Bucs advance to semis
A stingy defense that didn’t allow the Belle Plaine Tigers a first down until the second half, propelled Blue Earth Area to a 35-0 shutout victory last Tuesday evening in Section 2AAA football.
It may not have been as cold as playing on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, but temperatures in the 40s with winds ranging from 35 to 50 miles per hour made for less than ideal playing conditions.
The Bucs took advantage of the wind from the beginning.
The Tigers won the toss and elected to receive. Blue Earth Area chose to have the wind at their backs for the opening kickoff.
Bucs’ kicker Jacob Black sent the ball through the end zone so the Tigers began their opening drive on the 20-yard line.
An opening running play was stopped for no gain and two incomplete passes forced the Tigers into a punting situation.
Punting into the harsh wind netted the Tigers only a 17-yard punt with the Bucs taking over only 37 yards from the end zone.
Five running plays later, Zach Tvedten put the Bucs on the board with a 19-yard touchdown scamper. The extra point kick by Collin Nienhaus was good and with 8:41 left in the opening quarter, the Bucs led 7-0.
The Bucs used the same formula to score their second touchdown.
Once again the Tigers started on the 20-yard line following a kickoff into the end zone. This time the Tigers netted 4 yards before punting to their own 44-yard line.
A 7-yard run by Tvedten and two runs totaling 11 yards by Carter Hanson advanced the ball to the 26. Joe Franta hauled in a pass over the middle from quarterback Brady Anderson to cover the final 26 yards and give the Bucs a 13-0 lead after a failed PAT try.
The Bucs’ third touchdown of the evening came with 8:42 left in the second quarter. Anderson’s 35-yard romp to the end zone capped off a nine-play, 64-yard drive. A Tvedten run gave the maroon and gold a two-point conversion making the score 21-0.
Two fumbles by the Bucs stopped two other drives, but they still managed to score on a safety when the Belle Plaine punter watched a snap sail over his head and out of the end zone. The score at halftime was Blue Earth Area 23, Belle Plaine 0.
The Tigers started the second half with the ball. After getting their initial first down of the evening, they fumbled and the Bucs’ Taylor Owen recovered at the Tigers’ 35-yard line.
It took only one play for the Bucs to capitalize on the Tigers’ miscue.
Hanson took the hand-off from Anderson and broke into the open to score the touchdown and give the Bucs a 29-0 lead with 8:46 to go in the third quarter. The extra point kick hit the upright and was not good.
The Tigers’ next drive faltered and a low snap forced the punter to cover the ball on his own 17-yard line.
Three plays later, Franta made a diving catch in the end zone for the final score of the night with 5:45 left in the third quarter. The extra point kick was blocked, making the final score 35-0.
Blue Earth Area ended the evening with 306 yards on the ground and 43 through the air.
The Buc defense held the Tigers to 82 total yards of offense – 65 rushing yards and 17 passing yards.
Tvedten led all rushers with 109 yards on 25 carries. Anderson added 99 yards on eight carries and Hanson finished with 60 yards on nine carries.
Anderson threw only four passes and completed two of them, both to Joe Franta, for 43 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Bucs moved on to face Minneapolis Washburn on Saturday, Oct. 30 in Minneapolis. Minneapolis Washburn advanced with a 34-22 victory over St. Peter.
Results of the Blue Earth Area against Minneapolis Washburn game will be in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.