There was no state title hangover as the Blue Earth Area boys football team picked up where they left off last season.
The Buccaneers slayed the Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Knights 42-6 Thursday at Wilson Field.
"It's a good start, but we need to correct the mistakes we made in the first half," head coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. "We were very successful when we did not turn the ball over."
Quarterback Kysten Zierke rushed for 133 yards with a touchdown and also threw for 70 yards including a 49-yard touchdown pass to senior Calvin Sanders. Sanders also took a 35-yard run into the endzone.
The Bucs ran for a total of 407 yards while holding the Knights to only 36 yards rushing. The BEA offensive line opened enormous holes for the backs to run through.
Senior fullback Jason Ritter contributed 31 yards and two touchdowns. David Franta rushed for 57; Gus Phillips 72; Luke Schavey 43; Sanders had two attempts for 36 and Jacob Johnson had 18 yards.
The Bucs scored on their first two possessions of the game.
Zierke danced in the pocket, juked defenders and ran behind his offensive line at will. That set up Ritter, who then plowed his way into the endzone on the first drive giving the Bucs an early 7-0 lead.
The Knights answered when quarterback Bryson Yackel lobbed a 26-yard touchdown pass to his receiver. That would be the only scoring drive for the Knights.
The Bucs took a 14-6 edge into halftime.
Right before halftime, Zierke collided with another player and was briefly on the ground. On the sideline Zierke said that he was "alright." He was taken out of the game with 3:13 left in the third quarter.
"He could have gone back in, but we didn't want to risk anything," Dr. Arron Kalis says. He will be examined in the next couple of days.
The second half was all about the Bucs running game and they outscored the Knights 28-0. Zierke was taken out with 3:13 left in the third quarter.
"We played much better in the second half," Kuechenmeister said. "We took Zierke out because we had the game in control; if I had to guess... he will play next Friday."
The Bucs did not punt once in the entire game. Also, kicker Justin Thelen was 6 of 6 on extra points.
LCWM struggled to get anything going as they only had one first down in the final two quarters. The Knights were led by Yackel who was 9 of 20 throwing for 84 yards and a touchdown.
The dagger came when BEA's backup quarterback, Luke Schavey, scrambled away from pressure and scampered to a 35-yard touchdown run solidifying the victory.
The BEA Bucs traveled to Mound Westonka this past Friday, Sept. 6, a game played after the Register deadline. Game analysis and photos will be included in the next Faribault County Register.
This coming week, on Friday, Sept. 13, the Bucs travel to Windom for a game.