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Robert Williams / Forum Communications Co., Published November 17 2012

Blue Earth Area halts Perham in state semifinals

MINNEAPOLIS – Blue Earth Area – boasting the top-rated defense in Minnesota Class 3A – found a way to contain Perham quarterback Jordan Hein.

Blue Earth running back David Franta took advantage, scoring three touchdowns in a 31-21 state semifinal victory over the Yellowjackets on Saturday at the Metrodome.

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,” Perham head coach Mike Jordahl said. “But at the same time, you can’t take away from how successful the season really was.”

Perham ends its year with a record of 10-2. Blue Earth Area (12-0) will face undefeated Rochester Lourdes in the 3A state final Saturday at the Metrodome. Lourdes defeated Annandale in come-from-behind fashion 20-16 to advance.

Blue Earth shut out Perham in the third quarter of play, while Franta added his third score from 5 yards out with 9:17 remaining to open up the largest lead of the game at 31-13.

Hein scored from 1 yard out with 11:23 left in the fourth and hit Eric Brauch on a pass for the 2-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 Yellowjackets history.

The two teams combined for five touchdowns and a field goal in a high-scoring first half against two defenses known for not 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, complemented by Franta’s 63, Carter Hanson with 69 and Gus Phillips with 51.

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 Yellowjackets with four 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.”

P 7 6 0 8–21

BE 14 10 7 0–31

BE–Hanson 33 pass from Zierke (Harseim kick)

P–Jordahl 9 run (Bahls kick)

BE–Franta 33 run (Harseim kick)

BE–Harseim 27 FG

P–Brauch 9 pass from Hein (kick failed)

BE–Franta 5 run (Harseim kick)

BE–Franta 5 run (Harseim kick)

P–Hein 1 run (Brauch pass from Hein)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: P, Jordahl 8-36, Hein 14-23, Erickson 1-3, Bahls 4-1. BE, Zierke 20-105, Franta 8-63, Hanson 10-69, Phillips 10-51.

PASSING: P, Hein 14-24-0 205 yards, Beachy 1-1-0 26. BE, Zierke 4-7-0 66.

RECEIVING: P, Nordick 5-62, Glines 4-116, Mulcahy 2-4, Beach 1-17, Brauch 1-12, Bahls 1-11, Still 1-9. BE, Hanson 1-33, Plocker 1-16, Darrington 1-11, Phillips 1-6.

Williams writes for the East Otter Tail Focus