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Bucs downed by Cards

By Staff | Sep 10, 2017

BEA’s Caelan Sanders slips a tackle in the open field during the season opener.

Fairmont jumped out to a 13-0 halftime lead against Blue Earth Area in the season opener on Thursday. As it turned out, that was all the scoring needed by the Cardinals to retain the Little Brown Jug for a third straight season.

Fairmont’s first score was set up by a very costly BEA turnover. Cardinal safety, Brady Allen, recovered a Bucs fumble caused by a monster hit from Cardinal linebacker Jordan Wolter. This set up the Cardinals’ offense at the Bucs’ 5 yard-line.

Fairmont quarterback Nate Kallenbach, who accounted for two all-purpose touchdowns, cashed in the great field position created by his defense and scampered into the end zone. Fairmont enjoyed a 7-0 lead with 6:05 remaining in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, BEA passer Blake Barnett struggled with accuracy issues throughout the game, completing just 14 of his 33 passes with two interceptions at Mahoney Field. This game also happen to be Barnett’s first as a starting quarterback.

BEA head coach Randy Kuechenmeister was encouraged from what Barnett showed during the game. The youngster’s willingness to battle through adversity drew high praise from his coach.

“I thought he [Barnett] made some plays with his feet, and he also made some plays with his arm. He showed great composure and he’ll continue to grow as the season moves along,” Kuechenmeister said.

Pitching a second half shutout, several players stood out on the Buccaneer defense. Calean Sanders and Jordan Huse each contributed seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Meanwhile, Adam Griffin showcased a relentless motor and great pursuit in the open field to register two sacks in the game.

The Cardinals’ offense was held to 78 total passing yards and converted on third down just twice in 12 attempts. This strong defensive performance gives Kuechenmeister reason for optimism as the year progresses.

“We played really hard defensively,” Kuechenmeister said. “We have to sure up a few things and play more consistently, but I really like how hard we battled. We are a work in progress, but we just have to keep battling.”

Blue Earth’s next game will take place on Friday, September 8 at 7 p.m. Blue Earth’s home opener will be against Redwood Valley. Results from this game will be available in the next edition of the Faribault County Register.