Braves Claim Senior Night Win 44-0
Cherokee junior running back Cael Wood rambled for 179 yards on 24 carries behind some unselfish lead blocking by teammate Trevor Lundquist in a 44-0 “Senior Night” victory over MVAOCOU last Friday night.
“Wood ran really well and our blocking up front was good,” said Cherokee Coach Tony Gunter. “The two-back set with Trevor (Lundquist) taking on the role of lead blocker worked out well,” he added.
The victory was the second win of the season for the Braves, now 2-5. Playing their final home game for the Braves were seniors Ryan Hurd, Alex Paulsrud, Kobe Grell, Carson monsoon, Trevor Lundquist, Mike Burkhart, Patrick Paulsrud, Colton Strahaman, Kaleb McGee, Nathan Reusch and Gavin Bolinger along with cheerleader Aliyah Graybill.
What’s next? Only back-to-back, long and winding road trips against two top tier Class 1A powers Underwood and Treynor. Underwood is 6-1 and previously state ranked, while Treynor is 7-0 and ranked sixth in the state’s Class 1A poll.
But first, the win over MVOACOU’s Rams last week. In addition to Wood running hard, and Lundquist throwing out some great blocks, Cherokee’s defense also deserves mention.
“Our defense carried the day,” said Gunter. “Our offense struggled at times, but it was nice to run the ball and we did.”
Cherokee’s defense bottled up any MVOACOU attempts on the ground or via the air waves at creating offense. The Rams, 1-6, finished with just 19 yards rushing and only 14 yards passing. Fueling Cherokee’s defense was junior Carson Fuhrman with five solo and seven assisted tackles, while the gritty senior Lundquist led by example and finished with six solo tackles and three assists.
Other Braves logging strong night’s defensive were Will Lugar (4 solos, 1 assist), Kaleb McGee (2 solos, 4 assists), Carson Mongan (3 solos, 2 assists), Wood (3 solos, 1 assists), and Cole Timmerman (3 solos, 4 assists).
Also highlighting the Braves’ defense were two interceptions, one each by senior Ryan Hurd and junior Timmerman. And sophomore kicker Mason Carver had a good night, kicking off eight times for 334 yards and hitting all four of his PAT attempts.
Hurd continued to build on his impressive receiving stats, grabbing four catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns, one and acrobatic catch that went for 40 yards early in the game. Senior teammate and QB Alex Paulsrud hit six of his 18 pass attempts for 94 yards, while junior backup QB Brayden Farver hit all three of his aerieals for 43 yards and one 14-yard TD toss to Hurd.
This Friday the Braves will take the long and winding 112-mile trip south to Underwood, a team that whipped East Sac last week 20-0, who shut out the Braves 56-0 two weeks ago.
Underwood’s senior QB Nick Ravlin has completed 114 of 202 passes for 1,582 yards and 16 touchdowns thus far this fall. Complimenting the passing game is sophomore back Scott Pearson with 83 carries and 503 yards, whole Ravlin is the team’s second leading rusher at WB with 258 yards on 44 carries.
Ravlin looks to four receivers led by junior Brayden Wollan with 23 catches and 497 yards and six TDs, followed closely by Cal Savin with 22 catches for 355 yards. Next is Blake Hall with 26 catches and 297 yards, and Quinn Kuck with 15 grabs for 168 yards.
“Underwood is a very good team and fundamentally sound,” said Cherokee Coach Gunter. “”They will not make many mistakes which means we can’t afford to lose the turnover battle and must execute in all three phases of our game.”
Game time in Underwood is 7p.m. Travel time to Underwood from Cherokee is estimated at just over two hours.