B.E. Area routs Maple River; Tigers tame Mavericks in grid playoffs
BLUE EARTH — The No. 2-seeded Blue Earth Area Bucs’ football team used a dominating run game to beat the No. 3-seeded Maple River Eagles 38-6 in a Section 2AA semifinal on Saturday at Wilson Field in Blue Earth.
Blue Earth Area (8-2) advances to the sectional championship against No. 1-seeded and undefeated St. Clair/Mankato Loyola at 7 p.m. Friday at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Football Stadium in Janesville. The Spartans (10-0) beat No. 4-seeded Blooming Prairie 42-14 in the other sectional semifinal.
Maple River finished its season at 7-3, losing twice to BEA.
“We found out what worked best for us and kept going to it,” BEA head coach Randy Kuechenmeister said. “They’re (Maple River) a good football team. I never saw this coming.”
Senior Parker Meyers made his final high school home game a memorable one, rushing for a game-high 276 yards with five touchdowns and four two-point conversion runs. He scored all 38 points of the Bucs’ points.
“Parker is good runner,” Kuechenmeister said. “He picked his spots and ran hard.”
Meyers scored on runs of 2, 2, 3, 86 and 9 yards, respectively, to account for each of the Bucs’ five touchdowns.
Meyers’ first 2-yard run and Ashton Lloyd’s blocked extra-point attempt gave the Bucs a 6-0 lead at the 4:57 mark of the first quarter.
The Eagles scored on a trick play as quarterback Landon Fox threw a lateral to Will Sellers, who then threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Cale Hansen at the 2:26 mark of the opening quarter. Fox kicked the extra point wide left, leaving the game tied 6-all in the opening quarter.
Then the Bucs took over, scoring 24 points in the second quarter to grab a 30-6 halftime lead. Meyers scored on two short runs and the 86-yarder, plus ran in the two-point conversion after each touchdown, to give the Bucs their 24-point second quarter.
The Bucs’ defense stiffened late in the second quarter when the Eagles drove to the home team’s 14-yard line.
Three straight incomplete Fox passes gave the Bucs the ball at their 14-yard line with less than two minutes left before halftime.
On the first play of their drive, the Bucs’ Meyers broke through the line and scampered 86 yards to paydirt to give the Bucs a 14-point swing. Instead of allowing the Eagles to put a touchdown on the board and closing the deficit, the Bucs put the score on the board to lengthen their advantage.
Neither team scored in the third quarter.
Meyers’ final touchdown of the game — a 9-yard run with 2:18 remaining and two-point run — put an exclamation mark on the victory.
BEA quarterback Ashton Lloyd had to throw only 12 passes, completing 7 for 91 yards, plus rushed for 41 yards on eight carries. Along with his 274 rushing yards, Meyers caught two passes for 31 yards to give him 305 total yards for the game.
The Eagles’ Fox completed 10 of 25 passes for 85 yards, while Mason Schirmer caught a game-high eight passes for 32 yards.
Defensively for the Bucs, Kade Gaydon had a team-best eight tackles, followed by Noah Johnson with seven. In addition, Lloyd, Johnson, Kaden Osborn and William Allis each had a quarterback sack for the Bucs.
MR 6 0 0 0 — 6
BEA 6 24 0 8 — 38
BEA–Parker Meyers 2 run (PAT blocked), 4:57.
MR–Cale Hansen 36 pass from Will Sellers (PAT no good), 2:26.
BEA–Parker Meyers 2 run (Parker Meyers run), 11:25.
BEA–Parker Meyers 3 run (Parker Meyers run), 5:26.
BEA–Parker Meyers 86 run (Parker Meyers run), 1:36.
BEA–Parker Meyers 9 run (Parker Meyers run), 2:18.
Springfield 21, Martin County West 7 — The No. 2-seeded Tigers scored 21 first-half points and Brayden Sturm picked off a MCW pass with 2:15 remaining in regulation to help Springfield hold off the No. 3-seeded Mavericks, 21-7, during Section 3A semifinal football action Saturday in Springfield.
Springfield (8-2) advances to face No. 1-seeded Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (8-1) for the sectional championship at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. The Panthers gained the next round on the strength of a 14-6 win over No. 4-seeded Murray County Central (7-3).
Martin County West ended its season with a 7-3 record.
Ashtin Johnson, who kicked all three extra points, crossed the goal line on a 1-yard run to trigger the Tigers’ scoring with 5:18 to go in the opening quarter.
Ironically, Johnson reeled off a 22-yard run during the next possession before fumbling only to have teammate MaCoy Krick produce a recover-and-return TD at the 2:33 juncture of the first frame.
Ahead 14-0, Jakob Nachreiner fired a 27-yard scoring strike to Sturm before Johnson nailed the PAT kick with only 1:13 remaining before halftime.
Quarterback Zach Anderson reached the end zone on a 1-yard run and teammate Wyatt Williamson kicked the PAT to account for MCW’s only points at the 7:19 mark of the fourth quarter.
Running back Joseph Forsberg gained 76 yards on 19 carries to top the Mavericks’ offense, Rylan Cutler supplied 31 yards on eight totes, while Anderson added 23 yards and a score on eight carries. Williamson caught two passes for 22 yards.
Max Olson topped MCW’s defensive effort by recording a game-best 12 tackles to complement one fumble recovery, Williamson delivered nine stops and pocketed an interception, while Cutler contributed one interception and six tackles.