It must have been tough for Storm Lake High football players to wake up Saturday morning with bumps and bruises from the physical beating they took the night before in a loss to fifth-ranked LeMars.
That's not even taking into account the psychic toll a 54-0 loss can put on a team.
SLHS coach Bill McCabe had a perfect remedy; he called a practice for Saturday, but not just in reaction to Friday's whipping by the Bulldogs.
The Tornadoes had to play the last 4 minutes, 55 seconds Sunday of a game a week earlier against Denison Schleswig that had been suspended by heavy rains and lightning.
"We had to get the kids to work out any bumps and bruises, and getting them right back on the practice field helped them focus for Sunday and maybe put the LeMars game in the past," McCabe.
That's just what the Tornadoes did Sunday in Denison. SLHS started with a fourth down on the Monarchs' 35 yard line.
McCabe knew going in he was going to punt the ball, hopefully inside the 10 or 15.
"Even if it went in the end zone, it would have been OK," he added. "(SLHS punter) Aaron (Clausen) worked a lot Saturday on the type of punt we needed."
Saturday started well for SLHS. Long snapper Nate Porsch made perfect snap back to Clausen, who nailed a high punt towards the right sideline that went out of bounds at the Denison-Schleswig 9.
After a running and passing play gained just two yards, linebacker Brady Randall picked off D-S quarterback Adam Feller and returned the ball to the Monarch 24.
After three running plays and a fade-route pass to the end zone failed, the Monarchs took over at their own 20. This time, they moved to their own 42.
On second down from that point, Feller fired a pass down the middle. SLHS linebacker Thomas Stewart stepped in front of the receiver for the interception. At that point, just 44 seconds left. Storm Lake ran out the clock without a hitch.
With the win, the Tornadoes improved to 3-1 overall and to 1-1 in district play.
"It all started with a nice punt by Aaron," McCabe said Sunday evening. "I thought we stepped it up defensively with the interceptions.
"I think it took some sting out of the loss to LeMars," he added. "Now we can look forward to Friday night at home against MOC/Floyd Valley.
"Having played them the last couple of years, we know what they're going to do but not much about their personnel." McCabe said.