WALL LAKE - East Sac County showed it's a team to be reckoned with in Class 2A District playoff possibilities after fashioning a solid 33-8 victory over Cherokee's Braves here Friday night.
The Braves tallied their lone TD in the second period on a 7-yard pass play from Jakob Hummel to Adam Pitts that pulled the Braves to within 14-8. However, the Indians tallied another TD late in the first half on a 31-yard pass from quarterback Collin Schrader to Jacob Ricke to take a 21-8 halftime lead.
The hosts then tallied in the third quarter on a 6-yard run by Tanner Berry to take a 21-8 lead, before punctuating the game with two fourth-quarter TDs, both on runs of seven and four yards by Jacob Ricke.
Cherokee rushed 27 times for 139 yards, with Kristian Freed leading the way with 15 hauls for 99 yards. "He ran hard and had a great game," said Cherokee coach Neil Phipps of Freed's effort.
East Sac County rushed 47 times for 215 yards, with Berry leading the charge with 26 carries for 119 yards. Ricke carried the ball 17 times for 82 yards.
Cherokee QB Nate Seliger completed 19-39 passes for 249 yards and four costly interceptions. Schrader completed 9-10 passes for 188 yards for East Sac County.
Hummel led Cherokee's receivers with six catches for 125 yards, while Adam Pitts caught four for 53 yards, and Seth Mahnke three for 35 yards.
Cherokee amassed 15 first downs, and the Indians rang up 16 first downs.
Tyler McLaughin and Alanzo Ruble led the Braves' defense with nine tackles apiece.
"We didn't get things going our way," said Cherokee coach Neil Phipps. "There were a lot of strange calls and officiating delays and weird things happened. That's all I'm going to say about that.
"It was a tough loss and a game we really needed. We just couldn't get the wheels back on the cart.
East Sac County runs its record to 4-3 and 3-2 in the District, while Cherokee falls to 2-5 and 2-3 in the District.
The Braves travel a long ways again Friday at South Central Calhoun, which leads the District with a 7-0 record and 5-0 District mark.