If at times it looked more like a track meet than a football game, maybe it was.
When the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers hosted the Belle Plaine Tigers on Halloween night, Friday, Oct. 31, it was a scary experience for the defensive squads of the two teams.
That is because the offenses of the two teams combined for over 1,100 yards of total offense.
The Bucs gained 591 of those yards while the Tigers put up 560 of their own in the stats column.
And when the final whistle blew, it was the Bucs who also had the higher number in the most important stats column the score.
BEA won the game 47-32 and claimed the Section 3AAA Championship for the third time in five years.
And, they had a ticket to head for the State Football Tournament once again.
The Buccaneers opened their State Tourney action with a contest against the Glencoe-Silver Lake Panthers on Saturday, Nov. 8, in a 6 p.m. game played in Burnsville.
That game was held after the deadline for this edition of the Faribault County Register. Results and photos will be included in next week’s issue of the newspaper and will also be posted on our website and Facebook page.
For the first few minutes of the Section championship game, it looked like the Buccaneers might run away with the game.
After forcing the Tigers to punt after a three plays and out situation, the Bucs scored in just four plays runs of 24, 14, 5 and 19 yards.
Quarterback Luke Schavey and running back Jacob shared the rushing duties. But, it was Johnson who went in for the 19-yard touchdown.
The Buc defense forced another three and out for the Tigers and this time BEA only needed three plays to get a score.
After a 44-yard run by Schavey, the Buccaneer QB connected on a 35-yard strike to Bailey Olson for a touchdown.
With 6:24 left in the first quarter, BEA seemed to be on the way to a rout, leading 14-0.
However, the Bucs fumbled on their next possession and the Tigers took the turnover and marched down the field.
Belle Plaine quarterback Luke Narveson completed the 62-yard drive by keeping the ball himself and going in from the 6-yard line for the touchdown with just 19 seconds left in the first quarter.
But, the Buccaneers blocked the kick for extra point and kept a 14-6 lead.
After BEA punted to Belle Plaine’s 9-yard line, the Tigers went on a quick 91-yard, 10 play drive which ended with a 3-yard TD.
This time the Tigers tried a pass for the two-point conversion, but it was incomplete.
With 6:21 left in the first half, BEA stayed ahead 14-12.
Camden Bowers gave BEA a big edge with a huge kickoff return to the 46-yard line.
The Bucs went on a six play, 54-yard scoring drive which ended with a 4-yard run by Jacob Johnson for the TD.
The Bucs had called two timeouts in a row to give Johnson a chance to change his pants after referees saw a large blood smear on them and took him out of the game.
This time, it was the Buccaneers who missed the point after touchdown, but with 3:43 left in the half, they led 20-12.
Unfortunately, they could not keep that lead. The Tigers roared back with an 8-play, 76-yard march down the field.
Narveson took the ball in from the 16-yard line for the score. There was a penalty on the Tiger’s first try at going for a two-point conversion and they connected on a pass for the second try.
That made the score tied at 20-20 at the half.
In the third quarter it looked like it was going to be more of the same.
The Bucs took the opening kickoff and marched smartly down the field, with all running plays. The touchdown came on a 6-yard run.
Now BEA was up 27-20 with 7:48 left in the third quarter.
Just 48 seconds later, Belle Plaine had a touchdown as well. It came on a 71-yard pass play.
Their pass attempt at a two point conversion failed, however, so the Bucs clung to a one point lead, 27-26.
The Bucs fumbled on their next possession, but then the Tigers returned the ball when they also fumbled it away.
BEA ended the third quarter with another touchdown, this time on a Schavey run from the 19-yard line. It came after a seven-play, 69-yard drive.
The Bucs were up 34-26.
After forcing a Belle Plaine punt, the Bucs next went on a 10-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard Schavey touchdown run. Now the Bucs led 41-26 with 5:30 left in the game.
The maroon and gold stopped the next Tiger drive with an interception by Conor Barnett. However, they were forced to punt the ball away.
However, the Bucs stopped the Tigers next drive with another interception, and this time Barnett took the errant Tiger pass and returned it 16 yards for another Buccaneer touchdown.
With 3:54 left in the game BEA was comfortably ahead at 47-26.
Belle Plaine had one more score, with 1:26 left in the game, when they scored on a 35-yard pass play.
That made the final score 47-32. And the Buccaneers had avenged a 33-7 loss to the Tigers in last year’s Section semi-final game.
While both teams gained over 500 yards each, they went about it in different ways.
The Buccaneers had 378 yards on the ground to the Tigers’ 178, and Belle Plaine was 23 of 34 passing for 405 yards while BEA was 13 of 19 for 213.
Johnson had a monster night for the Bucs, gaining 227 yards on 25 carries. Schavey rushed for 128 yards on 18 totes and had three touchdowns.
Bailey Olson caught two passes for 62 yards and a TD, while Derek Johnson had four catches for 49 and Barnett one for 25.
Belle Plaine’s leading rusher was Shane Buege with 88 yards on seven carries. Narveson had 52 yards on 10 totes.
Leading Tiger receiver was Paul Nasby with nine catches for 211 yards. Jonny Vinkemeier had four catches for 62 yards.
If the Bucs defeated the Glencoe-Silver Lake Panthers on Saturday night, Nov. 8, in Burnsville, their next game would be the following Saturday, Nov. 15.
This State quarterfinal game will be played at Eden Prairie High School at 3 p.m..
The State Championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.