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Friday, May 6, 2016

Cherokee earns state playoff berth Wednesday

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cherokee ball carrier Kyle Schuett eyes defenders during this sizable gain in exciting Class 2A District football action in Cherokee on Oct. 24. Photo by Paul Struck
Braves fall late to Eagle Grove in season ender

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.

These concerned Cherokee Braves hold their helmets aloft in support of their team on a kick-off during the final regular season game in Cherokee against Eagle Grove on Oct. 24. Photo by Paul Struck
Cherokee spotted the Eagles a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter after Wooster scored on a two-yard run and Blake McCart tallied on a four-yard run. Eagle Grove took its big first-half lead with a 20-point salvo in the second period on three TDs by McCart on runs of six, four, and three yards.

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.

Cherokee linebacker Tyler Lundsgaard (51) explains to coach Neil Phipps what the Eagle Grove offense is doing during this sideline visit in the District football game in Cherokee on Oct. 24. Matt Pitts and an unidentified Cherokee defender listen in. Photo by Paul Struck
The Braves took control of the game in the third frame with two TDs, including a 14-yard and 11-yard run by Schuett. Cherokee took the lead at 35-34 on a 14-yard TD pass from Jones to Matt Koch and held that lead until Wooster tallied in the final minutes.

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."

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