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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Late TD leads Braves past ESC

Monday, October 10, 2011

Seliger to Morgan pass wins it with 32 seconds left

Cherokee's battling Braves saved the best for last here Friday night, scoring three second-half touchdowns while overcoming a 25-7 deficit to lay claim to a thrilling 26-25 Homecoming victory over East Sac County.

The Braves simply refused to lose this night, with senior quaterback Nate Seliger staying the course and coming through late with a winning touchdown pass to Nathaniel Morgan with 32 seconds left to play, after junior speedster running back Marc Husman returned a second-half kick-off 50 yards for a pivotal TD to ignite the Braves in the third quarter, who trailed 25-7 at the time.

Cherokee defender Michael Rosewall (50) chases after East Sac County ball carrier Jacob Ricke during the Braves entertaining Homecoming football game against East Sac County here Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
Seliger's aerial to Morgan was for 14 yards for the game winner on the heels of a Cherokee TD that was nullified by a questionable downfield lineman penalty flag that could have been a fatal blow to the Braves comeback hopes.

The Raiders led 13-7 at halftime, with Cherokee's lone TD coming on an explosive 85-yard scoring strike from Seliger to Adam Pitts.

The Braves countered 12 third-quarter ESC points by Husman's thrilling kock-off retirn to make it 25-14, and then the Braves tallied two more TDs in the fourth, the first on a 4-yard run by Seliger, and then came Seliger's TD pass to Morgan for the decider. Grayson Roosa kicked two PATs for the winners.

The Braves rushed 32 times for just 66 yards, with Luke Ziemen leading the way with 18 hauls for 26 yards. Seliger was 15-26 passing for 268 yards and two TDs.

Cherokee coach Neil Phipps, and assistant Bruce Dagel, left, talk to the Braves during a time-out at the District game against East Sac County Friday in Cherokee. Photo by Paul Struck
ESC rushed 38 times for 240 yards, with Jacob Ricke leading the way with 23 carries for 150 yards and two TDs. Raider QB Collin Schrader was 8-13 passing for 134 yards and two TDs.

Pitts led Cherokee receivers with five catches for 115 yards and a TD, Husman six catches for 109 yards, Dillon Drefke one for 14 for a key first down, and Eric Wilkie one catch for nine yards and a big first down.

Cherokee football coach Neil Phipps, right, talks strategy with offensive coordinator Chad Osler and reciever Dillon Drefke during the Braves exciting football game against East Sac County Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
Gabe Conley's 13 tackles led the Cherokee defense that made a difference in the fourth quarter bu shutting down the Raiders, and Rick Weaver tallied 12 tackles.

"This was fun," said a pleased Cherokee coach Neil Phipps. "We're excited for the kids, especially with it being homecoming and everything. East Sac County is tough inside on defense, but we didn't make any big mistakes and our defense shut them down in the fourth quarter.

"You have to credit the kids for hanging in there and finding a way. Nate came through for us with that pass to Nathaniel, and Marc's kick-off return fired us up. We executed better when we had to. It was a great comeback."

Cherokee's Nate Seliger, left, and Trevor Devitt grab a well-deserved drink of water during the Braves Homecoming football game against East Sac County Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
The Braves (2-6) host 6-1 South Central Calhoun in further Class 2A District action Friday night.

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