Braves Lose Ugly 56-0

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Cherokee senior wide receiver Ryan Hurd (88) just missed this pass here last Friday night in a 56-0 shutout loss to East Sac County. Defending for the Raiders is sophomore Caleb Villhauer (5).
Photo by Denny Holton

It was ugly early.

It never got better for a stunned Cherokee football team here last Friday night.

In fact, in what is one of the worst whippings in modern Cherokee football memory, as East Sac’s Raiders dominated the Braves everywhere and slapped an overwhelming 56-0 win on the board to spoil the hosts Homecoming 2019.

“Friday started badly and we just couldn’t get anything positive to happen,” said first year Cherokee Coach Tony Gunter.

Yes, the Braves were without a healthy QB as Alex Paulsrud suffered from an ankle sprain, and also on the sidelines with injuries were starting running back Cael Wood and key offensive lineman Levi Pingel.

But Gunter made no excuses for the loss and remains positive about his ball club. “We need to come together as a team this week,” he said. “I still believe we have enough talent to win.”

The start of the game was brutal for the Braves with poor field position, blown coverages and too many turnovers, opening the door for early East Sac scores. In a blink, the confident Raiders were off to the races.

Cherokee’s offense was nearly non-existent, especially on the ground, rushing for only one yard on 19 carries, while East Sac totaled 321 yards on the ground and another 101 via the air waves.

Cherokee, utilizing junior backup QB Brayden Farver and a hobbled starter Paulsrud, finished with 108 yards on 8 for 18 passing.

Ryan Hurd, Cherokee’s talented wide receiver, was one of few bright spot in the Braves’ offense, snagging four catches for 87 yards. On defense for the Braves it was senior Trevor Lundquist leading his team with 13 tackles and five assists, while Carson Fuhrman finished with nine solo tackles and four assists, and Hurd, a free safety, collecting eight solo tackles.

Cherokee lost the battle in the trenches, as East Sac lineman controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball all evening, making it especially difficult to move the football.

Seven East Sac Raiders reached double figures rushing, led by Quintin Ludwig with 114 yards and two TDs, and Jake Payson for 88 yards and a TD. Also rushing for Raider scores were Dawson Mack and Jackson Stolenberg. Raider QB’s Ryler Schmitt and Adien Vondrak both threw for scores as well.

Cherokee, 1-5 and 0-2 in district play, host MVAOCOU, also 1-5, this Friday in the final home game of the season. MVOCOU and Cherokee’s only wins this season have been against the same opponent, MMCRU. MVOCOU defeated MMCRU 20-6, followed by losses to Tri-Center (48-0), West Monona (46-6), Woodbury Central (55-0), state ranked Underwood (62-8), and Missouri Valley (46-12).

After Friday night’s home game with the Rams, Cherokee goes on the road for two tough battles with state-ranked opponents Underwood and Treynor.

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