Bucs down St. James Saints
A decisive victory was exactly what the doctor ordered for a struggling Buccaneers squad.
The maroon and gold went into St. James football field and registered a 42-14 victory on Oct. 16.
The Bucs ran the ball decisively all night against a Saints team that especially had no answers for Gus Phillips.
Phillips totaled four rushing touchdowns in the first half and ended up with 145 yards on 17 attempts.
“Our plan was to just keep going with what was working and Gus finished off some good runs for us,” coach Randy Kuechenmeister says.
As a team, the Buccaneers rushed for 321 yards and didn’t punt the ball once.
The first half was almost perfect for the Bucs. They scored a touchdown on five of their six possessions.
Phillips ran for 63 yards on the opening drive of the game for the Buccaneers. He capped it off with a 26-yard touchdown run.
The maroon and gold’s defense forced the Saints to go three-and-out on their first drive and stuffed the line of scrimmage. The Saints had to abandon the run early because there were no holes to run through.
Phillips added another touchdown with 1:53 left in the first quarter to add to the Bucs lead, 14-0.
The Saints answered with a fake field goal that resulted in a 16-yard touchdown.
St. James holder Brady Halvorson rolled to his right and found a wide open Justin Stevens for a touchdown, narrowing the lead to 14-7 with 9:45 left in the half.
Quarterback Luke Schavey, who rushed six times for 56 yards, needed only three plays on the next drive to put the Bucs ahead 21-7. Schavey took a quarterback draw up the middle and scampered for a 32-yard touchdown.
Phillips put up two more touchdowns before the half ended on runs of seven and four yards to put the Bucs up 35-7.
The third quarter was mostly a defensive battle with hard hits and each squad scoring a touchdown.
For the Buccaneers, Jacob Johnson hit a hole and cut up the middle of the field for a 28-yard touchdown.
That would be how the game ended, 42-14, as neither team put up any points in the final quarter.
The Bucs intercepted Saints quarterback Walker Froehling three times in the game.
Johnson, Trevor Zierke and Bailey Olson were the ones who benefited from Froehling staring down his receivers. All three interceptions were from fast breaks on the ball and deflections.
The maroon and gold finished their season at 5-3 and really needed a win going into the playoffs.
“A game like this really helps our confidence because we did a lot of good things tonight,” Kuechenmeister says. “We executed better on the line and overall it was a pretty good game for us.”
This coming week, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Buccaneers will host Worthington at Wilson Field to kick off Section play.
Fairmont 40, BEA 22
The Blue Earth Area football team dug themself a hole too large to escape when they faced Fairmont on Oct. 11 at Wilson Field.
The Bucs were playing catch up the entire game. An early 19-point deficit sparked the Cardinals to a 40-22 victory and a reclaiming of the Little Brown Jug.
Fairmont dictated the game from the very beginning by scoring touchdowns on four of their first six drives. The Cardinals also forced three three-and-outs on the Buccaneers first three offensive possessions.
“Fairmont has a very potent passing attack,” coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. “We tried a variety of things to slow down their passing game but did not have success at any of them.”
Quarterback Luke Schavey was held to only 11 rushing yards. In his previous five games, Schavey was averaging 88 yards per contest.
The maroon and gold were led by David Franta who had 110 yards rushing on 10 attempts, 54 receiving yards and contributed two touchdowns.
“David Franta is a very good football player,” Kuechenmeister says. ” He gives 100 percent on every play and has been a playmaker for us on both sides of the ball.”
The Cardinals struck early and often scoring a minute into the game. Quarterback Spencer Chirpich found split end Josh Eversman on a quick hitch, who then broke a tackle and sprinted 61 yards toward the endzone, putting the visitors up 7-0.
The Buccaneers had a hard time finding any rhythm offensively, which accumulated into netting a total of negative four yards in the first quarter.
On the other side of the ball, however, Fairmont was rolling. Chirpich added two more touchdown passes in the quarter to Luke Becker, making it a 19-0 lead.
The Bucs first drive of the second quarter resulted in their first first down of the game and their first points, too.
Schavey, who was 9 of 23 for 144 yards, floated a ball over the defense to Quinn Huisman for a 28-yard touchdown reception, on a fourth-down play, cutting the margin to 19-6.
With four minutes remaining before half, the Buccaneers were driving. After Franta converted a third and 14 with a 31-yard run, the Bucs fumbled on the very next play.
Six plays later, Chirpich found Eversman for a 20-yard score with two minutes left in the half.
Franta added a 55-yard touchdown before halftime to cut into the Cardinals lead. Schavey then found Bailey Olson in the back left corner of the endzone for the 2-point conversion, making it a two possession game, 27-14.
The Bucs defense had a better showing in the second half. The Cardinal offense was forced to punt on three of their first four drives.
However, despite their defensive success, the maroon and gold let the Cardinals score first in the third quarter, expanding the lead to 34-14.
Franta answered right back with his second touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run with 1:45 left in the third quarter. Following the score, there was a lightning delay at 9 p.m. that lasted for an hour.
As play resumed, Chirpich added to his single-game school-record by tossing his sixth touchdown pass to Eversman. Eversman caught 10 passes for a career-best 202 yards and four touchdowns.