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Lloyd leads Blue Earth Area into Section 2AA rematch v. Maple River

SACKED QB — Blue Earth Area defensive end Ashton Lloyd (8) sacks Maple River quarterback Landon Fox (10) during a regular-season football game in Mapleton on Oct. 8 as Bucs defensive lineman Levi Osborn (56) and linebacker Nick Nelson (32) look to assist on the tackle. Lloyd and the Bucs play host to Maple River today in a 2 p.m. Section 2AA semifinal clash at Wilson Field. (Photo by Greg Abel)

BLUE EARTH — Blue Earth Area quarterback Ashton Lloyd has made the most of his final year of high school football.

Lloyd helped steer the Bucs to the No. 2 seed in Section 2AA after finishing 6-2 in the regular season.

“We can’t look past any team on our schedule,” Lloyd said. “We’re preparing every day for our next opponent.”

Up first for the quarterback/defensive end and the Bucs was sectional playoff first-round foe Le Sueur-Henderson. The Bucs earned a home game for this tilt and beat the Giants, 62-35.

In eight regular-season games, Lloyd was 95-for-160 passing for 1,441 yards with 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He has also ran 80 times for 532 yards this season.

Lloyd has accumulated nearly 2,000 yards (1,973 total yards to be exact) and has been an integral part of the offense, which averages about 42 points per game.

In the Bucs’ first-round sectional win over Le Sueur-Henderson on Tuesday, Lloyd eclipsed the 2,000-yard barrier by throwing for 88 yards and three touchdowns, plus rushing for 28 yards, giving him 2,089 yards in nine games.

Next in the section playoffs is a home semifinal game today at 2 p.m. against the No. 3 seed Maple River Eagles at Wilson Field in Blue Earth. The Bucs edged the Eagles 24-21 on Oct. 8 on the last play of the game.

The section championship game is slated for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Football Stadium in Janesville.

Lloyd is a big presence in the pocket, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 240 pounds. He uses those assets to his advantage. He is tall enough where he can look over his linemen when surveying the field for a teammate to throw to or be hard to tackle if he has to run.

Lloyd has chiseled his frame through hours in the weight room. He bench-presses 270 pounds and squats more than 400 pounds. His 40-yard dash is 4.8 seconds.

“He’s a good kid,” said Blue Earth Area head football coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “He understands the game. He sees things on the field that others don’t. He has the ‘It’ factor. Ashton gets the game.

“He is a team player and wants to help the team win. For a big kid, he is very athletic and has a lot of agility.”

Lloyd wants to further his football at the next level. Colleges that have shown interest in Lloyd are Army at West Point, Montana State, University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University.

“I’ve played football since the third grade,” Lloyd said. “I like the physicality of football.”

“I just want Ashton to go a college where he feels comfortable,” Kuechenmeister said.

Lloyd is a three-sport star at Blue Earth Area, averaging 28 points and 8 rebounds per game in basketball and is a 2-handicap in golf.

“I can be physical in basketball, but not like on the football field,” Lloyd said. “I don’t want to get into foul trouble.”

On the golf course, Lloyd employs the full game. He crushes the ball off the tee, but has a solid short game to complement it.

Last spring as a junior, Lloyd made the Class AA individual state tournament, finishing tied for 52nd with a two-day total of 165.

Lloyd shot an 86 on Day 1, but came back to post a 79 on Day 2 to close out the state meet.

“I like crushing my drives, but I know I have to have a solid short game to shoot low scores,” Lloyd said.

As a student, Lloyd carries a 3.9 grade point average.

Lloyd is a true student-athlete, maintaining a classroom excellence, as well as one on the playing field. His favorite class is mathematics.

“I like numbers, so math is my favorite subject,” he said. “I would like to major in business at whatever college I decide to attend.”

When his college days are over, Lloyd said his ultimate dream is to play in the National Football League.

“Playing pro football is my ultimate goal,” Lloyd said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid.”

When he has free time, Lloyd likes to spend time with his friends and that includes supporting his fellow classmates in other sports such as volleyball.

“We’ve gone to New Ulm and St. Peter to watch a couple of volleyball matches,” he said. “It’s great to show support. I know they appreciate it.”

Growing up, Lloyd played backyard football with his older brothers Carter and Caleb.

Lloyd’s parents are Jason Lloyd and Amy Benn.

Both Jason and Amy were good high school athletes, with his father excelling on the football field and the golf course, and mom on the basketball court.

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