Big ‘D’ gets it done
The Blue Earth Area football squad began defense of last year’s conference title with a convincing 30-14 victory over the visiting New Ulm Eagles.
It was the defense that got things going early in the game for the Bucs.
New Ulm received the opening kickoff and on their second play from scrimmage quarterback Kyle Fischer was picked off by the Buc’s Joe Franta who ran it back for a 38-yard touchdown. Justin Duelge kicked the extra point to give the host team a 7-0 lead with less than one minute run off the clock.
“The defense set the tone early, we were very physical and went after people,” comments Coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “It was a great way to start conference play – we were ready to play.”
New Ulm didn’t fare any better on their second possession.This time it was Dalton Hurn intercepting the ball at the 50 yard line and returning it 11 yards to the 39 yard line.
Blue Earth Area was able to move the ball down to the 14 yard line before the drive stalled. New Ulm took over on downs on their own 19 yard line.
Facing a third and six, the Eagles attempted a pass to a receiver crossing over the middle but the Bucs Daniel Eckhardt met the receiver as he was attempting to pull the ball in. The bone jarring hit separated the receiver from the ball and forced the Eagles to punt the ball away.
The Eagles stopped the Bucs and after a Garrett Anderson punt, took over on their own 11 yard line.
One play later the Bucs had scored again as a bad snap resulted in Eckhardt and Clinton Nienhaus tackling the Eagles’ quarterback in the end zone for a safety and a 9-7 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.
Starting from their own 47 following the Eagles’ kick, the Bucs drove the ball down the field and scored a touchdown when Anderson ran it in from 18 yards out. Duelge’s kick was good and the Bucs had increased the lead to 16-0.
The Bucs were able to get on the board one more time before halftime.
Taking over on their own 46 yard line with 3:35 left in the half, they used the running of Franta and Anderson to move the ball down to the 24 yard line.
Facing a third and 10 with 42 seconds left, Anderson hit Nate Carr with a pass to take the ball down to the one-yard line.
Collin Nienhaus scored the touchdown as he snagged an Anderson pass in the back of the end zone and kept his feet inside the line to make it a 22-0 lead. The kick by Duelge was right down the center and the Bucs took a 23-0 lead going into half time.
Carr was responsible for the Bucs only score in the second half as he hauled in an eight yard pass with 6:26 to go in the third quarter. Duelge’s kick was good and the Bucs lead was at 30-0.
New Ulm did put two scores on the board late in the fourth quarter as the Bucs starters got a much deserved rest.
Leading the way on defense for the Bucs were Sinjin Bell with nine tackles followed by Eckhardt and Jake Lee with eight and seven tackles respectively. The Bucs intercepted three New Ulm passes with Franta picking off two and Hurn picking off one.
The Bucs had 183 yards on offense. Anderson was 8 for 21 passing with two TDs. Carr caught three passes for 33 yards and one TD.