A Rebel ‘rousing’ victory
The USC Rebels capitalized on early miscues by the Blue Earth Area Buccaneer offense as they opened up a 28-0 halftime lead on their way to a 34-21 victory over the visiting Bucs in football action on Sept. 4.
The Rebels played without their two starting running backs, Matthew Wood and Dylan Thisius, who were involved in a car accident just a couple of hours before the game.
“You never know how something like that will affect the kids,” comments USC Head Coach Brad Huse. “We came out and played with a lot of emotion. I told the kids if we control the line of scrimmage it doesn’t matter who’s in the backfield, we were able to give our quarterback time to throw.”
Blue Earth Area kicked off to start the game and the Rebels began their drive from their 32-yard line. They moved the ball down to the Bucs 21-yard line and faced a fourth down eight yards short of the first down.
Quarterback Riley Swearingen found tight end Kyle Baumann for a touchdown and a 6-0 Rebel lead with 7:47 left in the first half.
The Rebel offense was not off the field long. A fumble by the Bucs on their second play from scrimmage gave the home team the ball with excellent field position on the Bucs 32-yard line. A 3-yard run and two defensive encroachment penalties put the ball at the Bucs 19.
This time Swearingen found Baumann streaking down the sideline. Baumann’s fingertip catch gave USC a 12-0 lead with 5:50 left in the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the Bucs, things didn’t go any better on their next drive. Bucs QB Garrett Anderson ran for five yards before being intercepted by the Rebel’s Eric Lackey. That put the home team back on offense at the USC 34-yard line. The Buc defense held this time, but the Rebels got the ball back as they picked off another pass, taking possession at the Bucs 40.
This time it was the Bucs who came up with the big defensive play. Joe Franta picked off the pass to give BEA the ball on their own 16-yard line.
Two runs by Zach Tvedten, totaling 11 yards, gave the Bucs a first down on the 27. However, three plays later the Rebels came up with another interception, taking over on their own 47-yard line.
The two teams traded punts before USC was able to put together a 24-yard touchdown drive. It ended with Preston Staloch’s 11-yard TD run and Lackey’s run for a 2-point conversion. That put the Rebels on top 20-0 with 8:18 left in the opening half.
Nate Carr’s long kickoff return gave BEA excellent field position at the USC 20-yard line. The Bucs were unable to move the ball, however, and the Rebels took over on downs.
USC added eight more points in the first half. Baumann’s third TD catch and Swearingen’s run for a 2-point conversion – with just 13.2 seconds remaining until halftime – gave the Rebels a 28-0 lead.
“I’ve never been involved with a half of football like that,” comments Bucs coach Randy Kuechenmeister, referring to all of the turnovers. “Give them credit, they took it to us.”
The Rebels struck first in the second half. Tyler Morton took it in from five yards out with 6:32 left in the third quarter. A failed 2-point attempt left the Rebels with a 34-0 lead.
Anderson finally got the Bucs on the scoreboard when he leaped into the end zone to cap off a 16-yard run. Jacob Black’s extra point kick made the score 34-7 with 10:39 to go in the game.
The Bucs blocked a punt on USC’s next possession and scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 7:13 left, making the score 34-13.
A successful onside kick gave the Bucs the ball at the 50-yard line.
However, their drive stalled and USC took over at their own 19.
It was three and out and following the USC punt, the Bucs had the ball 54 yards away from a touchdown.
A pass to Nate Carr advanced the ball to the 22 and four plays later Anderson’s QB sneak for a touchdown – and Nick Lee’s reception for the 2-point conversion – made the score 34-21 with only 1:34 remaining.
“Our guys continued to battle in the second half, they hung in there,” says Kuechenmeister.
Tvedten led the Bucs with 16 carries for 95 yards while Anderson had 79 yards on 14 carries. Anderson passed for 79 yards and had five interceptions.
Swearingen was 9 of 12 passing for the Rebels with three TD’s and one interception. Tyler Morton gained 71 yards on 11 carries while Preston Staloch contributed 57 yards on 17 carries.
Baumann had three receptions for 93 yards and three touchdowns, the longest being 46 yards.