Bucs clip Bluejays 14-9
A stingy run defense and an opportunistic pass defense helped the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers open their South Central Conference schedule with a 14-9 victory over the Waseca Bluejays on Sept. 11 at Wilson Field.
The defense held the Bluejays running attack, with star running back Sam Milbrett, to just 85 yards rushing.
While the visitors were able to total 206 passing yards, three interceptions by the Bucs stopped two drives deep in Bucs territory and set up the Bucs second touchdown.
“I was very proud of our kids tonight,” says Coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “We made some big plays and had some key interceptions — the kids made some good strides this week.”
Waseca took the opening kickoff and marched down to the Buc 3-yard line where the drive sputtered.
Faced with a fourth and goal from the nine, the Bluejays failed to convert their field goal attempt keeping the game scoreless.
The first points of the night would come on the Bucs first drive of the second quarter.
Taking over on their own 25-yard line after the Jays fell short on a fourth down play, the Bucs put together a 10 play, 75-yard drive. Garrett Anderson ran it in from seven yards out to put BEA up 6-0 with 6:11 left in the first half.
Twice during the drive the Bucs overcame third and long situations to keep the drive alive.
Nate Carr’s 22-yard pass reception on a third and 16 play moved the ball to the Waseca 27-yard line. Three plays later the Bucs were 13 yards short of a first down. Anderson was flushed from the pocket and scrambled to his left before finding Joe Franta on the sidelines for a 14 yard pass completion and a first down
Late in the first half the Bluejays began a drive deep in their own territory, at their 11 yard line.
They moved the ball out past the 30 before Dalton Hurn made the first of his two interceptions for the night. The return – combined with a personal foul penalty against the Bluejays – put the Bucs in excellent scoring position on the 15-yard line.
There were only 14 seconds left in the opening half when Anderson and Carr hooked up for a short touchdown pass. They connected again for a two point conversion, putting the Bucs up 14-0 at the end of the first half.
Hurn’s second interception of the evening came early in the second half.
The Bucs had driven deep into Waseca territory before Nick Lee was intercepted at the 15-yard line. Lee had taken over for Anderson who was suffering from leg cramps.
Waseca moved the ball into Buc territory but Hurn grabbed a bobbled ball out of the air on the Bucs’ 10-yard line and returned it to the 28, thus putting an end to Waseca’s scoring threat.
Waseca picked off another pass early in the fourth quarter and once again drove deep into Bucs territory. This time it was Collin Nienhaus who would make the big play. He intercepted the ball at the 5-yard line and returned it to the 12.
The Bucs’ drive faltered however, and a low snap on a fourth down punt attempt resulted in a safety, putting the Bluejays on the scoreboard. The score was 14-2 with 8:54 to go in the game.
Waseca returned the ensuing kickoff to the 50 yard line and wasted little time finding their way to the end zone. It took just three plays to cover the 50 yards. Following the successful extra point kick, the BEA lead was down to five points at 14-9, with 7:48 left in the game.
Each team sputtered on their next drives and were forced to punt.
The Bucs failed to catch Waseca’s punt and the resulting roll left BEA starting on their own 1-yard line.
Two plays later the Bucs were facing third down and 10 yards to go. An Anderson to Carr pass across the middle moved the ball to the 25-yard line and gave the Bucs a fresh set of downs.
The Bucs were then able to collect one more first down as they held on to the ball to seal their 14-9 victory.
Daniel Eckhardt led the team on defense with nine tackles and one fumble recovery, while Franta had seven and Nienhaus tallied six.
On offense the Bucs collected 13 first downs. Anderson was 9 of 21 passing for 89 yards. Zach Tvedten rushed for 55 yards on 15 carries while Anderson ran 17 times for 52 yards.
Joe Franta caught four balls for 20 yards and Nate Carr had three receptions for 73 yards and one TD.