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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Braves' valiant effort falls short

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cherokee on short end of exciting 34-27 game

Cherokee receiver Zac Taylor busts loose for the endzone on a beautiful TD pass from quarterback Levi Lundquist during the Braves season-ending football game against Orange City Unity Christian in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Reta Todd
The winless Cherokee Braves left it all out on the field here Friday night before succumbing to an opportunistic Orange City Unity Christian team 34-27 to end the 2012 football season for both squads.

With the Knights picking up their first victory of the season last week in a 38-34 non-district win over Class 1A Le Mars Gehlen, the 0-8 Braves were determined to pocket a victory for their first win of the season, but it was not to be as Unity Christian answered Cherokee scores throughout with lengthy zingers of their own to take command and hang on tight for the 7-point victory.

Cherokee started the scoring when quarterback Levi Lundquist recovered from a broken play to skirt the end for a 16-yard TD run early in the first quarter. Two possessions later, Lundquist hooked up with the speedy Zac Taylor in the flat and Taylor zoomed 60 yards untouched to paydirt to give the Braves a 13-0 lead.

Cherokee running back Luke Zeimen finds a hole in the defense to ramble for a nice gainer during the Braves football game against Orange City Unity Christian Friday night. Photo by Reta Todd
However, Unity Christian answered back with a 66-yard QB keeper from Arie Hoekstra to the endzone to make it 13-7.

The Braves opened the second period with Lundquist connecting with Taylor again on a 26-yard TD pass play, with Taylor sidestepping a Knight defender to sprint into the endzone for a 20-7 Cherokee lead.

The Knights again wasted no time and answered back on the ensuing kick-off for a 78-yard TD run by Logan Schoonhoven, followed by a 43-yard TD pass from Hoekstra to Dalton De Haan that gave the Knights a 21-20 halftime lead and took a lot of wind out of the Braves' sails.

Cherokee defender Lane Peterson gives maximum effort to block this field goal attempt against Orange City Unity Christian Friday night in Cherokee. Photo by Reta Todd
Unity Chrsitian scored again in the third quarter on a 35-yard TD pass from Hoekstra to De Haan, before the Braves' Marc Husman snagged a six-yard TD pass from Lundquist to take a 27-27 entering the final frame.

The Knights then iced it on a three-yard QB sneak by Hoekstra late in the game.

The Braves rushed the ball 39 times for 159 yards, with Luke Zeimen leading the way with 19 carries for 106 yards. UC rushed 44 times for 200 yards, wiith Hoekstra rushing seven times for 79 yards, and Aaron Van Whye 15 hauls for 74 yards.

Lundquist completed 8-17 passes for Cherokee for three TDs and one interception, and Hoekstra was 2-3 for 78 yards and two TDs.

Zac Taylor paced Cherokee receivers with three catches for 118 yards and two TDs.

Cherokee quarterback Levi Lundquist (4) rolls out behind the lead block of teammate Marc Husman as Orange City Unity Christian's Logan Schoonhoven (44) gives chase in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Reta Todd
Leading tacklers for the Braves were Mike Rosewall with 14, Zeimen nine, Chase Wiese eight, and Matt Aguirre eight.

"I'm very proud of the kids," said Cheroke coach Travis Schipper. "We could have packed it in and never did. That's a credit to them. They kept battling and doing what we asked. It just wasn't meant to be. You can't question our effort or desire.

"Senior Kyle Comstock battled injuries throughout his career and did whatever we asked. He finally got to play late this season and did a great job with his assignments and did some great blocking for us tonight. We're so thankful for all our seniors and the price they paid and the job they did. They never quit and battled to the end. We didn't have the best results but what a great group of kids they are."

Cherokee coach Travis Schipper shouts congratulations to his Braves after they scored a TD against Orange City Unity Christian in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck

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