CHERRYVALE — In the opening night of Class 2A-District 5 play, Belle Plaine scored 20 of their 41 points in the third quarter, defeating Cherryvale 41-22 at Logan Park Stadium.
The first half had a much different tone. Cherryvale scored first on a Gavin Hooper 19 yard pass to Zaine Lantz for 19 yards. The 2 point conversion was no good. Belle Plaine also scored in the 1st on a pass play and converted their point after attempt for a final score of 7-6 at the end of the 1st quarter. Neither team could get into their respective endzone and the half ended with the 7-6 score.
The 2nd half belonged to the Dragons as they used a 60 and 41 yard runs to pad their lead and capped off their 20 point 3rd quarter with a short 8-yard run to take a commanding 20-6 lead into the 4th.
The Chargers were able to scrape together a pair of touchdowns in the 4th quarter, including a Wyatt Raida 5 yard run and Gavin Hooper pass to Zaine Lantz. Both 2-point conversions would connect, but the Chargers could not take advantage of opportunities to draw closer than 12 points. The Dragons would score with a minute left and connect on the PAT for the final score of 41-22.
“(I) thought we showed some grit in the 4th quarter and got within 12. We had some opportunities we just didn’t capitalize on them. We will look to regroup and prepare for Fredonia,” said Cherryvale head coach Harry Hester.
Cherryvale committed 4 turnovers, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles lost. Gavin Hooper went 12-of-31 with 179 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He was held to -14 yards on the ground. Zane Lantz and Wyatt Raida were held to just 36 and 35 yards rushing, respectively.
Cherryvale (2-2, 0-1) will next travel to Fredonia (2-2, 0-1). The Yellowjackets lost to Eureka in the Tornadoes’ first home game in over two years.
Belle Plaine (4-0, 1-0) will travel to Neodesha (1-3, 1-0). The Bluestreaks picked up their first win of the season over Douglass.