Millers oust Bucs, 32-7
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer football team had their season come to an end with a 32-7 loss at Minneapolis Washburn on Tuesday night.
The game, played at the Miller’s home field in Minneapolis, was the opening round of the Section 2AAA playoffs.
Although the score hardly reflects it, the No. 6 seeded Bucs were able to move the ball against the the No. 3 seeded Millers. BEA had several scoring opportunities which did not translate into points on the scoreboard.
Seven interceptions of Buc passes by the Miller defenders stopped many potential scoring opportunities – as did incomplete passes into the end zone.
“This game was about big plays and missed opportunities,” Coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. “I thought our kids played hard and battled to the end.”
The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie. BEA’s first possession was stopped with an interception, their second one stalled after the Bucs had marched down the field. They turned the ball over on downs. The third possession ended with a punt.
The Millers were also unable to move the ball into scoring position against the Bucs in a game which featured big defensive plays.
BEA forced Washburn to punt early in the second quarter, and again were able to move the ball down the field.
An interception stopped the Bucs when they had entered the Millers’ side of the field.
With five and a half minutes left in the first half, the score was still 0-0. But the Millers used those final minutes to score three times.
Their first touchdown came on a 55-yard run. The kick for the extra point was good and Washburn went up 7-0 over BEA.
The Bucs moved the ball on their next possession, but were finally stopped.
Washburn took over at their own 28 with only a couple of minutes left in the half.
They got a big 60-yard run, followed by a 10-yard pass into the end zone. The kick missed, but they led 13-0 with 1:41 left in the half.
The Bucs once again moved the ball down field in the final minute of the half, and tried a pass from Garrett Anderson to Nathan Carr in the end zone, which fell incomplete.
The next pass was picked off by the Millers with just 32 ticks left on the clock.
A big pass took Washburn down to the BEA 18-yard line with 17 seconds left.
As the Millers ran another play, it appeared time ran out on the clock. However, the refs put one second back on the clock, saying Washburn had called a time-out as time was running out.
Washburn used the one second to pass into the end zone and score a touchdown. They went for a two-point conversion which failed.
Score at the half went from 13-0 to 19-0 in favor of the Millers.
The Buccaneer’s luck appeared to change as the second half got underway. BEA recovered a Minneapolis Washburn fumble at the Millers’ 18.
Joe Franta caught a 22-yard pass in the end zone on a third and 14 play for the Buccaneer score. Anderson kicked the extra point and the Bucs cut the lead to 19-7. It would prove to be BEA’s only score.
The Bucs stopped the Millers on their next possession, and forced a punt. BEA took over on Washburn’s 44.
Once again the Buccaneers were able to move the ball. A long pass attempt into the end zone fell incomplete, while the next toss was intercepted.
BEA stopped the Millers by recovering a fumble at the 42. They again moved the ball, and tried another pass into the end zone to a wide open Dalton Hurn, but the pass was incomplete.
Minneapolis Washburn took over possession on downs, but BEA got the ball back when Colin Nienhaus intercepted a Miller pass as the third quarter ended.
Again, BEA was able to move the ball, but their drive once more ended with a picked off pass.
BEA appeared to have stopped the Millers on their next possession, and forced them to punt. But Washburn faked the punt and wound up scoring a 46-yard touchdown. Their try for two points failed, but the score advanced to 25-7.
The fourth quarter continued with a series of turnovers. The Bucs were intercepted on a long pass attempt to Carr.
Carter Hanson got the ball back for BEA by recovering a third Miller fumble. But BEA gave it right back on yet another interception.
The Millers got one more score on a 95-yard touchdown, and the final was 32-7. Washburn moved on to face No. 2 seed St. Paul Highland Park in St. Paul on Saturday.
Zach Tvedten paced the Bucs with 121 yards on 19 carries. On one drive he ripped off consecutive runs of 15, 15 and 18 yards.
Anderson added 56 yards on nine carries, and was 8 of 31 passing for 92 yards. Carr had three catches for 45 yards and Nick Lee had four receptions for 25 yards. Franta had the 22 yard TD catch.
Daniel Eckhardt led the Bucs on defense with 21 tackles, while Franta had 12 and Hanson eight.
BEA’s overall season record ended at 5-4.