One play too many
The Buccaneer football team suffered a tough opening loss at Jackson as they fell to the Huskies by a final score of 10-7.
The non-conference contest was decided on the final play of the game when the ball was snapped with 2.8 seconds left on the clock and the Huskies’ Trevor Hage booted a 37-yard field goal to break a 7-7 tie and secure the win for the host team.
It was a tough offensive night for both schools as they struggled to move the ball. While aggressive defensive play was responsible for some of the offensive woes, it should also be noted that both teams had a lot of inexperience on the offensive side of the ball, contributing to the inability to go down the field.
“We didn’t know what to expect coming in to the game,” says Bucs’ head coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “They have a fast quarterback and a potent passing attack, but our defense played good.”
“We played hard and had our chances but they made one more play than we did,” Kuechenmeister says. “We’ve got to be able to move the ball better.”
The Bucs had most of their offensive success early in the game, getting one first down on the opening drive of the game before a holding penalty forced them to punt to Jackson County Central (JCC).
The Huskies were unable to move the ball and the Bucs started their second drive from their own 43 yard line with 8:10 left in the first quarter.
Quarterback Garrett Anderson ran for five yards followed by a Dylan O’Rourke run around the right end, putting the ball at the Huskies’ 40-yard line.
An eight-yard reception by Nate Carr and an encroachment penalty had the Bucs 27 yards away from the end zone.
They covered that distance in one play as Anderson hit Dalton Hurn for the touchdown reception. Anderson’s kick was good and, with 6:22 left in the quarter, the Bucs had taken a 7-0 lead.
Anderson was intercepted on the Bucs’ next possession early in the second quarter. Hurn got the ball back on the next play as he picked off Huskies’ quarterback Nathan Brandt’s pass to give the Bucs the ball on their own 20.
From this point on the Bucs had a hard time moving the ball.
It became a game of field position as JCC would improve their location with each ensuing drive, while the Bucs were backed up deeper into their own territory with each of theirs.
The Huskies were finally able to punch the ball across the goal line for a touchdown. With 2:08 remaining in the first half, Joey Schmidt ran one in from three yards out. A successful extra point knotted the score at 7-7.
JCC got the ball down to the Bucs’ 41 with just under a minute to go in the opening half, but two consecutive sacks by Mat Willner pushed the Huskies back 18 yards and the half ended tied.
The Huskies’ winning drive started with 2:46 left in the game on their own 12 yard line. A pair of five-yard runs by Brandt moved the ball out to the 22 yard line.
Following a couple of short runs, Brandt connected with Hage to take the ball to midfield. A pass to wide receiver Patrick Garvin gained six yards, but Jake Lee made a big tackle in the Huskie backfield for a four-yard loss. That left the Huskies needing eight yards to make a first down.
Garvin got all of that and more as his reception took the ball to the 35 yard line and gave the Huskies a first down.
A defensive pass interference call against the Bucs resulted in the ball being moved to the 20 yard line with 11.7 seconds left. The Huskies tried to move the ball closer but failed on two pass attempts.
It proved not to matter, however, as Hage had plenty of distance on the winning field goal.
Leading the way on defense for the Bucs were seniors Willner and Lee with 11 and 12 tackles respectively and junior Daniel Eckhardt who recorded nine more.
Anderson was 5 for 17 passing for 42 yards and one interception and also gained 34 yards rushing. Hurn caught two passes for 28 yards.
The Bucs managed just six first downs for the game and were penalized nine times for 57 yards.
Next up for the Bucs was a home game against Windom Area on Sept. 5. The Register will have the results of this game in the next issue.