The Cherokee Chief football team started their district play with a win over Okeene.
The Chiefs were supposed to play their second district game, but due to players quarantined for Waukomis, that game was cancelled.
Okeene traveled to Cherokee on Oct. 15 for the Thursday night matchup, with the Chiefs coming away with the 48-0 victory.
Cherokee received the ball to start the football game and Ruston James returned it to the Okeene 46-yard line to start their drive. An 8-yard run by James was followed by a 38-yard touchdown run by Damien Lobato. Lake Lyon added the two-point conversion to give Cherokee the 8-0 lead with 45 seconds off the clock in the first quarter.
The Whippets went three and out on their opening drive of the game, losing 5 yards of offense and then punting the ball to the Cherokee 35-yard line.
The drive took less than one minute for the Chiefs to score when Lyon broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run. Lyon and Kolby Roberts connected on the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 16-0 with 8:52 on the clock. James started the drive with a 3-yard run.
On the ensuing kick-off Okeene returned the ball to their 32-yard line. The first two runs were enough for them to gain a first down, but the defense held them to three yards on the ground. The Whippets then punted the ball and it was downed at the Cherokee 39-yard line.
Cherokee gained four first downs on their way to the endzone with runs by Lyon, Roberts and James. James finished off the drive with a 3-yard run. The run attempt on the two-point conversion was no good and the lead was pushed to 22-0 with 2:58 on the clock.
Okeene began to move the ball following the kick-off and made it to the Cherokee 27-yard line before the first quarter came to a close.
A loss of 2 yards and another down set up a 4th and 15 on the Cherokee 33-yard line. A pass was complete but only gained 1 yard and the ball went back to Cherokee.
The Chiefs started the drive through the air with a 28-yard pass to Gabe Wyatt and a 7 yard pass to Lobato. Lyon found 7-yards and then completed a pass to Roberts for 21 yards to set them up with a 1st down from the Okeene 5-yard line. Roberts scored on the next play on the ground. The pass attempt on the two-point conversion was no good and the lead was pushed to 28-0 with 10:20 left in the second.
Okeene started with the ball on their 30-yard line and only made it 10 yards on six plays and were helped along by a defensive encroachment penalty for five of the yards. They punted the ball and it was downed on the Cherokee 46-yard line.
Cherokee only took one play when Roach ran in a 54-yard touchdown. The pass attempt on the two-point conversion was no good and Cherokee led 34-0 with 6:31 left.
The Chief defense held Okeene to a three and out, forcing them to punt the ball back. The punt was downed on Cherokee’s 38-yard line.
Runs by Damien Ramirez, Kai McHenry and James set the team up with a 1st and 10 from the Whippets 12-yard line. It only took Ramirez the first down to score on a run. James added the two-point conversion and the Chiefs led 42-0 with 2:09 left in the second quarter.
Following the kick-off, Okeene fumbled on their first play of the possession and it was forced by Zack Hellar and recovered by Wyatt.
Runs by Lathan Golden, Xander Jackson and Jacob Mustard didn’t gain enough yardage for a first down and with 40 seconds left in the quarter, the Chiefs gave the ball to the Whippets.
Okeene ran two plays before the half came to a close with Cherokee leading 42-0.
Okeene began the second half with the ball and a three and out made them punt the ball to Cherokee and it was returned to their 40-yard line.
Cherokee put together a drive that stretched six minutes and 13 seconds. They ran 12 plays, ending when Roach ran in the 4-yard touchdown to make the game go final at 48-0 with 3:15 left in the third.
Cherokee’s offense racked up 409 yards on 38 plays. They rushed the ball 34 times for 353 and threw it 3-4 times for 56 yards.
The offensive stats are as follows:
• Lyon: 3-3 passing for 56 yards and four carries for 97 yards and one touchdown.
• McHenry: 0-1 passing and nine carries for 33 yards.
• Roach: five carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
• James: five carries for 60 yards and one touchdown and one kick return for 16 yards.
•Lobato: one carry for 38 yards and one touchdown and one catch for 7 yards.
• Roberts: three carries for 23 yards and one touchdown, one catch for 21 yards and two punt returns for 10 yards.
• Ramirez: three carries for 21 yards and one touchdown.
• Mustard: one carry for 3 yards.
Cherokee Head Football Coach Bryce Schanbacher said, “Offense played very well, we were very pleased with the offensive line and their job up front. We had several backs score touchdowns and make some very good runs.”
Defensively, the Chiefs gave up 57 yards on 33 plays with 30 yards on the ground and 27 through the air. They forced one turnover.
The defensive stats are as follows:
• Lyon: two unassisted and four assisted.
• Wyatt: one assisted and one fumble recovery.
• McHenry: one unassisted and one assisted.
• Roberts: three unassisted and two assisted.
• Golden: two unassisted.
• Lobato: two unassisted, four assisted and two sacks.
• James: three unassisted, two assisted and one pass deflect.
• Ramirez: three unassisted, one assisted and one pass deflect.
• Nathan Phillips: one assisted.
• Char Smith: two unassisted, one assisted and one sack.
• Matthew Reeves: four unassisted and six assisted.
• Roach: three unassisted, four assisted, 1/2 sack and one forced fumble.
• Brant Failes: two unassisted.
• Aiden Sanborn: one assisted.
• Mustard: one assisted.
• Jayten Davis: one assisted.
• Hellar: two unassisted and one forced fumble.
• Amory Thomas: two unassisted, three assisted and 1/2 sack.
“Defense played very good also. When you hold a team to less than 100 total yards, that is a sign of a great team effort,” Schanbacher said.
Cherokee will host Kremlin-Hillsdale for homecoming at 7 p.m., Friday with festivities starting earlier.
The Broncs come into the game with a 1-1 district record. They have a win over Waukomis and a loss to Pond Creek-Hunter.
Schanbacher said Kremlin-Hillsdale likes to run the ball first and pass second on offense. Defensively they like to stunt and have two defensive lineman that are good size and we will need to block them to have success.
His keys to victory are to execute on offense and play solid, sound on defense.
Cherokee will have two games left following the Kremlin-Hillsdale game. They will travel to Ringwood on Oct. 30 and host the final game of the regular season on Nov. 6 against Pond Creek-Hunter.