Tornadoes score 36 unanswered points to rout Humboldt, 36-14.
STORM LAKE - It didn't have a very good start, but it certainly had a fabulous ending.
Storm Lake trailed 14-0 before the fans could get settled into their seats, but once they did, the Tornadoes put on quite a show for them.
Storm Lake scored 36 unanswered points, including two rushing touchdowns by Jeff DeHaan, to win its home opener with a 36-14 rout over Humboldt on Friday night.
Storm Lake's defense and speed did the Wildcats in.
"That was the big difference in the game," Storm Lake coach Craig Lyon said. "Defensively, they got down inside our 20 a couple of times, but it was the classic bend-but-not-break. I thought we stepped up and played well defensively. We basically just gave up the one touchdown."
"We were a little bit clearer on what we were supposed to do and we played with a little more enthusiasm and confidence," Lyon said of his defense.
Storm Lake's offense was sharp as well, rushing for 127 yards and passing for 178. DeHaan led the way with 60 yards on the ground. Scott Ellens completed 8 of 14 passes for 178 yards, ran for a score and threw for another.
"We had a very balanced attack on offense," Lyon said. "They took some things away from us in running the ball and that opened up the passing game."
"I think a real key was we bounced back and scored 36 unanswered points," Lyon added. "In the third quarter we had that 95-yard drive. I think that was big, too. The students and fans were great."
Two early Storm Lake turnovers resulted in 14 points for Humboldt. A fumble after a completed pass on the second play of the game was recovered by the Wildcats on the Storm Lake 30-yard line. Several plays later, Mike Krein scored from 2 yards out. Aric Fehr kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Storm Lake's next possession was over in two plays when Humboldt's Chad Palmer intercepted a pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. Fehr's extra point made it 14-0.
Storm Lake then went to work, scoring 22 unanswered points in the first half.
A bad snap on a Humboldt punt gave the Tornadoes the ball on the Wildcat 9-yard line. One play later, Ryan Brock scored on an end-around run. Ellens threw to Rory Fulcher for the two-point conversion to make it a 14-8 game.
Six seconds into the second quarter, DeHaan scored on a 4-yard run around the left end to end a 65-yard drive. That was set up by a long pass play to DeHaan and a 31-yard reverse run by Fulcher all the way down to the Humboldt 5-yard line.
Humboldt executed a nice drive on its next possession, advancing to the Storm Lake 16-yard line before a fumble was recovered by the Tornadoes to end that scoring threat.
Storm Lake extended its lead to 22-14 with 2:31 remaining when DeHaan ran 47 yards for a touchdown on a fake reverse play to cap a 5-play, 73-yard drive. Kurt Hanna's extra point was good.
Humboldt engineered a third-quarter drive all the way down to the Storm Lake 4-yard line, but it stalled on downs.
The Tornadoes then took over and engineered an 11-play, 96-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard quarterback keeper by Ellens. Hanna added the extra point for a 29-14 lead. The big play on that drive was a 48-yard pass from Ellens to Bob Blanchard.
Storm Lake's defense rose to the occasion on another Humboldt drive in the fourth quarter, snuffing it on downs inside the Tornado 20-yard line.
Storm Lake struck again with just over 8 minutes left in the game when Ellens and Blanchard hooked up for a 38-yard TD pass. The extra point by Hanna made it 36-14.
Storm Lake begins district play by hosting MOC-Floyd Valley next Friday night.
Humboldt 14 0 0 0 - 14
Storm Lake 8 14 7 7 - 36
H-Krein 2 run (Fehr kick)
H-Palmer 25 interception return (Fehr kick)
SL-Brock 9 run (Fulcher pass from Ellens)
SL-DeHaan 4 run (Hanna kick)
SL-DeHaan 47 run (Hanna kick)
SL-Ellens 2 run (Hanna kick)
SL-Blanchard 38 pass from Ellens (Hanna kick)
TEAM STATISTICS H SL
First downs 16 13
Rushes-yards 59-246 33-127
Com.-Att.-Int. 3-19-0 8-14-1
Passing yards 31 178
Return yards 44 108
Punts-Avg. 1-31 4-35
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 3-35 7-60
Rushing-Storm Lake: DeHaan 15-60, Fulcher 1-31, Koeppe 7-15, Ellens 7-12, Brock 2-9, Armstrong 1-0. Humboldt: James 25-125, Krein 17-99, Beebe 9-4.
Passing-Storm Lake: Ellens 8-14-1-178. Humboldt: Beebe 3-19-0-31.
Receiving-Storm Lake: DeHaan 3-59, Blanchard 3-95, Hanna 1-13, Fulcher 1-3. Humboldt: Krein 2-19, Loney 1-12.