The host Nighthawks seized on every Cherokee miscue to score points in every fashion, jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first period on a 13-yard run by quarterback Brandt Van Roekel, and a one-yard TD plunge by Logan Stiens.
The second frame was a nightmare for the Braves, with Nighthawk tailback Miguel Avarado scoring on a 11-yard TD run, followed by a defensive safety, a scintillating kick-off return by Dillon Schamber, a 30-yard TD pass from Van Roekel to Colin Bolkema, and another safety on a botched center hike to Cherokee punter Grayson Roosa.
The winners rushed the ball 34 times for 215 yards, and their combination of quarterbacks completed 3-9 passes for 70 yards and one interception.
The out-manned Braves rushed 28 times for a negative 78 yards, with Marc Husman leading the way with six carries for just 10 yards, as the potent Nighthawk defense shut down the Braves' offense throughout.
Cherokee QB Levi Lundquist was 4-14 passing for 15 yards and one interception.
"We're dinged up and our offense couldn't get a thing going," said Cherokee coach Travis Schipper. "Our defense did a nice job but special teams mistakes and their defense being in our face shut us down. Our special teams gave them a short field and they capitalized. Even against their younger kids, we didn't get much done."
Luke Zeimen led the Cherokee defense with eight tackles, followed by Zac Taylor seven, Skyler Mongan five, and Lane Peterson five and two sacks. Husman, Roosa, and Chase Wiese tallied three stops apiece. Nathaniel Morgan had a pass interception for the Braves.
"Our defense played pretty well throughout, but our offense did nothing to help them out," added Schipper.
The 0-8 Braves host Orange City Unity Christian (1-7) in the season finale Friday night.
The top four teams in each district in all classes automatically qualify for the State Playoffs beginning Wednesday, Oct. 24.