Tornadoes run past Spirit Lake for 3A district victory
STORM LAKE - Playing its best overall offensive and defensive games of the year, the Storm Lake High football team rolled past District rival Spirit Lake at Tornado Stadium Friday night, 41-0.
Storm Lake's defense has been stellar all season, and they were again Friday night, allowing just 16 yards rushing and 53 passing.
More importantly, the Storm Lake defense forced Spirit Lake into five turnoves, two of which resulted directly in turnovers.
With the win, Storm Lake improved to 3-2 in district play and to 4-3 overall.
"I thought we started out a little slowly," McCabe said Friday night after the game. "Once we got a couple scores on offense, we started playing more aggressively on both sides of the ball."
The Tornadoes opened the scoring in the first quarter when quarterback Mitch McCabe tossed a 65-yard scoring pass to Chom Thammavongsa. Kicker Zach Manteufel made the extra-point for an early 7-0 lead.
Early in the second frame, McCabe hooked up with senior slot receiver Logan Masters for a 53-yard scoring pass.
Storm recovered a fumble on Spirit Lake's next possession and two plays later, Tornado running back Mark Brown ran in from eight yards out.
After taking over the kickoff in their own territory, Spirit Lake made another costly turnover. This time, SLHS lineman Tony Raveling tipped a pass by the Spirit Lake quarterback and junior Aaron Clausen made an interception and ran it back 16-yards for a touchdown.
With the aid of a turnover-producing offense and a quick-striking offense, the Tornadoes had scored 21 points in a 90 second span in the second quarter.
"We just kept getting momentum with each touchdown," added McCabe.
Storm Lake went into the lockeroom at the half ahead 28-0. The Tornadoes added two more scores in the second half. In the third quarter, Mitch McCabe ran in from three-yards out and in the fourth frame, Thomas Stewart recovered a fumble and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
The Tornado defense gave Spirit Lake quarter back Alex Schwark fits, sacking him ten times.
Storm Lake also continued to improve their rushing game, with Brown running for 72 yards on !3 carries.
Mitch McCabe completed !3 of 22 passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Masters caught seven passes for 107 yards, while 6-foot-6 senior wideout Derrick Randall made three catches for 66 yards.
Thammavongsa caught one ball for 66 yards and a touchdown, while Brown caught two passes for six yards.
"I thought a big play for us was Chom's 65-yard touchdown pass," McCabe said. "That started us rolling and after that, we just kept attacking until the end of the game.
"That's what we like to see from out kids on both sides of the ball.
The Tornadoes are at home next week again, when they play host to MOC/Floyd Valley at Tornado Stadium.
They'll finish up their season Friday, Oct. 28 at Estherville-Lincoln-Central.