Plucked from the sky
The Eagles soared for no more than one quarter of football on?Friday, Oct. 7, as three Buccaneers interceptions, including two pick-sixes, gave Blue Earth Area its second decisive victory in as many weeks, a 34-14 win over Windom Area.
Less than five minutes into the game, the Eagles struck first, taking a 6-0 lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass, but the maroon and gold subsequently stole the show, nearly doubling the offensive output of Windom Area with 348 yards and rattling off consecutive rushing scores in the second and third quarters.
BEA senior quarterback Logan Jahnke (10 of 18, 186 yards) was responsible for the two touchdowns, scrambling into the endzone from four yards out on both plays. An extra point by Caelan Sanders on the resulting two PAT tries, meanwhile, gave the Bucs a 13-6 lead by the start of the fourth quarter.
It was Sanders’ brother, Chris, who then took BEA’s lead to another level in the fourth.
Trailing by one score, the Eagles lined up deep in their own territory in hopes of engineering a tying series, but an errant throw wound up in Sanders’ hands, and the slot receiver/cornerback instead further buried Windom Area, returning the pick for a touchdown.
The home team did not give up, rallying for a five-yard scoring run less than two minutes later, but another turnover-turned-touchdown went BEA’s way shortly afterward, once again swinging momentum in the Bucs’ favor.
This time, with 7:30 remaining in the clash, the Bucs’ Blake Barnett got his hands on an Eagles pass and weaved his way into the endzone for the team’s second pick-six of the contest.
One defensive play after another left Windom Area searching for answers as the game wound down, and Jahnke sealed the rout for the visiting Bucs with another touchdown run, this one a one-yarder, in the waning seconds of play.
Once again, the ground game helped power BEA’s victorious attack.
Jahnke led the team with 53 yards and his three scores rushing the ball, but Chris Sanders, Zach Buseman and slot receiver Kaylan Legred also chipped in, combining for 109 yards on 23 carries.
Through the air, wideout Jacob Vaske was one of Jahnke’s favorite targets on the night, hauling in six passes for a season-high 106 yards. Barnett contributed with three catches, too, posting 74 yards against the Eagles secondary.
Four forced turnovers, of course, helped keep the Bucs on top throughout Friday’s contest as well. Senior Jared Armon was among a number of BEA defenders who set the tone for an opportunistic unit, logging a sack and putting pressure on an Eagles quarterback who was intercepted three times.
Back to .500 with the 34-14 “W” in Windom, the Buccaneers were next slated for a return to Wilson Field, where they were scheduled to host the Luverne Cardinals in perhaps their final home game of the season.
Like the Bucs, the Cards entered Friday’s showdown having won two straight a 23-6 decision over Pipestone and a 37-7 blowout of St. James on Oct. 7.