IDA GROVE - The undefeated, sixth-ranked Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove team tallied two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to turn back a stiff challenge from Cherokee and claim a hard-fought 30-22 Class 2A District win here Friday night.
OA-BCIG rushed a whopping 59 times for 306 yards and four touchdowns, with Michael Grote leading the way with 19 carries for 94 yards, Brent Stickrod 20 carries for 93 yards, Trever Ryen eight carries for 58 yards, and Dalton Hemer nine carries for 47 yards.
Stickrod tallied two TDs on runs of three and two yards, and Grote scored on runs of eight and 10 yards. Austin Treiber also kicked a 25-yard field goal for the winners.
The Braves trailed 10-0 in the second quarter before Seth Mahnke hauled in a beautiful 33-yard pass from Seliger late in the period to put the Braves on the board. Cherokee tacked on a two-point conversion pass play from Jakob Hummel to Freed to forge a 10-8 halftime deficit.
The Braves then took the kick-off starting the second half and marched the ball deep, culminating in a six-yard TD pass from Hummel to Adam Pitts. Hummel then hooked up with Seliger for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 16-16.
The Falcons then answered with two fourth-quarter TDs against Cherokee's lone TD in the final period to ice the final. That final Cherokee TD came on a one-yard run by Seliger, PAT failed.
Penalties plagued the Braves throughout by a hesitant officiating crew, Cherokee totaling 14 flags for 78 yards, many of those at crucial times. The host Falcons had six penalties for 60 yards.
The Falcons clinched the game with 1:02 left on Stickrod's 10-yard TD run and QB Nick Peterson's two-point conversion run.
"We showed heart and came back, but 14 penalties are just too many. We had them on both sides of the ball. We're improving, but we know we can do better."
Ruble and Freed paced the Braves defense with 14 tackles apiece. Mahnke and Matt Aguirre tallied nine tackles each.
The 1-3 Braves host 2-2 JSPC (Jefferson-Scranton/Paton-Churdan) Friday night in District play.