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Bucs dominate in 41-10 victory

Team rushes for total of 451 yards to improve their record to 2-0

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Oct 25, 2020

Max Ehrich, who is carrying the ball, takes advantage of his blockers to rush for a big gain. At left, running back Austin Thielfoldt (No. 5) seals one side of the line. Pulling guard Nick Frank (No. 55) leads Ehrich through the hole while tackle Luke Mertens (No. 52) seals the other side of the line. Ehrich rushed for over 300 yards during the Buccaneers 41-10 victory over the Luverne Cardinals. The defense did its part also as they held the Cardinals to only five first downs.

The Class AA No. 4- ranked Blue Earth Area Buccaneers’ football team used a punishing ground attack to post a convincing 41-10 victory over the Class AAA No. 8-ranked Luverne Cardinals at Wilson Field in Blue Earth on Friday, Oct. 16.

Statistics do not always tell the story but the numbers from this game certainly help paint a pretty good picture of why BEA dominated the game.

The Bucs rushed for a total of 451 yards while picking up 27 first downs. Meanwhile, BEA limited the Cardinals to 137 yards of total offense and only five first downs.

Senior BEA running back Max Ehrich carried the ball 34 times for 308 yards which is a new school record for yards gained by an individual in a game. He averaged over nine yards per carry and he did it while playing less than three full quarters.

“The way they were playing us we had to run the ball,” Bucs head coach Randy Kuechenmeister said. “The guys up front made it happen.”

The guys in the trenches do not always get a lot of glory but the Bucs starting interior line of center Luke Norman, guards Nick Frank and Kean Hicks, tackles Vern Johnson and Luke Mertens, tight ends Anders Fering and Ashton Lloyd, along with lead blocker Austin Thielfoldt, consistently created running lanes for the BEA rushers.

The Bucs started the game with excellent field position. Luverne kicked off and Ehrich fielded the short squib kick on his own 35-yard and almost broke free for a touchdown but was tackled at the Luverne 40-yard line.

Ehrich carried the ball five times and advanced the ball to the 10-yard line. Quarterback Gavin Storbeck then hit Cameron Anderson for a 10-yard touchdown pass. A successful point after touchdown (PAT) kick by Hicks was good and the Bucs led 7-0 with 9:27 left in the first quarter.

Luverne’s ensuing drive stalled at the Buccaneer 39 yard line. The Cardinals punted and BEA took over on their own seven-yard line and marched the ball all the way down to the Luverne 12-yard line before an interception turned the ball back to the Cardinals.

Three incomplete passes led to another Luverne punt. The Bucs took over on their own 19-yard line. Two runs by Ehrich moved the ball 18 yards to the BEA 37-yard line.

A 23-yard scamper by Storbeck advanced the Bucs into Cardinal territory at the 40-yard line. Runs by Ehrich, Storbeck and Cameron Anderson put the Bucs on the seven-yard line. Ehrich took the ball in from there and following the extra-point kick by Hicks, the score was now 14-0 in favor of BEA.

The teams then traded interceptions. An interception by Anderson stopped the next Cardinals’ drive and gave the Maroon and Gold the ball at the BEA 45-yard line.

Two plays later Luverne scored their only touchdown of the game when LaShad Smith intercepted the ball for the Cardinals and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. Following a successful extra point kick, the Bucs lead was cut to 14-7.

BEA started their next drive on their own 20-yard line and it took them five plays to go 80 yards, all on the ground, for another touchdown. Ehrich, who rushed for 72 yards on the drive, covered the final 40 yards to reach the end zone. Hicks kicked the extra point and the Bucs held a 21-7 lead at the end of the first half.

Ehrich would add two more rushing touchdowns in the second half before heading to the bench with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter.

Senior Riley Anderson relieved Ehrich and added another rushing touchdown for BEA in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile Luverne was unable to generate very much offense until they faced BEA’s reserves. Even then the Bucs kept the Cardinals out of the end zone and the visitors had to settle for a 38-yard field goal.

In addition to Ehrich’s 308 yards of rushing, Storbeck carried the ball four times for 23 yards, Riley Anderson rushed eight times for 49 yards and Waylen Douglas rushed the ball three times for 31 yards.

Storbeck completed two passes. Cameron Anderson caught one for 10 yards and a touchdown while Thielfoldt had one catch for nine yards.

Adam Schavey led the defense with 10 tackles and Cam Anderson, Kean Hicks and Nick Frank each had three tackles. In addition to Cam Anderson’s interception the Bucs also recovered two fumbles, one by Austin Thielfoldt and the other by Logan O’Hara.

BEA, which moved up to the No. 3-ranking for Class AA after defeating Luverne, traveled to Redwood Falls on Saturday, Oct. 24, to take on the No. 8-ranked Redwood Valley Cardinals in an afternoon game.

Results of that contest will be in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.