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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Braves pop Humboldt 28-18 in slop

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cherokee receiver Cutter Carlson collides with Humboldt lineman Logan Schachtner as the ball lies in the soaked turf after a Cherokee incomplete pass Friday night in Cherokee. Photo by Paul Struck
Cherokee 5-1 in District, eyes playoff berth

The magical ride continues for the never-say-die Cherokee football team as the gritty Braves tallied two crucial touchdowns in the fourth quarter to claim a 28-18 Class 2A Distict victory over dangerous Humboldt here Friday night.

The big win in the cold and slop of rainy George Hicks Field keeps the Braves on the march to another State Playoff berth with a shiny 6-2 record, including a 5-1 District mark.

Cherokee co-head coach Kurt Reynolds sends in a play with Seth Mahnke during the Braves thrilling 28-18 District win over Humboldt here Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
Cherokee travels many miles to District leader Eagle Grove Friday night to end regular season play. Eagle Grove is 7-1 over all, and a perfect 6-0 in District play to have the inside track to the Dictrict title.

The key to the Braves big win here Friday was the return of fleet senior Nick Parker, who has missed most of the season with a shoulder injury. Parker made his presence known in a hurry here Friday night, scoring on a scintillating 61-yard touchdown on a sweet double reverse in the second quarter, and then hooking up with senior quarterback Matt Pitts on a mind-blowing 91-yard TD pass from Pitts that sealed the deal. Not done, Parker then caught the two-point conversion pass from Pitts to ice the game for the Braves.

Humboldt took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter by controlling the ball with a bruising ground game, culminating in a 10-yard TD pass from QB Dane Nelson to Andrew Swan.

Cherokee co-coaches Kurt Reynolds. left, and Neil Phipps focus on the action, along with Braves Juan Razo (71), Scott Long (61), and Gordy Gill (59) during the Braves pivotal District game against Humbolt Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
The Wildcats scored again in the second frame on a one-yard run by Tanner Ruberg, and scored a TD in the third period to take an 18-14 lead on a four-yard run by Brandon Thilges. Humboldt missed its first PAT kick, and then failed on both two-point conversions after TDs.

Cherokee scored two TDs in the second period to take a 14-12 halftime lead, with Dan Bieber scoring on a one-yard run, and Parker's 61-yard thriller. Pitts ran in from 12 yards out for the Braves first fourth-quarter TD, and then came Parker's icing catch and run for 91 yards after fielding a short pass from PItts. Cherokee's first PAT kick failed, and then Cutter Carlson knifed in for a two-point conversion, the third PAT conversion effort failed, and then Pitts hit Parker for the two-pointer.

The Braves rushed 23 times for 142 yards in the game, with Parker leading the way with four hauls for 79 yards, Carlson rushing five times for 28 yards, and Pitts rushing five times for 23 yards. Pitts was 6-15 passing in the wet weather for 159 yards and one TD, and Humboldt QB Dane Nelson was 3-10 for 66 yards. The Wildcats rushed a whopping 59 times for 201 yards, with Thilges leading the way with 33 hauls for 116 yards.

Cherokee's Cutter Carlson (80) and Jakob Hummel (12) close in on Humboldt ball carrier Dane Nelson during Class 2A District football action in Cherokee Friday night, in a game with serious state playoff implications. Photo by Paul Struck
Parker led Cherokee receivers with four catches for 143 yards and one TD, and Kyle Schuck, fighting a sprained ankle and double coverage, caught two for 16 yards.

Dan Bieber led a solid Cherokee defense with 16 tackles, followed by Alanzo Ruble with 12, Nick Keith and Schuck 11 apiece, and Seth Mahnke 10. Cody Ege and Schuck had interceptions for the Braves.

"We hung in there," said Cherokee co-head coach Kurt Reynolds. "The first quarter they ran the ball right down our throats, but then we made some adjustments and calmed down, and we got better as the game went on.

Dependable Cherokee two-way senior lineman Cody Stowater takes a well-deserved drink of water during the Braves impressive 28-18 District foottball win over dangerous Humboldt in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
"Nick Parker adds an element to this team with his speed and we sure needed it tonight. He did great. When we had to make a play, we had guys step up and make them. It was a tough night to throw the ball, it was so slick and muddy, but Matt Pitts came through when we needed it, and had no picks. It was a nice win."

Humboldt is now 4-4 over all and 3-3 in the District.

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