Sioux Center seized upon Cherokee's early miscues to score three touchdowns in four minutes late in the first quarter on the way to a 41-9 Class 2A District football win over the Braves here Friday night.
With 4:30 left in the first quarter of a scoreless game, the Warriors blocked a punt by Grayson Roosa to gain field position near the Braves 25-yard line and then scored on a 1-yard run by QB Andrew O'Donnell.
One minute later, the strong defensive blitzing of the Warriors forced a pass interception by linebacker Colton Smolders at the line of scrimmage and he rambled 12 yards untouched into the endzone. Shortly after that O'Donnell broke out of the pack, dodged a few lame Cherokee tackle attempts, and sped 86 yards to paydirt.
Warrior running back Spencer Fritz scored two TDs in the second half on a 10-yard pass from O'Donnell, and a 1-yard run.
Spotting the Warriors (3-3) 21 more points in the second half, Cherokee fought to the futile end, with Marc Husman busting loose on the final play of the game for a 69-yard TD run for the final margin.
All told, the Braves rushed 39 times for 134 yards, with Husman leading the way with 14 carries for 103 yards, and Luke Ziemen rushing 18 times for 76 yards.
The Warriors rushed 46 times for 250 yards, with QB O'Donnell leading the way with 19 carries for 132 yards and two TDs.
Cherokee's embattled QB Levi Lundquist was just 2-20 passing thanks to a stiff defensive blitzing attack by Sioux Center and a handfull of Cherokee receiver drops. Nathaniel Morgan and Eric Wilkie had pass receptions for 29 and 31 yards, respectively.
Grayson Roosa kicked a 22-yard field foal for the Braves first score as time expired in the first half, and Husman's 69-yard TD as time expired in the second half was Cherokee's scoring effort this night.
Defensively, Matt Aguirre led Cherokee tacklers with 11, followed by Lane Peterson 10 and two sacks, Michael Rosewall six and one sack, Stetson Dage six and one sack, and Morgan and Skyler Mongan six apiece.
"We struggled picking up the blitz," said Cherokee coach Travis Schipper. "We just can't seem to put it together for some reason. We need to start making improvements. We have some talent. We're just not putting it together in the games. We'll keep working. They're good kids and are as frustrated as the coaches are."
The game was delayed about 15 minutes at halftime when the lights wouldn't come back on after being shut off for a brief Homecoming fireworks show.
The 0-6 Braves host winless East Sac County (0-6) Friday in further District action.