Bucs demolish St. James
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers (4-4) closed out the 2017 regular season in grand fashion as they trounced the St. James Saints, 40-0 on Oct. 18.
The Bucs rolled up three touchdowns in the first quarter and never looked back, BEA quarterback Hunter Bleess found receiver Caelan Sanders downfield for a 23-yard touchdown connection for the first score.
Bleess then took matters into his own hands and scrambled 19 yards on his way to the Bucs second touchdown. The last end zone visit of the quarter happened on a four-yard touchdown run by Rylee McGuire.
The second half featured more of the same as BEA reached pay dirt three more times in the contest. McGuire broke through the Saints’ defense once again in the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown. For good measure, Austin Thiefoldt and Caden Ochsendorf each added touchdown runs of their own in the final period.
While Ochsendorf fired up the BEA home fans with a schintillating 60-yard touchdown gallop, Thiefoldt scored on a 16-yard run.
By virtue of the win, the Buccaneers have clinched the number three seed in the 2A Section playoffs. They will host the Medford Tigers (2-6) on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.
Pipestone 7, BEA 0
Friday the 13th proved to be very unlucky for the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers as they were shut out for the second week in a row. Unable to find the end zone against the Pipestone Arrows, the Bucs were blanked by a final score of 7-0 in front of their home fans.
The only touchdown of the game came in the second quarter as Pipestone managed to grind out a nine play, 85-yard drive to set up the score.
Boasting a record of 6-1 on the year, this latest win happened to be Pipestone’s third shutout of the season. In fact, the eighth ranked Arrows have only allowed a total of six touchdowns in their seven games thus far.
As Blue Earth Area head coach Randy Kuechenmeister said afterwards, the game was a physical, field position battle where both teams refused to give an inch.
“I thought we played better than the previous week and we were very competitive,” said Kuechenmeister. “We had some opportunities to score, but things broke down when we had some penalties and we were faced with long yardage situations.”
Despite the loss, the Bucs led the Arrows in several major categories. The maroon and gold forced a total of three turnovers compared to just one for the Arrows. BEA also registered more first downs (13), more rushing yards (107), and more total yards of offense (182) than Pipestone.
Against the stingy defense of Pipestone, BEA starting quarterback Hunter Bleess accounted for 134 yards of all-purpose offense. With 25 pass attempts in the ballgame, this was quite a difference from the previous week when Blue Earth Area attempted just five passes.
Coach Kuechenmeister was pleased with how Bleess handled the additional work load.
“I think Hunter is progressing very well. He scrambled well and showed great composure,” said the BEA coach. “I also liked how he was able to located a variety of different receivers down the field.”
Despite going up against a prolific Pipestone offense that has scored at least 37 points in three of their wins this season, coach Kuechenmeister was particularly proud of how his defensive unit held the Arrows in check throughout the contest.
Rylee McGuire led BEA with 11 total tackles in the game. According to Kuechenmeister, McGuire’s trademark aggressiveness and relentless motor helped limit the Pipestone rushing attack to just 59 yards on the ground.
Blue Earth Area sophomore Zach Murphy also rallied to the ball and collected eight tackles on the evening. Coach Kuechenmeister cited Murphy’s top-level instincts as the key to getting involved in so many plays.