It may be a measure of how much potential coach Bill McCabe thinks his 2006 football team has by the way he reacted to Friday night's 23-12 homecoming win over MOC/Floyd Valley.
Though McCabe was pleased with the win, he said his team had some breakdowns on both sides of the ball at various points and knows those must be eliminated.
"We played well enough to win," McCabe said, "but we can play a lot better than we did. If we want to make the state playoffs we'll have to eliminate those mental and physical errors."
Storm Lake took an early lead and forced MOC/FV to play catch-up all night.
McCabe has been preaching balance on offense between the run and the pass, and that trend continued Friday night.
The Tornadoes rushed 38 times for 147 yards, and quarterback Mitch McCabe hit on 10 of 19 passes for 140 yards.
Storm Lake's top rusher, speedy Tyson Brandt, ran 29 times for 145 yards behind a solid offensive line.
In the first quarter after a MOC punt, the Tornadoes took over near their own 40-yard line.
Two plays later, Brandt broke loose for a 56-yard scoring run. Mitch McC abe ran in for the two-point conversion and an early 8-0 Tornado lead.
In the second frame, the Tornadoes struck again, this time on a 30-yard interception return by senior wideout Aaron Clausen.
"We played better in the first half than the second half," Mitch McCabe said. "We'll need to be better next week if we want to beat Spencer."
The Dutch, meanwhile, struck back in the third quarter, using a six-play, 40-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard scoring run from junior Greg Otten.
Late in the third quarter, the Tornadoes scored again, despite a holding penalty in Dutch territory, Mitch McCabe hooked up with wideout Chom Thammavongsa on a 14-yard scoring pass in the middle of the end zone.
The Tornadoes took a 23-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final frame, the game's last touchdown came on a nine-yard scoring pass from MOC quarterback Josh Locker to wideout Nate Schipper.
"I thought we played well defensively, especially in the first half," coach McCabe said. "We didn't match that in the second."
The Tornadoes' mistakes were tangible ones as they were penalized 11 times for 76 yards.
"We shot ourselves in the foot too often and again, that has to be corrected," McCabe said. "We have a lot of things to work on, and we have to be a lot better at executing next week."
Spencer, meanwhile, dropped to 3-1 in district play with a 35-0 drubbing at the hands of LeMars Friday night.
With the win, LeMars, at 4-0, is the only undefeated team in the Tornadoes' district.
Storm Lake will travel north next Friday for a crucial district matchup with the Tigers.
"It's been a tough couple of weeks for us, with the tough loss to LeMars and then having to replay the last five minutes against Dension," McCabe said.
"Hopefully, our kids will get some rest this weekend and we'll be ready to get some things done in practice this week."