Bucs earn first win of 2017
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers (1-2) spoiled Jackson County Central’s home opener by beating the Huskies, 18-6. BEA utilized their trademark grit and determination to polish off JCC.
Blue Earth Area’s first victory of the season also happened to be Jackson County Central’s first loss of the year. A highly touted team coming into the game, Jackson County Central enjoyed 34-8 blowout victories in their first two games of the young season.
The Buccaneers’ dominant rushing attack carried the day in securing a difficult road win. Going into hostile Huskies territory, the Bucs racked up 149 rushing yards last Friday evening.
The hard nosed running of Zach Buseman paved the way for the Bucs’ offense. Buseman tallied 92 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns, all team highs. As BEA head coach Randy Kuechenmeister explains, giving Buseman such a heavy workload was not a part of the initial gameplan.
“We never go into a game with the plan to give one individual the ball,” Kuechenmeister said. “The flow of the game kind of dictated how we ran our offense. That’s why Zach ended up with a bulk of the carries.”
In particular, coach Kuechenmeister noted Buseman’s tough, straight ahead running style as giving the Bucs the best chance for success offensively. Kuechenmeister was also extremely pleased with the play of his offensive line throughout the ballgame.
“The line did a great job in executing their assignments as a group, and Zach (Buseman) hit the holes hard with good vision,” Kuechenmeister added. “Overall, I think we are making good progress.”
Joe Schavey also helped BEA’s ground game with an electrifying 23-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The fleet-footed Schavey capped off the 65-yard scoring drive on a called jet sweep play. While dodging on-coming defenders with ease, Schavey’s score helped BEA build a two touchdown lead over Jackson County Central.
Blue Earth Area’s quarterback Blake Barnett and the rhythm of the passing game continues to make strides as well. With the JCC defense showing several different defensive packages, coach Kuechenmeister was complimentary in how his offense handled the added pressure.
“We made some big plays in the passing game and caught the ball well. I thought Blake (Barnett) helped us a great deal because he extended some plays.”
Unfortunately for Bucs fans, Blue Earth Area committed three turnovers in the game. One of those turnovers helped set up a five-yard touchdown drive by Jackson County Central in the third quarter. Despite the initial setback, coach Kuechenmeister says his team responded well following the score.
“I thought the key for us was that we kept battling hard and we didn’t panic,” said Kuechenmeister. “We hung in there and we played hard. The kids made it happen.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bucs controlled the line of scrimmage for the majority of the game. This disruptive unit helped force three turnovers of their own, which allowed the BEA offense to operate with good field position during critical parts of the game.
In particular, Rylee McGuire led Blue Earth Area in tackles (10) for the second straight week. Interestingly enough, McGuire was moved from his customary linebacking position, over to defensive end for the game.
According to coach Kuechenmeister, the change was made due to a matchup advantage which gave BEA a better chance to win. Coach Kuechenmeister was certain of McGuire’s ability to change positions because of his high motor, great football instincts, and nose for the ball. Whether or not McGuire will continue in his new role along the defensive line remains unclear.
BEA’s next game took place on Friday, Sept. 22 at Martin County West. Results from this game will be available in the next edition of the Faribault County Register.