Bucs stay perfect, cage Panthers

BREAKING AWAY — Blue Earth Area running back Koby Nagel (7) sprints by New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva defender Blake Ihrke (14) en route to one of his five touchdowns during Friday night’s high school football game in New Richland. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Mertens/Faribault County Register)

NEW RICHLAND — Koby Nagel was a touchdown-scoring machine.

Nagel scored four rushing and added one receiving TD in the first half of Blue Earth Area’s 57-6 thrashing of the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers in non-district football action Friday night in New Richland.

Nagel accounted for 35 of the Bucs’ 50 first-half points against the Panthers.

“Koby is a good football player,” said Bucs head coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “He makes a lot of things happen in our wildcat formation and there’s a reason we do it. He’s just a good football player.”

BEA got the scoring started on the first drive of the game with a five-play, 50-yard touchdown drive. Caelan Sanders capped the scoring sequence when he took a direct snap in the wildcat formation and kept the ball, running off the right guard for a 19-yard touchdown.

After a quick three-and-out from the Panthers’ offense and a fair catch interference penalty on the ensuing punt, Nagel and quarterback Gavin Storbeck got to work.

The two combined for every yard of a four-play, 40-yard TD drive. Storbeck got it started with a 16-yard comebacker to Sanders, then Nagel and Storbeck combined for 29 yards on the ground. Nagel used a 7-yard wildcat formation run to score his first TD of the matchup with 7:48 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers answered with their lone TD of the matchup with 4:43 left in the opening segment.

Quarterback Blake Ihrke hit tight end Mason Ferber on a screen for eight yards, then running back Kordell Schlaak broke through the line of scrimmage for a 40-yard scoring run. The snap was fumbled on the extra point attempt, leaving BEA ahead 14-6.

Nagel and Storbeck combined for 51 yards on the ground, while Storbeck hit Sanders for a 29-yard pass, which included an incredible toe-tapping finish along the BEA sideline, to total an 80-yard, seven-play scoring drive.

Nagel once again took the final snap in wildcat formation and rushed 10 yards for the score.

BEA went for the 2-point conversion, with Sanders taking a direct snap and running a sweep option right with Nagel as the pitch option. Sanders kept the ball and scored for the two points, putting BEA ahead 22-6 with 1:48 remaining in the first quarter.

Nagel scored another rushing TD in the same fashion to cap off a seven-play, 65-yard drive to open the second quarter, then caught a touchdown with 4:33 left.

From the Panthers’ 32, Storbeck threw to Nagel down the right sideline. The ball was tipped by a defender, but Nagel was able to make the catch then juke the final defender between him and the end zone for a touchdown.

Nagel would score once again with 1:03 remaining in the opening half, this time rushing for seven yards out of the wildcat, to end a five-play, 32-yard drive and put BEA ahead 43-6.

BEA’s final first-half score came when Austin Thielfoldt made a one-handed snag on a running back screen then beat multiple defenders down the sideline for a 30-yard score.

Other than the one 2-point conversion, Kean Hicks hit the extra-point attempt on every BEA first-half touchdown.

Kuechenmeister said his team’s dominance came largely from winning in the trenches.

“I thought we executed well and I thought we were able to control the line of scrimmage,” Kuechenmeister said. “We were able to run the ball, but also pass in certain situations. We’ve got some kids who have some speed and we were able to use that to our advantage.”

The BEA starters did not play after halftime.

The lone score from either team in the second half came on a BEA seven-play 70-yard drive entirely on the ground.

Jaxen Klinkner, Riley Anderson, Cole Warmka and Adam Schavey teamed up for the ground yardage, with Schavey scoring the TD on a 3-yard run. Senior Keagnan Ihle came in to make the extra point.

Storbeck led the BEA offense with 186 yards passing and two TDs on 11 completions in 13 attempts.

Nagel was the key to BEA’s ground game with 18 carries, totaling 121 yards and four touchdowns, while catching two passed for 47 yards and a touchdown. Nagel also added an interception on defense.

