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No. 8-ranked Bucs collar Bulldogs in 2AA semifinal clash

SWARMING DEFENSE — Blue Earth Area defenders Cameron Anderson (left), Luke Mertens (52) and Adam Schavey (right) swarm under Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton quarterback Kobe Weimert (11) for a loss of yards during Section 2AA semifinal football action Saturday night at Wilson Field in Blue Earth. (Photo by Greg Abel)

BLUE EARTH — After a one-year hiatus, Blue Earth Area is headed back to the sectional football championship.

In 2017, the Bucs beat Maple River 11-10 to go to the Class AA state quarterfinals. This year, the Section 2AA No. 1-seeded Bucs (8-2) will play the No. 6-seeded Medford Tigers (5-5) in Janesville at 7 p.m. Friday night for a state bid.

No. 8-ranked BEA beat the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Bulldogs 50-22 in the section semifinals Saturday night at Wilson Field in Blue Earth.

Medford upset No. 2-seeded Maple River 37-27 Saturday to reach the sectional finals.

“We’ve just got to play and execute,” said BEA head coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “We’re just gonna look at it and try to put ourselves in the best position to win. Then you hope it works out for you. … We’re just happy to be there.”

BEA’s offense couldn’t be stopped in the first half, scoring on all six of its drives before the break.

Koby Nagel and Max Ehrich combined to run over the Bulldogs’ defense on the Bucs’ opening drive. Each had three carries and the pair combined for 69 yards. Nagel capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run from the wildcat formation. Nagel then ran in the 2-point conversion to go ahead 8-0 at the 4:58 mark of the first quarter.

Gavin Storbeck got the passing game going on the Bucs’ next drive.

Storbeck hit Cameron Anderson on a stop route for 10 yards, then Caelan Sanders made a double-move on the visitors sideline, getting by his defender, and Storbeck hit him in stride for a 49-yard TD with 3:00 remaining in the opening quarter. Storbeck connected with Anderson for the 2-point conversion to go ahead 16-0.

Anderson scored BEA’s next touchdown when he took a jet sweep to the home sideline and had a clear way to the end zone because of Ehrich’s perfect downfield block. Ehrich carried in the 2-point conversion to create a 24-0 lead with 11:51 left in the second quarter.

Anderson scored again with 9:18 left in the first half when Storbeck found him on a deep post route over the middle of the field.

Anderson broke through the initial contact during the catch, then juked a defender to score on a 55-yard catch and run. Kean Hicks hit his first extra point kick to put BEA ahead 31-0.

Kuechenmeister said the Bucs controlled the trenches.

“It was a good win, I think we were able to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball,” Kuechenmeister said. “Defensively, we were able to limit what they did. When you get that and things work in your favor, it was just a good game for us.”

JWP wouldn’t be shut out as quarterback Kobe Weimert found Jacob Crouch wide open on a seam route for a 24-yard score to cap a 9-play, 66-yard drive.

But BEA reached paydirt two more times before the break when Austin Thielfoldt took in a 5-yard score and Storbeck found Sanders with a back-shoulder pass on a corner route for a 15-yard TD.

Sanders got his scoring drive started with a leaping interception at BEA’s 39.

The Bucs went into halftime leading 44-6.

Storbeck completed a perfect nine passes in nine attempts for 190 yards and three TDs. Nagel carried five times for 87 yards and a TD, while Ehrich had seven totes for 88 yards.

BEA ran 14 times for 214 yards in the opening half.

Anderson had five catches for 109 yards and a score, while Sanders caught three passes for 70 yards and two TDs.

BEA pulled its starters in the second half with a running clock, but the Bucs scored again coming out of halftime when Riley Anderson ran the ball in from the 5.

JWP scored with 1:23 left in the third quarter when Jagger Ignaszewski carried the ball into the end zone from the 1. The Bulldogs scored again when Weimert hit Jack Morsching down the visitor sideline for a 47-yard score.

Weimert completed the 2-point conversion pass to Cody Cowdin as the running clock expired.

JWP 0 6 8 8 — 22

BEA 16 28 6 0 — 50

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs: JWP 10; BEA 14. Rushing: JWP 31-87; BEA 26-249. Passing: JWP 11-18-1-149; BEA 10-10-0-210. Fumbles-lost: JWP 0-0; BEA 1-0. Penalties: JWP 2-20; BEA 6-45.

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Passing: Gavin Storbeck (BEA) 9-9-0-190; Kobe Weimert (JWP) 11-18-1-149. Rushing: Koby Nagel (BEA) 5-87, Max Ehrich (BEA) 7-88; Jagger Ignaszewski (JWP) 18-58. Receiving: Cameron Anderson (BEA) 5-109, Caelan Sanders (BEA) 3-70; Jack Morsching (JWP) 7-79.

Defense: Interception: Sanders (BEA).

Section 3, 9-Man

Hills-Beaver Creek 42, Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 6 — Junior running back Tyson Bork rushed 24 times for game-leading totals of 253 yards and four touchdowns to power the Class 9-Man No. 9-ranked and top-seeded Patriots to a 36-point Section 3 semifinal victory over the No. 6-seeded Jaguars on Saturday in Hills.

Hills-Beaver Creek (9-1) advances to face No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Mountain Lake Area (10-0) at 11:30 a.m. Friday for the sectional championship at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Bryant Berhow scored on a 1-yard run with 1:52 remaining in regulation to account for the only points scored by the Jaguars, who closed out the season with a 3-7 overall record.

Bork crossed the goal line on a 12-yard run before receiver Jax Wysong and quarterback Gavin Wysong connected on back-to-back completions to widen the Patriots’ first-quarter lead to 14-0. Jax Wysong first caught a 9-yard TD toss fom Gavin Wysong before the two teammates duplicated the feat for the 2-point conversion.

Gavin Wysong, who delivered 88 yards on 10 carries, scored on an 18-yard run and added the 2-point conversion run before firing a 40-yard scoring strike to Chase Bosch as the first half expired.

Bork then closed out HBC’s second-half offensive surge with TD runs of 10, 67 and 10 yards, respectively.

Quarterback Owen Wolter completed 6 of 19 passes for 86 yards for the Jaguars, while running back Carter Spear topped the ground game with 73 yards on 15 totes.

Spear also caught two passes for 36 yards, Adam Heckman garnered two receptions for 28 yards, while Cael Jaskulke and Matt Heckman pocketed one catch each for 15 and seven yards, respectively.

Berhow recorded nine tackles to top the Jaguars’ defensive charts, Spear had seven stops, while Wolter collected two interceptions.

GHECT 0 0 0 6 — 6

HBC 14 14 8 6 — 42

Scoring Plays

1st Quarter

HBC–Tyson Bork 12 run (pass failed), 9:17.

HBC–Jax Wysong 9 pass from Gavin Wysong (Jax Wysong pass from Gavin Wysong), 4:27.

2nd Quarter

HBC–G. Wysong 18 run (G. Wysong run), 9:32.

HBC–Chase Bosch 40 pass from G. Wysong (pass failed), 0:00.

3rd Quarter

HBC–Bork 10 run (J. Wysong pass from G. Wysong), 4:39.

HBC–Bork 67 run (kick failed), 0:49.

4th Quarter

HBC–Bork 10 run (kick failed), 9:14.

GHECT–Bryant Berhow 1 run (run failed), 1:52.

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