SPENCER - In a game that featured eight turnovers and 19 penalties, it was Storm Lake which hung tough in a Class 3A, District 1 game here Friday night.
The Tornadoes broke a 14-14 tie with five minutes, 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter when quarterback Mitch McCabe found junior Aaron Clausen on a 14-yard scoring pass.
The Storm Lake defense stopped a late Spencer scoring bid to emerge 20-14 victors.
With the win, the Tornadoes got back to .500 in district play, at 2-2. They improved to 3-3 overall. Spencer dropped to 0-4 in district play and to 0-6 overall.
"We didn't come out ready to play, both at the start of the game and on the first series of the third quarter," SLHS coach Bill McCabe said after the game.
"Those are two points in the game where we should be ready to play.
"On the other hand, we stuck with it like we needed to and our kids made more plays at the end than they did. It was a good win for us."
The Tigers opened the game's scoring in the first quarter, when halfback Austin Glover ran in from 14-yards out, capping a nine-play, 54-yard drive. The Tigers made the extra-point kick for an early 7-0 lead.
The Tornadoes stormed right back, taking advantage of a short field set up by a poor punt.
Starting at the Spencer 34, the Tornadoes used four plays before quarterback Mitch McCabe found slot receiver Logan Masters in the end zone on a 14-yard scoring pass.
The Tornadoes missed the extra-point kick as Spencer took a 7-6 lead into the second quarter.
Both offenses were hindered by mistakes and neither scored in the second quarter.
Spencer scored on the opening possession of the third quarter with the game's most impressive drive.
The Tigers started at their own 21 yard line and used eight plays in two and a half minutes to score.
Spencer ended the drive on a one-yard run by Eric Norgaard. Once again, the Tigers made the extra-point kick for a 14-6 lead.
The Tornadoes scored a crucial touchdown in the third quarter, using an impressive drive of their own. They used seven plays to move to the Spencer 12. At that point, Mitch McCabe hooked up with 6-foot-6 wide-out Derrick Randall on a 12-yard scoring pass. McCabe hit Masters on a two-point conversion pass for a 14-14 tie.
Spencer moved deep into SLHS territory in the fourth quarter, but missed a golden opportunity to score when a wide-open receiver dropped a pass behind the Tornado defense.
A few plays later, Storm Lake sophomore Jordan Carlson recovered his second fumble of the night to set up the gamewinning score.
Carlson recovered the ball near midfield and the Tornadoes took advantage.
They drove 48-yards on six plays and took the lead for good when McCabe found junior wideout Aaron Clausen in a 14-yard scoring pass.
Spencer took over near midfield but on a fourth-down play, Brandt intercepted a Tiger pass to seal the Tornado win.
The Tornadoes had their best rushing night of the season, according to coach McCabe.
Mitch McCabe completed 19 of 41 passes for 235 yards and two scores. Spencer rushed for 201 yards and Olberding passed for 117, but was intercepted four times.