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By GOOSE LINDSAY
After opening the season with a loss at Robertsville, the Cherokee Yellow Jackets evened their season record at 1-1 Tuesday with a 30-14 victory at Wartburg.
Cherokee played well on both sides of the ball Tuesday as the Jackets nearly tripled the Bulldogs in yardage, 245-82. Cherokee’s defense also came up with two turnovers with one being an interception in the end zone by Michael Walden.
Walden’s pick came on the first play of the second quarter as Jacket LB Will Crowe forced a bad throw that landed in Walden’s arms. Brandon Ott ran in the two-point conversion to give the Jackets an 8-0 lead with 7:53 left in the first half.
Cherokee’s only major meltdown occurred on Wartburg’s next possession as Bulldog FB Henry Taylor rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown to make the score 8-6 with 6:10 left in the first half.
Cherokee would add to their lead on their final possession of the half.
Starting from the Bulldog 45, the Jackets needed seven plays before Crowe crashed in from the one to make the score 16-6 after Ott’s second two-point conversion run of the evening.
Brody Roberts set up the score with a pair of runs covering 25 yards.
The Jackets opened the second half with a long drive that ended on downs at the Bulldog 25.
Cherokee’s next drive, however, would see the Jackets put the game away. The Jackets marched 46 yards in nine plays with Dakota Miles scoring from one yard out with 3:50 left in the contest.
Ott again ran in the conversion to make the score 24-6.
The final minute of action would see a two touchdowns scored.
Wartburg scored when Taylor returned a fumble 69 yards for a touchdown with 42 seconds left then Jacket backup QB Logan Malenovsky tossed a 34-yard scoring pass to Brandon Donathan on the final play of the game.
Crowe led Cherokee’s offense with 77 yards and one TD on 11 carries. James Daley was next in line with 67 yards on eight carries while Roberts had 50 yards on eight carries.
Taylor paced the Bulldogs with 52 yards on four carries.
Cherokee played at Rockwood Thursday and the Jackets will host Harriman on Tuesday, Sept. 16.