Bucs down Eagles 29-0 in opener
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers got their season off to a good start with a win over the host Maple River Eagles on Thursday, Aug. 29. BEA scored once in the first quarter and tacked on two more scores in the second quarter. The Maroon and Gold added one more touchdown in the third quarter to go home with a 29-0 victory.
A fumble by the Bucs on the opening kickoff gave the Eagles good field position near the mid-field stripe. The Eagles gained one first down before having to punt the ball away to the Bucs.
The Bucs did not fare much better on their initial drive and had to punt the ball back to the Eagles who ended up starting their drive on the BEA 39-yard line.
Once again the Buc defense stiffened to force another Eagle punt. The Bucs took over at their own 2-yard line.
Koby Nagel had runs of five and six yards to give BEA a first down. Two plays later quarterback Gavin Sanders connected with Caelan Sanders for a 34-yard pass completion which moved the ball into Eagle territory at the 47-yard line. A 14-yard pass to Nagel advanced the Bucs to the 33-yard line.
Three plays later BEA was faced with a fourth down and needed two yards for a first down.
They got all of that and more when Storbeck found Nagel behind the Eagle’s defense. Nagel caught the ball at the eight-yard line and scampered into the end zone. The extra point kick was no good but BEA was on top 6-0 with 2:08 to go in the first quarter.
The Bucs had to punt on their next possession but got the ball back on their own 18-yard line with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter.
The offense put together a 10-play, 82-yard drive which resulted in another BEA touchdown.
A mixture of runs and passes enabled the Bucs to advance to the Maple River 41-yard line. A 25-yard pass completion to Nagel followed by a 14-yard pass reception by Cameron Anderson had the Bucs knocking at the Eagles door on the two-yard line.
Nagel covered the final two yards on the ground for the touchdown. Storbeck completed a pass to Sanders for a two-point conversion. BEA now led 14-0 with 4:55 to go until halftime.
The Bucs final score of the first half came on a five-play, 67-yard drive which began with less than a minute to go in the first half.
Nagel started the drive with an 11-yard run. Next, Storbeck hooked up with Sanders for a 19-yard pass completion. A pass to Anderson went for six yards and Storbeck ran for seven yards to the Maple River 24-yard line.
BEA scored the touchdown when Anderson fought off two defenders at the goal line to haul in a pass from Storbeck. Nagel ran the ball in for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 Buccaneer lead at the half.
“We did a good job of overcoming our early mistakes,” head coach Randy Kuechenmeister said. “That was big for us to get another score before halftime.”
The Bucs added another touchdown in the third quarter on a five-play, 51 yard drive. The key plays in the scoring sequence were a 27-yard pass reception by Sanders and a 24-yard touchdown run by Nagel. Kean Hicks kicked the extra point to give BEA a 29-0 lead.
The Bucs dominated in the statistics. BEA had 20 first downs while Maple River had 10. BEA had 328 yards of total offense compared to just 131 yards for the Eagles.
The teams were pretty even in total yards on the ground. BEA picked up 98 yards rushing. Maple River had 96.
The passing game is where the Bucs fared much better than their opponent. BEA had 230 yards in the air while limiting the Eagles to 35 yards.
Storbeck finished the night completing 13 of 20 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Anderson had five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown, Sanders caught four passes for 92 yards and Nagel had four receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Nagel also rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Leading tackler was Zack Murphy with nine while Nagel had six.