NEW ULM - Of the first four turnovers committed by the New Ulm Eagles in the first quarter, three of them led directly to Blue Earth Area touchdowns as the Buccaneers jumped to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter en route to a 49-12 win over the Eagles Friday night in South Central Conference football action at Johnson Field.
Gus Phillips scored touchdowns on runs of 35 and 53 yards and added a third touchdown when he returned an errant pitch 16 yards for a score.
Carter Hansen scored twice on runs of four and 52 yards.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm High School’s Grant Kannegiesser (18) carries the ball during the first quarter of the Eagles’ loss to Blue Earth Area Friday at Johnson Field in New Ulm.
Isaiah Johnson and Grant Kannegiesser scored fourth quarter touchdowns for New Ulm, 0-2 in the SCC and 0-4 overall.
For the Eagles and coach Tony Ortmann, it was not the kind of start to the game that they wanted.
"The first five minutes we are down too many points to really come back from," Ortmann said. "I told the guys at that point that the score is what it is. Now is time to play football offensively and defensively and play football from there. Maybe we can't come back from being down 28 points. But we need to clean up those mistakes."
And the Eagles miscues (five total in the game) came fast in the first 12 minutes of the game.
On the second play of the game, the Eagles' Chris Mulder was intercepted by the Bucs' Kysten Zierke deep in New Ulm territory. One play after the pick, David Franta bulled his way 26 yards for a touchdown. Felix Harseim's PAT made it 7-0 at the 11:44 mark.
Both teams exchanged turnovers before Justin Ritter fell on a New Ulm fumble. Three plays after the change of possession, Carter Hanson scored on a four-yard run.
On the Eagles' fifth offensive series of the opening quarter, Mulder attempted a pitch that was caught in mid-air by Gus Phillips, who scampered 16 yards for the fourth Bucs score of the quarter.
"The turnovers are mental," Ortmann said. "We need to focus when we have that football. I think that with Homecoming our kids were running emotionally on a high. We need to learn to harness that energy."
And in the second quarter when the Eagles had just one turnover, the Bucs managed just one score when Phillips broke lose for a 35-yard touchdown with 52 seconds left in the first half and a 28-0 lead.
Phillips' 53-yard touchdown run on the first play of the third quarter increased the lead to 35-0.
Touchdown runs by Hanson of three yards and a 21-yard bolt by Calvin Sanders made it a 49-0 lead with 1:12 left in the third quarter.
With the fourth quarter in running time, the Eagles scored twice. Their first touchdown came on an eight yard run by Isaiah Johnson.
Grant Kannegiesser, who had two fumble recoveries and an interception in the game, raced in from eight yards out for the final score of the game.
"Grant has been playing great for us defensively," Ortmann said. "Good players find the right spot to be in. He is in the right spot."
The Eagles host St. James at 1 p.m. next Saturday.