 2A District football victory over Pocahontas Area here Friday night.
The 15-yard TD had Schuck leaping high, twisting his body in mid-air and hauling in the high, hard pass from Iowa's career prep passing leader that gave the Braves a 28-21 lead they would not relinquish.
Schuck was also key to the Braves stiffening defense as the Braves overcame a pesky Pocahontas Area ground game by shutting down the Indians attack in the secod half. Schuck tallied 11 tackles in a yeoman effort on both sides of the ball. while Steve Veit totaled 11 tackles, Matt Koch 10, and Kyle Schuett eight. As well as that foursome played on defense, they were overshadowed by the workhorse defense of linebacker Tyler Lundsgaard, who was in on a whopping 22 tackles.
Kyle Schuett of Cherokee celebrates on his way back to the sideline after scoring a touchdown in the Braves' big win over Pocahontas Area here on Sept. 19. Photo by Paul Struck
Jones, who set the all-time, all-class career passing record last week, completed 14-21 passes for 150 yards, one TD, and two inteceptions.
Cherokee rushed 29 times for 204 yards, with Schuett carrying the ball 16 time for 204 yards and two TDs, and Jones six times for 43 yards.
The Braves scored two TDs in the first quarter on a 20-yard run and a two-yard run by Schuett. In the second quarter Schuett scored on a 19-yard pass from Jones, and then came Schuck's heroic catch to close the deal. Matt Pitts kicked all four PATs for the difference n the game, after the Indians went for a two-point conversion stopped by the Braves alert defense ilate n the fourth quarter.
Cherokee workhorse linebacker Tyler Lundsgaard (51) takes a well-deserved drink of water, as do two-way lineman Cody Stowater, left, and receiver/cornerback Matt Koch, during a brief break in the action. Photo by Paul Struck
Pocahontas area scored two TDs in the first quarter on a six-yard run by Jonathan Ritigers, and a 91-yard kick-off return by Cody Harrison. The Indians scored a TD in the second frame on a 16-yard pass from JR Pluntz to Harrison to make it 21-21 at halftime. Poky tallied in the fourth on a one-yard run by Weston Williams and went for two only to be stopped by the hustling Cherokee defense.
The Indians rushed a whopping 61 times for 221 yards, and completed 4-5 passes for 52 yards.
Schuck led Cherokee's receivers with five catches for 51 yards and a TD, Matt Koch caught four for 34 yards, Brandon Henke two for 20, and Schuett one for 19 and a TD.
The Braves had 12 first downs, and Poky 15.
"We needed one," said Cherokee coach Kurt Reynolds. "This was a smash-mouth game and the kids played hard against a tough, physical team. Kyle Schuck had one heck of a catch to win it for us.
"Our offense looked better. We ran a llittle bit and threw a little bit and moved it down the field. Our defense made some big plays at the end. They played great."
Cherokee football coach Neil Phipps congratulates Kyle Schuett as teammate Nick Parker (8) readies to offer a fist-bump after Schuett scored a touchdown during rhw Braves big win over Pocahontas Area here Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
The 1-3 Braves are 1-1 in the District and host 3-1, 2-0 Clarion-Goldfield for Homecoming Friday Sept. 26.
Nick Parker of Cherokee races around the tackle of Weston Williams of Pocahontas Årea during a sweet kick-off return in the Braves Class 2A District win in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck.