Bucs take care of business
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers defense held the Class AA, No. 6-ranked Redwood Valley Cardinals to just 100 yards of total offense and their scoring to six points to secure an 18-6 victory in the final football game of the regular season.
The game, played in Redwood Falls, saw the Cardinals score first before the Bucs responded with 18 unanswered points to claim the win. Both teams finished the regular season with 6-2 records. BEA’s smothering defense held the Redwood Valley offense to 2.5 yards per play. The Bucs were especially dominating against the run and held the Cardinals to .6 yards per rush.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneer offense was moving down the field at an average of 5.6 yards per play and burning the play clock at the same time. The margin of victory might have been more but BEA turned the ball over twice inside the Redwood Valley 20-yard line.
The Cardinals scored the only points of the first quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 3:53 showing on the clock. The extra point failed giving Redwood Valley a 6-0 lead.
BEA would tie the game in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge up the middle by senior Koby Nagel with 4:45 remaining until halftime. The Bucs also failed their extra point attempt so the game was tied 6-6.
After kicking off, the Buc defense held the Cardinals to a three-and-out to force a fourth down punt. The BEA offense took over with good field position and methodically drove towards the end zone while running down the clock. Nagel eventually crossed the end zone plane on a six-yard scamper to put the Bucs up 12-6 with 21 seconds left until halftime. The PAT once again was no good.
The Bucs added their final touchdown on their second drive of the second half. The score came when BEA wide receiver Caelan Sanders got behind the Redwood Valley defense to haul in a Gavin Storbeck pass for a 30-yard touchdown with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter. Once again the Bucs failed to convert the extra point so BEA now led 18-6.
The Cardinals mounted one more threat when they moved inside the Bucs’ 30-yard line but the Maroon and Gold defense stiffened and took over on downs.
BEA ran 55 plays compared to 40 for Redwood Valley. The Bucs held on to the ball for 31:42, which was almost double the Cardinals’ time of 16:18.
The Buccaneer offense produced 17 first downs while the defense held Redwood Valley to seven first downs. The Cardinals were 2-for-11 on their third down attempts.
Nagel finished the evening with 107 yards rushing on 26 attempts. Max Ehrich returned to action and ran the ball twice for 27 yards.
Storbeck completed 21 of 25 pass attempts for 172 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions.
Five different receivers gathered in Storbeck’s passes. Cameron Anderson caught eight passes for 68 yards, Sanders hauled in six passes for another 68 yards and a touchdown and Koby Nagel gained 23 yards on five receptions.
The Bucs now start post season play with hosting Norwood Young America in Blue Earth on this Tuesday evening.