Bucs blank St. James 31-0
Cody Eckhardt recovered a fumble deep in St. James territory to set up an early Bucs’ touchdown as Blue Earth Area jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their way to a 31-0 victory over the visiting St. James Saints.
The win gives the Bucs a 2-3 conference record and a 3-4 record over all.
A bad snap on the third play from scrimmage and Eckhardt’s subsequent fumble recovery gave the ball to the Bucs only 5 yards from the end zone.
It took just one play, a run up the middle by quarterback Garrett Anderson, to score all the points the Bucs would need for the night – only one minute and 37 seconds into the game.
“We played with a lot more energy tonight,” says Coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “We had a good run-pass mix and were able to control the line of scrimmage.”
The Saints got into Bucs territory on their second drive. Faced with fourth-and-8 to go at the 44-yard line, the Saints tried a fake punt but the Buc defense responded well to stop the visitors at the 40-yard line and take over on downs.
A 10-play, 60-yard drive was capped off by another Anderson run for touchdown. Justin Duelge kicked his second extra point of the night and the Bucs lead was 14-0 with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter.
St. James’ next drive lasted only three plays and Blue Earth Area was back in business again.
The Bucs used a nice mix of Joe Franta runs and Anderson passes to move the ball to the Saints’ 10 yard line. Anderson took it in from there for his third touchdown run of the half and with Duelge’s extra point the Bucs were comfortably in front 21-0 with 9:49 left in quarter number two.
Following another Saints’ punt the Bucs started their next drive on their own 29-yard line. It took them just three plays to reach the end zone with the last 64 coming on an unusual but exciting play.
Anderson hit Nate Carr with a pass over the middle. The only Saints’ defender in sight was able to poke the ball lose from Carr as the defender fell down. Carr didn’t have to break stride as the fumble bounced up into his hands and he raced into the end zone for the touchdown.
A pass reception, fumble, fumble recovery and touchdown by one player on the same play – not something you see every day. The extra point kick put the Bucs up 28-0 with just over five minutes left in the half and completed the first half scoring.
Penalties hurt the Bucs in the second half as drives stalled when the little yellow hanky showed up on the ground.
The only points of the second half came on a 23-yard field goal by Duelge with 6:07 left in the game.
The Buc defense held the Saints to 93 yards rushing for the evening while only allowing them 66 passing yards. Meanwhile the Buc offense gained 253 yards on the ground and added 145 yards in the air.
Leading rusher for Blue Earth Area was Anderson with 99 yards on 11 attempts. Zach Tvedten picked up 71 yards on 10 rushes and Franta added 48 yards on nine rushes.
Anderson was 7-13 in the passing department with Carr grabbing three passes for 81 yards and one touchdown and Jared Smith hauling in two passes for 23 yards.
Jake Lee recorded 11 tackles, Daniel Eckhardt added nine, and Franta tallied seven stops for the Buc defense.
Collin Nienhaus and Erik Zingler each had an interception while Mat Willner registered one sack.