Sanders led the team in receiving with four catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns, while Thielfoldt had one catch for a 30-yard touchdown.

Blue Earth Area (2-0) will look to continue its strong start to the season at 7 p.m. next Friday night when it hosts St. Peter at Wilson Field in Blue Earth, while New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (0-2) will try to right the ship hosting St. James Area.

B.E. Area 22 28 7 0–57

NRHEG 6 0 0 0– 6

Scoring Plays

1st Quarter

BEA–Caelan Sanders 19 run (Kean Hicks kick), 9:51

BEA–Koby Nagel 7 run (Hicks kick), 7:48

NRHEG–Kordell Schlaak 40 run (kick failed), 4:43

BEA–Nagel 10 run (Caelan Sanders run good), 1:48

2nd Quarter

BEA–Nagel 6 run (Hicks kick), 8:04

BEA–Nagel 32 pass from Gavin Storbeck (Hicks kick), 4:33

BEA–Nagel 7 run (Hicks kick), 1:03

BEA–Austin Thielfoldt 30 pass from Storbeck (Hicks kick), 0:07

3rd Quarter

BEA–Adam Schavey 3 run (Keagan Ihle kick), 1:48

4th Quarter

No scoring


First downs: BEA 22; NRHEG 7. Rushing: BEA 42-299; NRHEG 33-13. Passing: BEA 11-14 186. NRHEG 6-27-1-92. Fumbles-lost: BEA 2-2; NRHEG 1-1. Penalties: BEA 5-60 NRHEG 6-56.


Offense: Rushing: Nagel (BEA) 18-121. Passing: Storbeck 11-13-0-186, Blake Ihrke (NRHEG) 6-27-1-92. Receiving: Caelan Sanders (BEA) 4-77.

Defense: Interception: Koby Nagel (BEA). Fumble recovery: Branden Howieson (NRHEG), Davis Sunken (BEA), Wyatt Groskreutz (NRHEG).

Redwood Valley 26, Martin County West 13 — The Class 2A No. 4-ranked Cardinals passed over the Mavericks’ defense during football action Friday night in Redwood Falls.

Redwood Valley scored a 21-yard touchdown on a first-quarter pass, but MCW blocked the extra point kick. The Cardinals then scored on a blocked punt returned 29 yards with 5:22 left in the first half and ran for the 2-point conversion.

MCW answered when Wyatt Geistfeld threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Derek Dunlop with 1:36 left in the opening segment, but Alec Weir’s extra-point kick was blocked sending Redwood Valley into halftime with a 14-6 lead.

The Cardinals scored the lone third-quarter touchdown on a seven-yard run, then hit on a 61-yard pass with 4:23 left in the matchup, failing the 2-point conversion both times.

Geistfeld threw a 5-yard touchdown to Payton Anderson with 36 seconds remaining and Weir hit the PAT to put up the final score of 26-13.

Geistfeld connected on 6 of 14 passes for 41 yards and two TDs.

Anderson led the Mavericks’ ground game with 73 yards on 13 totes, while Jaxson Rohman carried the ball 22 times for 49 yards. Anderson also caught three passes for 27 yards and a TD, while Dunlop caught one pass for the 23-yard TD.

Joe Forsberg and Miles Fitzgerald led the MCW defense with seven tackles each, while Fitzgerald also recovered a fumble.

MCW (1-1) plays host to Class 3A No. 4-ranked Jackson County Central at 7 p.m. next Friday in Sherburn.

Hills-Beaver Creek 58, Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 20 — The Class 9-Man No. 10-ranked Patriots posted a 38-point triumph over the Jaguars during prep action Friday night in Hills.

No individual or team statistics were available for either football program.

Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman (0-2) plays host to Madelia at 7 p.m. next Friday night in Truman.

St. Edmond 18, North Union 14 — The Gaels squeezed by the Warriors by four points during non-district Iowa prep gridiron action Friday night in Fort Dodge.

No individual or team statistics were available for either football program.

North Union (1-1) plays host to Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn at 7 p.m. next Friday night in Armstrong.