Offense dominates in semifinal win
The Class AA No. 8-ranked Blue Earth Area Buccaneers advanced to the Section 2AA championship with a 50-22 victory over the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Bulldogs on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The No. 1-seeded Bucs controlled the line of scrimmage and scored on all six of their drives in the first half, while totaling over 400 yards of total offense.
“It was a good team effort tonight,” coach Randy Kuechenmeister said. “The guys played well. We are just happy to be playing next week.”
JWP received the opening kickoff and advanced the ball from their own 42-yard line down to BEA’s 31-yard line before their drive stalled and the Bucs took over on downs.
Runs of 19 and 16 yards by Koby Nagel moved the ball into Bulldogs’ territory at the 34-yard line.
Three consecutive runs by Max Ehrich had the Bucs seven yards from a touchdown. Nagel took over and powered his way over the goal line for a touchdown and then scored the two-point conversion to put BEA in the lead 8-0 with 4:58 to go in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs ran only three plays on their next drive before punting the ball. The Bucs began their next drive on their own 41-yard line. Following a 12-yard completion to Cameron Anderson, quarterback Gavin Storbeck hit Caelan Sanders in stride along the JWP sideline for a 47-yard touchdown strike. A pass completion to Anderson gave the Bucs a two-point conversion and a 16-0 lead with three minutes left in the opening quarter.
Once again the BEA defense forced a three-and-out and the Maroon and Gold took over on their own 34-yard line. It only took three plays for the Bucs to score another touchdown. A 26-yard scamper by Ehrich and a six yard completion to Sanders put BEA on the JWP 34-yard line as the first quarter came to a close.
Anderson covered the final 34 yards on a jet sweep on the first play of the second quarter for the third Bucs’ TD of the evening. Ehrich ran the ball for a successful two-point conversion and a 24-0 BEA lead with 11:51 to go until halftime.
BEA would score three more times in the second quarter. Their next score came on a two-play, 61-yard drive with Anderson covering the final 55 yards on a pass from Storbeck. Kean Hicks kicked the extra point to put the Bucs on top 31-0 with the clock showing 9:18 to go until halftime.
BEA had JWP stopped on their next drive but a roughing the passer penalty against the Bucs gave the Bulldogs a first down which led to an eventual 24-yard touchdown pass for the Bulldogs with 4:31 remaining in the first half. JWP failed to convert their two-point attempt so the Bucs’ lead was 31-6 with 4:31 to go until the first half ended.
BEA took over following the ensuing kickoff and covered 76 yards, all on running plays, to take a 37-6 lead. The big plays on the drive were runs of 39 yards by Nagel and 23 yards by Ehrich. Austin Thielfoldt covered the final five yards for the TD. The PAT was no good.
BEA got the ball back one more time before half time courtesy of a Sander’s interception at the Bucs’ 39-yard line.
The six-play drive was capped off with Sanders leaping high into the air to pull down a 15-yard Storbeck pass for a touchdown. Hicks extra point kick was good to give the Bucs a 44-6 lead at the intermission.
BEA played its reserves in the second half and the clock was set to running time. Riley Anderson scored on the Bucs’ first possession of the second half and the Bulldogs scored once in the third quarter and once in the fourth quarter.
BEA had 462 yards of total offense for the game and averaged 13.2 yards per play. Storbeck completed all nine of his passes for 191 yards. Ashton Lloyd also had one pass completion for 20 yards.
Cameron Anderson had five receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown. Sanders caught three passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
Ehrich was the leading rusher for the Bucs with 110 yards on nine carries. Nagel ran the ball five times for 87 yards and one touchdown. Cameron Anderson had one carry for 34 yards and a touchdown. Riley Anderson and Austin Thielfoldt both had one rushing touchdown.
Adam Schavey had 11 tackles to lead the team followed by Riley Anderson with eight tackles.
Next, BEA took on Medford in the Section 2AA championship on Friday, Nov. 1, in Janesville. No. 6-seeded Medford had advanced to the section championship by virtue of their 37-27 victory over the No. 2-seeded Maple River Eagles.
The results of the Section 2AA championship game will be in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.