By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
The Balko Bison saw their season come to an end Saturday afternoon, losing to undefeated, and No.1 Cherokee, 38-14.
A long run by Wyatt Casper set up a one –yard TD plunge by Jordan Bush, and the subsequent two-point conversion had the Bison thinking upset.
Even after a pair of Cherokee scores put them up 14-8, Balko was able to knot the game again at 14 when Bush hit Casper on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Our execution early in the game was great, Bison coach Rusty Thomas said. “We were able to sustain our blocks.”
But that was the end of the Bison’s scoring. Cherokee added another before half to go up 22-14, and shut the Bison out in the second half. Balko stayed within striking distance until Cherokee added a final score at the end of the game.
“I was hoping for a different outcome, but our kids played hard,” Thomas said. “We’re proud, as is the whole community of what this team accomplished. It was a great season.”
Balko finished the game with 12 first downs, and 167 yards rushing on 42 carries. The Bison were 2-5 passing for 31 yards, a TD and an interception.
Cherokee gained 18 first downs and 366 yards on 48 carries. The Cheifs were 2-3 passing for 18 yards and an interception.
Balko finishes the season with an 8-3 record. Those three loses make of three of the four semi-finalist left in the Class C playoffs.