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Braves' defense rules JSPC

Monday, September 27, 2010

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Cherokee quarterback Nate Seliger hands the ball off to flanker Jakob Hummel during the Braves District win over Jefferson-Scranton/Paton-Churdan Friday night. Photo by Mike Leckband
Freed leads tough Cherokee defense

Fast improving in all areas, but mental lapses leading to foolish penalties, the 2-3 Cherokee Braves overcame a tough Jefferson-Scranton/Paton-Churdan team 16-8 here Friday night in Class 2A District play.

The Braves scored touchdowns in the second quarter and third quarter, punctuating both with much-needed 2-point conversions, to counter the Rams' lone fourth-quarter TD.

Cherokee tallied first on a 7-yard TD run by Jakob Hummel in the second period. Hummel then hooked up with Adam Pitts for the 2-point conversion to stake the Braves to an 8-0 halftime lead.

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Cherokee kicker Curtis Ege lets one fly off his foot as teammate Tyler McLaughlin takes off downfield during the Braves District football win over JSPC here Friday night. Photo by Mike Leckband
Cherokee tallied again in the third frame on a 47-yard TD pass from quarterback Nate Seliger to Seth Mahnke, with Hummel connecting with Seliger on a 2-point conversion pass for a 16-0 Cherokee lad.

The Rams scored their lone TD in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Kane Marquardt to Brandon Silbaugh. Marquardt then passed to Otto Oathout for the 2-point conversion.

Cherokee had trouble unleashing its ground game, totaling just 61 yards on 35 carries, with Kristian Freed leading the way with 14 carries for 44 yards. Sam Hinkhouse rushed seven times for 32 yards.

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Cherokee center Miah Back started all the offensive action for the Braves during their District football win in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Mike Leckband
JSPC rushed 44 times for 156 yards, with Jeff Skalla leading the way with 19 hauls for 93 yards, and Nate Carhill carrying the ball 11 times for 45 yards.

The Rams QB Marquardt completed 9-29 passes for 109 yards and three costly interceptions. Cherokee's Seliger was 8-21 passing for 171 yards, one TD, and one pick. Mahnke led Cherokee receivers with 105 yards on three catches and one TD.

Mahnke, Alanzo Ruble, and Hummel had the interceptions for Cherokee.

"Our defense played well," said Cherokee coach Neil Phipps. "We're playing better. We had three penalties in the first half and then had nine in the second half, including most of them in the fourth quarter against the offense. This is disturbing and a loss of focus. We just didn't finish like we need to finish."

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Cherokee running back Kristian Freed (34) and lineman Brock Dagel block for quarterback Nate Seliger (6) who rears back to pass during the Braves big District win over Jefferson-Scranton/Paton-Churdan in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Mike Leckband
Coach Phipps added that the game plan was to establish the ground game. "We want to control the ball, but we didn't get it (running game) going. Thankfully, our defense came of age and made the stops when we needed them. We'll keep working on this. All those penalties really hurt at crucial times."

The Braves were whistled a dozen times for 98 yards, and JSPC (3-2) penalized six times for 60 yards.

Linebacker Freed led the stout Cherokee defense with 16 tackles, while Ruble tallied 13, and Matt Enderlin nine.

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Cherokee punter Seth Mahnke stays focused on the ball during this punt against Jefferson-Scranton/Paton-Churdan here Friday night. Photo by Mike Leckband
The Braves host 4-1 Carroll Kuemper Friday night for Homecoming 2010.



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