Tornadoes start fast on rare Saturday contest, best Spirit Lake 41-19
STORM LAKE - The Storm Lake football team didn’t seem to mind the early Saturday afternoon start time after seeing their game get postponed on Friday night against Spirit Lake.
“We wanted to play Friday night. We love the mud,” Storm Lake Head Coach Rudy Wieck said.
The Tornadoes came out quickly with four first half touchdowns en route to a big district win against the Indians, 41-19.
Neither team found success on their first drive of the day, both squads punting the ball away. The second Storm Lake possession of the afternoon saw the team settle in to set the tone. Using their multi-headed rushing attack, the Tornadoes worked their way down the field in the slop. Manny Chavez scored from a yard out, the first of his three first half scores, as the Lamar Mulgae point after found it’s way through the uprights, giving Storm Lake a 7-0 lead with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
After another defense stand to get the ball right back, Tornado signal caller Kevin Duque unleashed a bomb down the field with the wind at his back, Mulgae hauling the catch in, picked up some yards after for a 55 yard play to set up Storm Lake in the Spirit Lake red zone. Chavez would soon thereafter cap off the drive from five yards out. The Mulgae PAT went a little wide, making it a 13-0 game with 11:07 left in the opening half.
The Tornado defense continued to step up and slow the high octane Spirit Lake offense in the second quarter, getting the offense the ball back. The steady rushing attack drove the ball down the field again, Chavez capping it off with his third score, this time from six yards out with 7:21 left in the quarter. The final Tornado score of the first half via Kole Wiegert and the two point conversion from Duque made it 28-0 with 1:12 left in the first half.
The Storm Lake offense had 281 yards at halftime while the defense held the Indians to just 82.
“The first half set the tone for us. We took care of business,” Wieck said. “It was a lot of fun.”
The Tornadoes came out of the locker room a little sluggish, going three and out on the first three drives of the half as Spirit Lake began to get back into the contest. Indian quarterback Nicholas Christiansen found Frankie Ramos on a fourth and goal for the first Spirit Lake score of the contest with under nine minutes in the third quarter, but their point after was no good, 28-6. The Indians drove once again after a Tornado three and out, but failed on a fourth down to give Storm Lake the ball back.
Three plays into the Tornado drive, Chavez fumbled the ball and Spirit Lake recovered at the Tornado 10 yard line. Christiansen found Ramos for the second time in the quarter, and the two point conversion failed, making it a 28-12 game going to the fourth quarter.
“There was no reason for us to play that poorly in the third quarter,” Wieck said.
The Storm Lake offense woke up from its slumber, taking the ball 55 yards down the field and capping it off with a Brayden Hoops touchdown from a yard out with a bit under 11 minutes left in the final frame. The Indians struck back, keeping the contest close with Christiansen finding Ramos for the third time with eight minutes left, drawing the Indians within 16, 35-19.
The Tornadoes would lean on that rushing attack one more time, going 58 yards and taking over five minutes off of the clock with Mulgae scoring from a yard out to conclude the scoring.
Storm Lake’s run game picked up 300 yards on the day as Duque added 97 through the air. Mulgae paced the rushing attack with 16 carries for 116 yards and the touchdown. Chavez had 59 yards on 11 totes, Duque 66 yards on 12 carries and Hoops had 40 on 19 touches.
“This was an offensive lineman’s dream in this game. It was muddy, it was dirty, it’s Storm Lake football,” Wieck said. “Down and dirty in the trenches. They won us this game.”
Storm Lake had 397 total yards of offense and held Spirit Lake’s high powered offense to 284 yards.
Storm Lake improves to 6-1, 4-1 and is now in sole possession of second place in 3A-District 1. They will host Spencer this week for senior night. The Tigers roll in to this game with a 5-2, 3-2 record in a three way tie for third in the district. Spencer got past LeMars on Friday night, 21-14. Sergeant Bluff-Luton remains in first place after a thrashing of Humboldt, 40-7.