Buccaneers pummel Panthers 57-6
It was a dominating win for the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers football team last Friday, Sept. 6. The Bucs traveled to New Richland to take on the defending Section 2AA champion New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers and came home with a 57-6 victory.
The BEA starters played the first half and one defensive series in the second half before letting the reserves take over.
“Our execution was real good tonight,” head coach Randy Kuechenmeister said. “It was a good win for the team.”
BEA received the opening kickoff and started at the 50-yard line following a 35 yard return by Caelan Sanders. The Bucs needed five plays and just over two minutes to find the end zone. Sanders covered the final 18 yards on the ground and Kean Hicks kicked the point after to give BEA a 7-0 lead.
After stopping the Panthers and forcing them to punt, Sanders was interfered with on his fair-catch attempt. The penalty resulted in the Bucs getting the ball on the NRHEG 40-yard line.
Quarterback Gavin Storbeck connected with Sanders for a 17-yard pass completion to move the ball to the 23-yard line. Koby Nagel gained seven yards on a run before Storbeck kept the ball for a 14-yard gain to put the ball on the two-yard line. The Bucs were penalized for a false start which backed them up five yards to the seven-yard line. Nagel ran the ball in from there and Hicks’ kick sailed through the uprights to give BEA a 14-0 lead with 8:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bucs stopped the Panthers offense again and started their next drive on their own 42-yard line.
A holding penalty against the Bucs enabled the Panthers to force the Maroon and Gold to punt. The Bucs mishandled the snap and were unable to get the punt off. The result of the fumble gave NRHEG the ball on the 48-yard line of the Bucs.
The Panthers completed a pass good for eight yards before running back Kordell Schlaak took the handoff from quarterback Blake Ihrke and scampered 40 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good and BEA’s lead stood at 14-6 with 4:43 remaining in the opening quarter.
The ensuing kickoff went into the end zone so the Bucs began their next drive on their own 20 yard line. BEA started the drive with three consecutive running plays. Nagel had runs of five and nine yards sandwiched around a 15-yard gain by Storbeck.
Next, the Bucs went to the air and Sanders made a nice one-handed grab of Storbeck’s pass along the Buccaneer sideline for a 29-yard gain. This put the ball 22 yards away from the end zone.
Nagel ran the ball three straight times. His final rush of 11 yards gave the Bucs another touchdown. Sanders carried the ball in for a two-point conversion and a 22-6 lead.
BEA had increased their lead to 43-6 when Nagel intercepted an Ihrke pass and returned it to the NRHEG 45-yard line with 48 seconds remaining until halftime.
A nine-yard run by Nagel and a 16-yard pass to Cameron Anderson advanced the Bucs to the 30-yard line.
Following an incomplete pass, Storbeck connected with Austin Thielfoldt in the right flat. Blocks by BEA’s linemen and receivers created a path for the junior running back and he sprinted to the end zone for a touchdown with seven seconds left until the half. The kick by Hicks was good and the Bucs held a 50-6 halftime advantage.
The final score of the evening came in the third quarter when back-up quarterback Adam Schavey carried the ball in from two yards for the touchdown. Keegan Ihle’s extra-point kick was good to give BEA a 57-6 lead.
“I felt we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Kuechenmeister commented.
Indeed, the Buccaneer offense amassed 480 yards of total offense to 145 yards for the Panthers. The Bucs outgained their opponents 293 to 47 on the ground and 187 to 98 in the air. BEA had 30 first downs while NRHEG had eight.
Storbeck connected on 11 of 13 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He had four pass completions greater than 20 yards, the longest being 32 yards. He also ran the ball three times for 39 yards.
Nagel was the leading rusher with 119 yards on 18 carries. He also scored four touchdowns. Cole Warmka rushed for 66 yards on five attempts, Riley Anderson had 38 yards on three attempts and Sanders rushed two times for 30 yards and one touchdown.
Sanders had four catches for 77 yards. Nagel caught four balls for 61 yards and one touchdown and Thielfoldt had one reception for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Reserve Waylen Douglas had seven tackles, Nagel had six tackles and an interception. Schavey, Luke Schonborn and Jack Frundt each had five tackles.
Nick Frank had four tackles and one and a half quarterback sacks. Davis Sunken had a fumble recovery.
The Buccaneers had their first home game on Friday, Sept. 13, when they played host to the Class AAAA St. Peter Saints. Results of that game will be in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.