The Blue Earth Area football team could not overcome self inflicted mistakes in their section 3AAA semifinals matchup versus Belle Plaine.
The Tigers defeated the Buccaneers 33-7 last Saturday, Oct. 26, in Belle Plaine.
BEA finished their 2013 season with a mark of 6-4.
"They controlled the game and kept our defense on the field," head coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. "And, when we were able to get the ball, we could not move it."
The No. 1-seeded Tigers created turnovers and controlled the line of scrimmage from the opening kickoff.
Wind and frigid weather contributed to some costly turnovers for the maroon and gold. To avoid the wind at the start of the game, BEA deferred to the second half and chose to start the game going with the breezy conditions.
Belle Plaine struggled on their first drive of the game going three-and-out.
Early penalties stalled the Buccaneers first drive of the game as well.
The offense had a hard time finding open space to operate against the Tigers' disruptive defense. Belle Plaine defenders pushed Buc offensive lineman into the backfield, creating early pressure.
BEA was disciplined to react to the Tigers misdirection plays and made early stops as well.
However, the Buccaneer offense could not form any rhythm or put any points on the board.
Gavin Dauwalter started the scoring off with a 3-yard rushing touchdown for the Tigers. Tiger quarterback Luke Narveson drove the home team 73 yards on 16 plays. The touchdown would be the only score of the quarter making it 6-0 Tigers.
The low scoring contest had big hits and a lot of running plays due to the brisk conditions.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Dauwalter plunged ahead for a 1-yard touchdown two possessions later giving the Tigers a 12-0 lead.
BEA had a tough time gaining any yards in the first half. By halftime, the team had only gained a total of 23 yards from scrimmage. However, tough Buccaneer defensive stands limited the deficit to only 12 points going into half.
The maroon and gold did not start the third quarter the way they wanted to. The quarter saw the Buccaneers punt twice and turn the ball over three times, which led to three Tiger touchdowns.
Belle Plaine's Zach Bahr recovered a Luke Schavey fumble early in the third quarter and returned it 57-yards for the Tiger touchdown making it a 18-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, Christopher Holmbeck took a handoff 29 yards for another Tiger touchdown.
David Franta put the Buccaneers on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run late in the game.
The scoring play was set up by a fumble recovery by Quinn Huisman, giving the Bucs a short field to work with.
"I am very proud of our kids and all they have done this year," Kuechenmeister says. "They worked hard, hung together and kept trying to improve every game."