Eagle Grove scored a touchdown on the third play of the game, racked up a a 34-14 halftime lead as the Cherokee Braves defense could not solve the veer option offense, and then hung on for dear life in the second half to claim an exciting 42-35 Class 2A District finale here on October 24th, earning the Eagles a runner-up District finish.
Cherokee, which finished third in the District with a 5-2 record, also qualifies for the state playoffs. Friday's game result earns Eagle Grove a District runner-up spot (5-2) behind champion Okoboji (6-1). Pocahontas Area/P-P (5-2) finished 4th in the District.
Trailing 34-14 at halftime, the Braves whipped the Eagles 21-8 in the second half here Friday night, but it was all for naught, as the visitors scored the winning touchdown on a 31-yard TD run by elusive and speedy quarterback Randy Wooster in the closing minutes to spell doom for the Braves and their faithful following.
The Braves then shut the door on the Eagle offense until that fatal, final 31-yard TD scamper by Wooster.
Cherokee scored two TDs in the second frame on a one-yard TD by Tyler Jones, and a 61-yard TD pass from Jones to Kyle Schuett.
Matt Pitts tallied five PATs for the Braves to punctuate all five Cherokee TDs.
The Braves rushed 38 times for 174 yards, with Schuett leading the way with 23 hauls for 123 yards. Jones carried it 10 times for 30 yards, and Nick Parker had five carries for 21 yards.
Eagle Grove rushed 50 times for 440 yards, including 350 at halftime. McCart led with 21 carries for 136 yards, Wooster 14 carries for 170 yards, and Eric Kist seven hauls for 48 yards. Wooster was 1-2 passing for 13 yards.
Iowa's career yardage pass leader Tyler Jones of Cherokee was 21-30 passing for 281 yards and one TD, and one interception.
Leading tacklers for the Braves were Tyler Lundsgaard with eight, Cutter Carlson and Kyle Schuck seven each, Schuett six, and Nick Keith four. The Braves had 18 first downs to 16 for the Eagles.
"I'm proud of the kids," said Cherokee coach Kurt Reynolds. "We stood toe to toe with an explosive, good team. We played hard and that's all you can ask. This is a fun group and they're pumped to play in the playoffs. Their speed gave us problems, but we adjusted at halftime and won the second half, although that doesn't mean much now. We'll be ready to go Wednesday in the playoffs, not matter who we play."