The Alta High football team played an inspired first half here Friday night in its home opener, coming away with a hard-fought, 20-17 win over Class 2A Okoboji.
The Cyclones, who lost last week on the road to Battle Creek-Ida Grove, improved to 1-1 on the season.
Last week, Alta coach Kevin Hammer thought his team came out flat in the first quarter, and it showed. The exact opposite happened Friday night.
"Our guys came out aggressive and ready to play," Hammer said. "We had some mistakes in the second half, but this was a nice win for us.
"Okoboji is one of the bigger 2A schools in the state and we're one of the smallest in Class 1A."
The Cyclones got the only score of the first quarter on a 1-yard run by tailback Chris Schmitz that capped a long, productive Alta drive.
Okoboji managed a 21-yard field goal by Brad Hein to get to within 6-3 early in the second frame.
The Cyclones struck back with two quick scores.
Schmitz, a 5-foot-6, 145-pound sophomore, broke loose for a 23-yard run with quarterback Brad Payne connecting with Schmitz on the two-point conversion.
The Cyclones added another score just before halftime, as Payne hooked up with Kylor Cone for an 18-yard scoring pass. The PAT kick was blocked but Alta took a 20-3 lead at the intermission.
Okoboji made it a game in the second half before falling three-points short. Pioneer quarterback Tyler Schultze capped a long drive with an 8-yard run with the PAT kick by Hein.
Okoboji struck again late in the fourth quarter, this time on a 40-yard run by halfback Charlie Vaubel. Once again, Hein made the PAT kick.
Hammer said his team was hurt by penalties in the second half, one which cost the Cyclones a score.
Alta ran 43 times for 199 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. Okoboji rushed 45 times for 209 yards. Payne hit on eight of 12 passes for 86 yards.
The Cyclones open district play next Friday when they play host to Pocahontas.