The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers were thunderstruck when the St. Peter Saints left Wilson Field with a 21-20 overtime victory on Oct. 4.
The Saints outlasted a lightning delay and the Class 3A, No. 6-ranked Buccaneers, winning for the first time since a 19-14 victory back in 2008.
The maroon and gold were led by Gus Phillips 118 rushing yards and two touchdowns. David Franta contributed 119 rushing yards of his own, including a touchdown.
The Bucs did not get off to the fast start they had hoped for; the offense fumbled on their first possession of the game. However, they regrouped and quarterback Luke Schavey orchestrated a six-play drive that resulted in a 60-yard touchdown run by Franta on the next drive, giving the Buccaneers an early 7-0 edge.
The Saints answered with their first touchdown on a 59-yard pass to Cody Erickson.
The teams battled rain and slippery conditions in the second quarter and turned the ball over numerous times. The Buccaneers forced three punts, a fumble, an interception and two turnovers on downs, while the Saints forced two punts and a fumble recovery of their own.
"The weather was a factor, but we made mistakes at critical times in the game," head coach Randy Kuechenmeister says.
In the last minute of the first half, the teams traded back-to-back interceptions by Tommy Steidler and Bailey Olson, and the half ended 7-7.
Schavey, who was 7 of 18 for 111 yards and a touchdown, took the Buccaneers five plays down the field to open up the second half.
Phillips took a 28-yard run into the end zone for the go-ahead score, making it 14-7 before the lightning delay came.
After the 30-minute delay, St. Peter had a hard time getting anything going on the offensive side of the ball. The first five drives of the second half resulted in three consecutive punts, an interception and a fumble forced by the Bucs' swarming defense.
But, the Saints scored when it mattered most. St. Peter's Keegan McCabe ran for a 42-yard touchdown on their final drive to tie the game at 14-14. That score forced overtime.
St. Peter scored three plays into the extra session when Steidler found Chris Pettis in the corner of the end zone for the 5-yard touchdown, putting the Saints ahead 21-14.
The maroon and gold answered right back with their own touchdown pass. Schavey targeted Olson for a 10-yard score, making it a 21-20 game.
However, the kick for the point after touchdown was missed, allowing the Saints to leave Wilson Field with a narrow victory.
"It was a tough loss," Kuechenmeister says. "We were right there, but they just made the plays at the end to win."
The BEA Bucs took on the Fairmont Cardinals this past Friday, Oct. 11, a game played after the Faribault County Register deadline. Game analysis and photos will be included in the next Register.
This coming week, on Friday, Oct. 16, the Buccaneers will travel to St. James for a game with the Saints at 7 p.m.