FULL SPEED AHEAD — Blue Earth Area running back Parker Meyers (left) cuts as he motors toward Central of Norwood Young America defensive back Jack Strickfaden (3) during prep football action Friday night at Wilson Field in Blue Earth. Buc offensive lineman Will Allis (far right), along with Central’s Grant Erickson (72) and Michael Mackenthun (55), trail the play. (Photo by Greg Abel)
BLUE EARTH — The Blue Earth Area Bucs took Wilson Field on Friday night as the Class 2A, No. 10-ranked football squad, according to the Minnesota Associated Press.
The Bucs beat the Central of Norwood Young America Raiders 52-21 in Blue Earth to improve their overall record to 6-1.
“We’re pretty fortunate to be in this situation,” Blue Earth Area head coach Randy Kuechenmeister said. “We ran the ball effectively. They’re a good football team with some nice players, but we really came out and played well in the second half.”
Blue Earth Area’s ground game was effective at gaining more than 400 yards and controlling the clock. The Bucs rushed for seven touchdowns and five two-point conversions to dominate the game.
Parker Meyers was a one-man wrecking crew, rushing for 173 yards on 24 carries with five touchdowns, plus all five two-point conversion runs for Blue Earth Area. Meyers scored 40 points on his own in the game.
Quarterback Ashton Lloyd was effective for the Bucs, completing 12 of 15 passes for 114 yards to go with rushing for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Blue Earth Area running back Noah Johnson also was in on the fun, rushing for a 65-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Johnson finished with 119 yards on the ground.
The Bucs trailed 14-12 at the half, but put together a dominant second half by outscoring the Raiders 40-7 to ice the victory.
Norwood Young America scored first when quarterback Noah Strickfaden hit Austin Dent for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 9:33 left in the opening quarter. It was the Raiders’ first drive of the game. Mitchell Druley kicked the extra point.
Blue Earth Area came right back on the ensuing possession, driving 67 yards for a touchdown. Meyers’ 2-yard run ended the drive with a touchdown.
The two-point conversion failed, but the Bucs were on the board.
Norwood Young America ran its lead to 14-6 by scoring a touchdown on its second drive of the game. Once again it was Noah Strickfaden throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass — this time to Hunter Neubarth with 11:54 remaining before halftime. Druley kicked the PAT for a 14-6 lead.
Meyers’ 3-yard touchdown run with 5:20 left in the second quarter tacked on another six points for the Bucs, but their two-point conversion failed again.
The Bucs had a chance to add to their point total right before halftime, driving inside the Raiders’ red zone, but they turned the ball over on downs.
The Bucs received the second-half kickoff and right from that possession they dominated on both sides of the ball.
On defense, they limited Noah Strickfaden’s effectiveness and stuffed nearly all of their possessions. Abram Kokos had an interception to help put the Bucs’ offense in good field position.
Meyers scored on another 3-yard run on the Bucs’ opening possession of the third quarter and ran in the two-point conversion to give the home team its first lead of the game at 20-14.
The Raiders took their final lead of the game after Noah Strickfaden connected with Hunter Neubarth on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Druley’s PAT made it 21-20 with 6:02 left in the third quarter.
It only took Blue Earth Area less than one minute to retake the lead. Meyers rushed 47 yards for a touchdown and once again ran in the two-point conversion.
Lloyd finished off the third-quarter scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run with 1:46 remaining. Meyers ran in the two-point conversion to pad the Bucs’ lead.
In the fourth quarter, Meyers scored on a 10-yard run and ran in another two-point conversion. Johnson capped the scoring with a 65-yard touchdown scamper midway through the final quarter.
Meyers finished the game with his fifth and final two-point conversion run after Johnson’s scoring run.
Blue Earth Area (6-1) travels to Mahoney Field in Fairmont on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. regular-season finale against the rival Cardinals.
“It won’t be an easy game,” Kuechenmeister said. “Fairmont is a good football team.”
NYA 7 7 7 0 — 21
BEA 6 6 24 16 — 52
NYA–Austin Dent 24 pass from Noah Strickfaden (Mitchell Druley kick), 9:33.
BEA–Parker Meyers 2 run (kick failed), 2:37.
NYA–Hunter Neubarth 10 pass from Noah Strickfaden (Mitchell Druley kick), 11:54.
BEA–Parker Meyers 3 run (pass failed), 5:20.
BEA–Parker Meyers 3 run (Parker Meyers run), 9:01.
NYA–Hunter Neubarth 10 pass from Noah Strickfaden (Mitchell Druley kick), 6:02.
BEA–Parker Meyers 47 run (Parker Meyers run), 5:28.
BEA–Ashton Lloyd 10 run (Parker Meyers run), 1:46.
BEA–Parker Meyers 10 run (Parker Meyers run), 9:25.
BEA–Noah Johnson 65 run (Parker Meyers run), 6:54.