CHEROKEE - Andrew Paulsen's 17-yard touchdown run with 1:38 remaining capped a comeback from a 13-point halftime deficit as Cherokee defeated Storm Lake 26-20 in a Class 3A district game Friday night at Cherokee.
"They made the plays and we didn't," Storm Lake coach Craig Lyon said of the second half. "We played a tremendous first half and why we couldn't finish it off in the second half...I don't know. Our kids played so well in the first half and in the second half their kids played better."
Cherokee began the second half with a drive that ended when quarterback Tyson Conley scored on an 19-yard run. The extra point cut the Storm Lake lead to 20-14.
Cherokee tied the game at 20-20 with 8:13 left in the fourth quarter when Chad Peterson scored on a 1-yard plunge. The extra point failed.
Storm Lake proceeded to drive the ball down to the Cherokee 12-yard line, but a fumble was recovered by the Braves and nullified the Tornado drive.
Storm Lake scored all 20 of its points in the first half. Quarterback Tyler DeHaan opened the scoring with a 5-yard TD run.
Tailback Jeff DeHaan later scored on a 24-yard run to make it 14-0 before Paulsen scored on an 11-yard run to put the Braves on the scoreboard 14-7.
T.J. Miller then scampered 29 yards for a touchdown to give the Tornadoes a 20-7 lead in the second quarter.
Jeff DeHaan rushed for 85 yards, Tyler DeHaan for 63 and Miller for 56.