Bucs defeat St. James, again
The Blue Earth Area football team faced a familiar foe during their Section 3AA quarterfinal match up.
Six days prior, the Bucs played the St. James Saints, winning 34-14. Tuesday’s rematch featured an even greater lopsided result. BEA dominated every phase of the game on their way to a 47-0 victory.
“I thought our focus was better tonight than last week,” head coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. “We wanted to run the ball, control the line of scrimmage and win the game.”
BEA executed their game plan to perfection, rushing for 422 yards and limiting St. James to -9 yards on the ground.
The Bucs used their experienced offensive line to create gaping holes and then let a flurry of running backs take over.
“We are very balanced,” Kuechenmeister says. “We have a variety of kids who can carry the ball and that’s a luxury.”
Carter Hanson and Jacob Olson led the multiple-threat rushing attack, amassing over 100 yards apiece on the ground.
Against St. James, BEA wasted little time in establishing an early lead.
The Bucs returned the opening kickoff to their own 40-yard line and needed just seven plays to march 60 yards for the score.
Olson carried the ball four times and Hanson three times on the Buc scoring drive.
Hanson eventually pounded the ball into the end zone from the 3-yard line for the touchdown. Jakob Rintelen added the extra point, giving BEA a 7-0 lead with 9:25 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, BEA pinned St. James on their own 23-yard line. Olson stepped in front of a Sam Carlson pass three plays later for an interception, returning the ball to the Saint 15.
The first play after the turnover, BEA’s Brady Anderson threw a high-arching pass to a wide open Steven Plocker for a 15-yard touchdown. The extra point by Rintelen was good giving the Bucs a 14-0 lead with 7:57 remaining in the first quarter.
Capitalizing off a BEA turnover, St. James was the next team to produce a scoring threat. Carlson connected with Giovanni Alvarado twice to reach the BEA 14-yard line.
The Bucs wouldn’t let the Saints get any farther, benefiting from back to back sacks by Plocker and Zierke.
BEA took over on their own 27 and needed just five plays for their third score of the game. Hanson got the offense rolling with a 17- yard scamper, reversing his field leaving a wake of missed St. James would-be tacklers in his path.
Next, Plocker caught a 14-yard pass and Olson ran 8-yards to reach the St. James 35.
Anderson finished the drive, dropping back and throwing a 35-yard bomb into the arms of Isaac Darrington streaking into the end zone.
The touchdown boosted the Buccaneer lead to 21-0 with 57 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Bucs would strike next late in the second quarter after establishing excellent field position.
David Franta returned a St. James punt deep in their own territory to the Saints 14-yard line. Zierke capped the drive running over St. James defenders for a 10-yard touchdown.
After a quick stop on defense, BEA took over offensively on their own 35. This time, it took just two plays for BEA to boost their lead to 33-0.
Anderson completed an 11-yard pass to Darrington to get the drive started and then Olson busted a 54-yard touchdown run up the gut for the score with 3:26 remaining in the first half.
Zierke took over at quarterback in the second half, leading the Bucs to their sixth touchdown of the game early in the third quarter. Zierke himself completed the drive darting 44-yards for the touchdown. The point after attempt was good giving BEA a 40-0 lead with 9:19 remaining in the third quarter.
Christian Haugh recovered a St. James fumble on the following drive allowing BEA to take over on the Saints 20-yard line.
On fourth-and-7, Justin Ritter was sprung by a nice block from Andrew Bell for a 10-yard touchdown run.
Rintelen added the extra point to extend the BEA lead to 47-0 with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter.
With the hefty lead, BEA was able to substitute a lot of players who did an excellent job maintaining a shutout. Highlighting that accomplishment was an interception from senior Eric Spellman.
BEA’s team effort on defense limited the St. James offense to a mere 50 yards. The Bucs tabulated 503.
“Last week we ran a defense with one more defensive back than usual,” Kuechenmeister says. “Tonight we went back to our base defense where our guys are a little more comfortable. They did an excellent job of communicating”
BEA will now turn their attention to a section semifinal showdown against Maple River Saturday after the Register’s deadline.
“We will watch them on tape and try to take away things they do,” Kuechenmeister says.
Game time was slated for 3 p.m. at Wilson field.
If BEA is victorious, they will travel to Marshall for the Section 3AA championship Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.