On a windy Friday night, the Storm Lake High football team dropped a 42-29 decision to Spencer.
The loss was costly, as the Tornadoes dropped to 2-2 in district action while watching the Tigers improve to 3-1.
The Tigers took control in the second quarter with the wind at their backs, scoring four unanswered touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead at the half.
"We made too many mistakes and didn't take advantage of our chances in the first half," SLHS coach Bill McCabe said.
"We had trouble running the ball in the first two quarters, but really struggled with our passing game when we were against that wind," McCabe added.
The loss couldn't dampen a standout performance by SLHS running back Tyson Brandt.
He finished with 145 yards on 24 carries, two rushing touchdowns and a run for an extra point.
The speedy senior scored Storm Lake's last touchdown on a 78-yard kickoff return.
"We ran the ball well in the second half," McCabe said. "But overall, we would have had to play much better than we did to beat (Spencer Friday night)."
The Tornadoes were with the wind in the first quarter and they capped a nice drive on a one-yard run by QVB Mitch McCabe.
Spencer tied it at seven early in the second quarter on a six-yard scamper by fullback Cory Norgaard.
They followed with three defensive stops and three touchdowns.
Tiger quarterback Andrew Wimmer hooked up with slot receiver Chris Lensing for a 57-yard scoring pass. Spencer took a 21-7 lead on a five-yard run by Wimmer and Norgaard capped the second quarter scoring with a 29-yard touchdown run.
The Tornadoes had a tough time getting first downs in the third quarter when again, they were going against the wind.
Spencer had the only score of the third quarter on a 41-yard pass from Wimmer to Norgaard.
With the wind at their back in the final frame, the Tornadoes nearly got back into the game.
Tornado linebacker Thomas Stewart intercepted Wimmer early in the fourth quarter, giving the Tornadoes possession just inside the Spencer 40. After a loss of two yards on a running play, Brandt took off on 41-yard run to the Spencer 3, setting up his own three-yard scoring run on the next play. The conversion was missed as the Tigers still led 35-13 with 11 minutes, 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Tornadoes capped another effecive scoring drive that started midway through the fourth quarter. It was capped by a 7-yard scoring run from Brandt. Mitch McCabe ran for the conversion points, and with six minutes left, SLHS trailed by two scores, 35-21. The Tornadoes needed an immediate stop of Spencer, but the Tigers didn't have that in mind.
Instead, Spencer reeled off an 11- play, 80 yard drive capped by a one-yard run by running back Jordan Cousin. The score was set up on a 39-yard run by Tiger halfback Preston Black.
Brandt ran the ensuing kickoff back 78-yards for a touchdown, his second kick return touchdown of the season.
Spencer had three turnovers, just one of which led to six points for SLHS. The Tornadoes also had two touchdowns called back because of penalties.