A goal line stand on the first drive of the game propelled the Class AA No. 7-ranked Blue Earth Area Buccaneers to a 27-0 homecoming victory over the New Ulm Eagles.
The large homecoming crowd was silenced early after New Ulm received the opening kickoff and immediately marched the ball down the field.
The Eagles covered 52 yards on 14 plays before fumbling the ball on the Buccaneer 1-yard line. Kysten Zierke recovered the ball for the Bucs, denying the Eagle’s last attempt at a touchdown on fourth down.
After allowing the Eagles to convert three first downs on the opening drive, the Buccaneer defense was stingy around the goal line preventing the Eagle offense from scoring on two opportunities inside the BEA 1-yard line.
With poor field position, BEA was unable to move the ball past their own 5-yard line after the fumble and immediately punted the ball back to the Eagles. After a quick stop, the Bucs took over on their own 21 for their first scoring drive of the game.
Isaac Darrington caught his first pass of the night to get the chains moving for BEA.
Quarterback Brady Anderson rolled to the right to find Darrington for the 11-yard pass completion.
With multiple threats established, the New Ulm defense received a steady dose of Carter Hanson and Jacob Olson for the remainder of the drive.
The Bucs stuck to the ground game, chewing up the clock and methodically carving their way down the field for 14 consecutive running plays. Olson capped the 15-play, 71-yard drive, by diving into the end zone on a 3-yard plunge.
A powerful surge from the offensive line opened a gap on fourth and goal from the 3-yard line leading BEA to their first touchdown. Jakob Rintelen added the extra point giving BEA a 7-0 lead with 8:40 remaining in the second quarter.
After forcing a New Ulm punt, BEA stuck to the same formula as their first scoring drive.
The Bucs took over on their own 21-yard line and dialed up Darrington on the first play. This time a dart from Anderson led to a 31-yard completion on a slant route.
After punishing runs from Hanson and Olson off-tackle, Darrington finished what he started.
The 6-foot-4 receiver reached the end zone catching a 23-yard pass with 2:43 remaining in the half. Rintelen added the extra point giving the Bucs a 14-0 edge.
With little time remaining in the half, New Ulm executed their two-minute offense to near perfection and worked their way down to the BEA 2-yard line on the following drive.
On second down, a turnover once again doomed the Eagles. Zierke stepped in front of a Farasyn pass and ended the second Eagle scoring threat of the half.
Deep in their own territory, the Bucs downed the ball and went into halftime with a 14-0 lead.
During BEA’s second drive of the half, Darrington put the game out of reach.
The senior sliced through the middle of the field, cradled an Anderson pass and raced into the end zone for a 41-yard score. The point after was no good, giving BEA a 20-0 lead with 7:08 remaining in the quarter. The Bucs would strike for the last time in the fourth quarter.
BEA imposed their will to win by melting the clock and eating up large chunks of yardage on the ground.
Zierke finished the time-consuming drive by racing into the end zone on a 4-yard run off tackle. The point after attempt was good by Rintelen reaching the final score of 27-0.
BEA controlled the ball the entire night, limiting the number of opportunities for New Ulm’s dangerous triple option offense. The Bucs recorded 17 first downs and held the ball for two-thirds of the game.
To control the clock, BEA showed tremendous balance on offense, rushing for 183 yards and passing for 156 yards.
Anderson finished the night 7 of 9 through the air with two touchdowns. Darrington was his favorite target, receiving four passes for 126 yards and two scores.
Hanson led the Bucs in rushing with 91 yards on 16 carries. Olson followed close behind, carrying the ball 18 times for 64 yards.
The opportune Buc defense benefited tremendously from the two Eagle turnovers in the red zone to record the shutout.
Hanson led the Bucs in tackles with eight stops, followed by Zierke who recorded five solo tackles.
Teammate Brad More also contributed to shutting down the Eagle attack, tallying three solo tackles and two assists.
The Buc defense was dominant, holding the Eagles to 103 yards of total offense over the course of the game and -7 yards in the second half.
The Bucs traveled to Waseca Friday after the Register’s deadline. This week, the Bucs will welcome St. Peter to Wilson Field Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.