[Masthead] Fair ~ 39°F  
High: 68°F ~ Low: 43°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Braves get Tornadoes, 28-22!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Parker heroics carry Cherokee to season-opening win

Injured Cherokee player Jon Hunt celebrates a play during Friday's big non-district win over Storm Lake in Cherokee as coach Kurt Reynolds sends in a play in the background. Photo by Paul Struck
Cherokee's gritty Braves refused to lose in their 2009 football opener here Friday night, staying the course on the way to an exicitng 28-22 win over Lakes Conference rival Storm Lake in non-district action.

Speedy Cherokee senior Nick Parker was instrumental in the victory, scoring the winning touchdown on a six-yard pass from senior quarterback Matt Pitts, and then intercepting a Storm Lake quarterback Bobby Brown pass inside of two minutes left to play to seal the deal.

Parker put the Braves in position to win with a superb 38-yard TD run in the third quarter that answered a Storm Lake TD that had pushed the Tornadoes to a 22-21 lead - their first lead of the game.

Cherokee's Kyle Schuck races upfield on this big kick-off return following Storm Lake's first touchdown of the game, that put the Braves in position to answer that TD with their own in a thrilling 28-22 Braves victory over the Tornadoes in Cherokee Friday night. Trailing the play are Cherokee's Seth Mahnke, and Storm Lake's Jose Rodriguez. Photo by Paul Struck
Cherokee trailed 6-0 early, but then tallied a TD on a one-yard Cutter Carlson run to take a 7-6 lead after one quarter. The Braves took a 14-6 lead in at halftime on the heels of a Pitts two-yard run, both PATs off the foot of Parker.

The Tornadoes tallied two TDs and a pair of two-point conversions in the third quarter to take that 22-21 lead, but then came the Pitts to Parker TD in the fourth frame that spelled the difference, all punctuated by Parker's critical pick late in the game that spelled doom for Storm Lake and produced the sweetest of sounds - a silent Storm Lake crowd.

The Braves rushed 43 times for 153 yards, with Parker leading the way with six hauls for 63 yards. Pitts carried 16 times for 58 tards, and Dan Bieber lugged it nine times for 33 yards.

Storm Lake rushed 26 times for 68 yards, with Nolan Cone leading the way with 15 carries for 83 yards.

Pitts completed 8-29 passes for 88 yards, one TD, and three interceptions, while Tornado QB Bobby Brown was 11-24 for 103 yards and two picks. Carlson and Parker had the picks for the alert Cherokee defense.

Cherokee coach Kurt Reynolds discusses plays with explosive senior running back/receiver Nick Parker during the Braves impressive 28-22 victory over Storm Lake in a season opener here Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
Schuck led the Cherokee receivers with three catches for 67 yards, and Parker had three catches for 13 yards, with both being double-teamed much of the night.

The ball-hawking Carlson led the Braves' under-estimated defense with 11 tackles, followed by Bieber with nine, Patrick Loughlin and Nick Keith with eight apiece, and Schuck with five from his safety spot.

Storm Lake attained 21 first downs, and the Braves 13.

Cherokee ball carrier Cutter Carlson rounds the corner on this nice gainer as lineman Brock Dagel blocks and stacks up several Storm Lake defenders to spring the gritty Cherokee running back during the Braves big win over the Tornadoes here Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
"It was a great win," said Cherokee coach Kurt Reynolds. "We play a lot of young kids and this is always a big rivalry game. We kept battling. We made some mistakes that we'll work on in practice, but we also made some plays when they had to happen.

"A big key was our special teams that gave us great field position. They really did a nice job. We really missed Cody Stowater in the line, but the other guys really stepped up. We're very proud of them. You never know what to expect when we play Storm Lake. Every year it's a guessing game, it's such a big rivalry."

Stowater, a 250-pound two-way senior lineman, missed the game due to illness.

Reynolds also lauded the play of Cherokee two-way lineman Brock Dagel, a 6-7 240-pound junior, who altered the Tornadoes offense with a steady rush into the backfield throughout the game.

The Braves play at Lakes Conference rival Spencer Friday in another non-district contest. Both Storm Lake and Spencer are Class 3A teams, while the Braves are 2A. Spencer lost at traditional power Emmetsburg 35-7 Friday night.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: