State semis: Blue Earth Area defeats Perham 31-21
MINNEAPOLIS - The vaunted number one defense in Class 3A of Blue Earth Area found a way to contain Jordan Hein and Bucs' running back David Franta scored three touchdowns in a 31-21 state semifinal victory over the Perham Yellowjackets at Metrodome Saturday.
Franta scored his second rushing touchdown of the opening half with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give the Buccaneers a 24-13 lead going into the break. The Bucs never trailed in the game.
"I think there's a little disappointment in today's game because we knew we had chances anytime, but at the same time, you can't take away from how successful the season really was," Perham head coach Mike Jordahl said.
Perham ends their year with a record of 10-2. Blue Earth Area (12-0) will face undefeated Rochester Lourdes in the 3A state final Saturday, Nov. 24 at Metrodome. Lourdes defeated Annandale in come-from-behind fashion 20-16 to advance.
Blue Earth shutout Perham in the third quarter of play while Franta added his third score from five yards out with 9:17 remaining to open up the largest lead of the game at 31-13.
Hein scored from one yard out with 11:23 left in the fourth and hit Eric Brauch on a pass for the two-point conversion for the game's final score. Hein's touchdown was his 24th of the season tying Perham legend Melvin "Fritz" Hanson for the most in a season in Yellowjacket history.
The two teams combined for five touchdowns and a field goal in a high-scoring first half against two defenses not known for giving up a lot of points.
The difference in the game was the Buccaneers defense shutting down Hein. Hein had 29 rushing yards in the first half and ended the game with only 23 yards on 14 attempts, his lowest output of the season.
"They slowed (Hein) down considerably," Jordahl said. "We can't take anything away from them. They got after us and keyed on Jordan and we were able to move the ball to other areas. I thought our effort was great. They just came out on top."
Bucs' quarterback Kysten Zierke led all rushers with 105 yards, complimented by Franta's 63, Carter Hanson with 69 and Gus Phillips with 51 rushing.
The Bucs forced Perham to throw as neither Payton Jordahl or Hein could get anything going on the ground. Hein threw for 205 yards and a touchdown on 14 completions.
Tyler Glines led the Jackets in offensive production. Glines had four big catches for 116 yards.
"He's going to be a good one," Jordahl said. "We've got some good, young talent coming up, no disrespect to our seniors. We have to honor what they've done. They're a big part of our program."
Hanson opened the scoring for Blue Earth Area on a 33-yard pass from Zierke to put the Bucs up 7-0 early.
Perham answered in two minutes when Payton Jordahl scored on a nine-yard run. Perham was set up deep in Bucs' territory thanks to a fingertip grab by Glines good for 45 yards to get Perham into the red zone.
Franta scored his first of the game on a 33-yard run giving the Bucs a 14-7 lead with 1:25 remaining in the first quarter.
Perham gave the ball up on downs when a fake punt failed. The Bucs turned the gaff into three points when Felix Harseim kicked a 27-yard field goal to bump the lead to 10 points, 17-7 with 9:01 left in the first half.
Hein led an eight-play, 60-yard drive to close within four points, 17-13. Brauch caught a 12-yard touchdown pass all alone in the end zone. Glines had another big catch for 26 yards on a halfback pass from Eli Beachy to move Perham into scoring position.
In a season rarity, Blue Earth Area out-gained Perham 354-285 in total yards with a big disparity in rushing yards 288-54.
PER 7 6 0 8 -- 21
BEA 14 10 7 0 -- 31
BEA--Carter Hanson 33 pass from Kysten Zierke (Felix Harseim kick) 7:04
Per--Payton Jordahl 9 run (Nick Bahls kick) 5:03
BEA--David Franta 33 run (Harseim kick) 3:33
BEA--Harseim 27 FG, 9:01
Per--Eric Brauch 9 pass from Jordan Hein (kick wide) 4:38
BEA--Franta 5 run (Harseim kick) :20
BEA--Franta 5 run (Harseim kick) 9:17
Per--Hein 1 run (Brauch pass from Hein) 11:23
Rushing-- Payton Jordahl 8-36-1; Jordan Hein 14-23-1; Austin Erickson 1-3; Nick Bahls 4-1.
Passing-- Jordan Hein 14-24-0, 205 yds, 1 TD; Eli Beachy 1-1-0, 26 yds
Receiving-- Josh Nordick 5-62; Tyler Glines 4-116; CJ Mulcahy 2-4; Eli Beachy 1-17; Eric Brauch 1-12; Nick Bahls 1-11; Josh Still 1-9.
Defense-- Dan Ingebrand 8 tkl; Jordan Hein 6 tkl; Payton Jordahl 6 tkl; Chris Hutmacher 3 tkl, 1 sack.
Blue Earth Area:
Rushing-- Kysten Zierke 20-105; David Franta 8-63-3; Carter Hanson 10-69; Gus Phillips 10-51.
Passing-- Kysten Zierke 4-7-0, 66 yds, 1 TD
Receiving-- Carter Hanson 1-33-1; Steven Plocker 1-16; Isaac Darrington 1-11; Gus Phillips 1-6.
Defense-- Zierke 9 tkl; Franta 8 tkl; Hanson 6 tkl; Phillips 5 tkl, 1 sack.