The Storm Lake High football team continues to seize its own destiny by the horns.
The Tornadoes took advantage of three Spirit Lake turnovers in the third quarter, scoring 21 points in that frame, then cruising to a 24-13 win over the Indians here Friday night a crucial Class 3A, District 1 game.
With the win, Storm Lake improved to 5-2 overall but more importantly, to 4-1 in district games.
A win over tough MOC/Floyd Valley next Friday night in Orange City would clinch a playoff spot for Storm Lake.
Meanwhile, Spirit Lake played inspired football in the first half Friday night, after which it held a 7-3 lead.
The Indians drew first blood after intercepting Tornado quarterback Ryan Brandt, then taking over at the SLHS 17.
Seven plays later, Spirit Lake quarterback Jake Henaman scrambled in from 13-yards out on a third down play.
Storm Lake took advantage of a 14-yard run by punter Ben Thompson after a bad punt snap for a first down that set up a 35-yard field goal by Jose Martinez to make it 7-3. That was the score at the end of the first half.
Spirit Lake self-destructed in the third quarter, and it started early.
Storm Lake's Lucas Droessler recovered a fumble on a Tornado kickoff that started the second half.
After taking possession at the Indian 17, SLHS used mostly running plays to drive to near the goal line.
Spirit Lake stopped Alex Wadsley just short on second and third downs, but Brandt rolled in from inches out on the right side to give the Tornadoes their first lead of the night. Martinez' kick made it 10-7.
The Indians went three and out on their next possession and after a poor punt, Storm Lake took over at near midfield.
Partially aided by a 15-yard unsportsmanline penalty, the Tornadoes drove deep into Indian territory.
A penalty put the ball back to the Spirit Lake 25, but on a second down play, Brandt rolled to his right and threw to Logan Masters, who made a circus catch in the end zone. Martinez' exta-point kick made it a more comfortable 17-7 Storm Lake advantage.
Spirit Lake took over at its own 26 after a kickoff, but on the first play from that point, Storm Lake's Matt Adams picked off the first of his two interceptions, giving his team possession at the Spirit Lake 28.
Several plays later, All-District wide receiver Ben Thompson corralled a six-yard touchdown pass from Brandt. With a Martinz PAT kick, the Tornadoes held a 24-7 lead.
Spirit Lake, using the passing of Henaman, drove deep into Storm Lake territory but Adams made an interception is his own end zone to end the threat.
The Indians scored with five and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Josh Sundall, but by then it was too late. The Tornadoes simply ran the clock out on ensuing possessions.
Spirit Lake's four turnovers proved too costly, while the Tornadoes turned the ball over only once.
Brandt had another productive night passing, connecting on 16 of 30 passes for 113 yards and three touchdowns. The Tornadoes rushed 38 times for 76 yards, including 55 yards from Severson.
In other key district games, Algona upeneded Humbolt 20-13 and MOC/Floyd Valley defeated LeMars 14-13 in overtime in LeMars.