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Bucs fall to 0-2; lose the home opener 27-26

September 17, 2017
Robert Brewer - Register Staff Writer , Faribault County Register

The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers dropped their home opener in heartbreaking fashion to the Redwood Valley Cardinals, 27-26. The Sept. 8 loss puts the Bucs at 0-2 to start the season.

In the second quarter, Redwood Valley jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Despite digging themselves an early deficit, BEA battled back to tie the game at halftime. Blue Earth Area head coach Randy Kuechenmeister was particularly happy with how his team competed to close out the first half.

"It took a while to get going, but our overall execution was much better," Kuechenmeister said. "We ran the ball better, blocked better on the perimeter, and our kids put themselves in a good position to win."

Article Photos

An incredible sequence caught on camera, upper photos, as BEA’s Joe Schavey makes contact with a Redwood Valley ball carrier and pops the football loose. The savvy Bucs defense forced five Cardinal turnovers in the game.

The second half was more of a seesaw affair. BEA answered two Redwood Valley touchdown drives with two of their own. Blue Earth Area's first scoring drive of the second half was capped off by quarterback Blake Barnett's 33-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.

It was Barnett's second rushing touchdown of the game. Afterwards, coach Kuechenmeister was pleased with the overall progress of his first-year signal caller.

"I thought Blake (Barnett) played really well. He ran the ball well, made some big plays for us, and had a good game," Kuechenmeister said. "But he is just one part of the equation. Everybody has got to do their job and work to get better."

In the fourth quarter, Barnett found an open Jacob Vaske for a 15-yard touchdown pass. However, a failed two-point conversion left Blue Earth Area trailing 27-26 on the scoreboard.

Later in the final period, BEA had an opportunity to win the game after securing a Redwood Valley turnover. Starting their final drive from their own 46-yard line, the Buccaneers marched down to the Cardinals' 17-yard line.

However, the Bucs came up empty on the eight-play drive as Caelan Sanders was unable to covert on a 34-yard field goal attempt.

Despite the loss, the Bucs produced 316 total yards of offense compared to 300 yards of offense for the Cardinals. Blue Earth Area also managed to gain more first downs (21) than Redwood Valley (19). The Bucs were also more disciplined throughout the ballgame with seven fewer penalties than the Cardinals.

Defensively, coach Kuechenmeister was pleased with the Bucs effort in the trenches. Blue Earth Area's ability to control gaps and shed off blockers was much improved since last week's performance in Fairmont.

Individuals such as Rylee McGuire showcased a nose for the ball as he ended the game with a team high 12 tackles. Meanwhile, future Minnesota Golden Gopher Trevor Oppedal made his presence felt with five tackles and a sack for the Bucs.

BEA's next game took place on Friday, Sept. 15 at Jackson County Central. Results from this game will be available in the next edition of the Faribault County Register.



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