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.
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.
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.
"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.