ARLINGTON – The East Buchanan Buccaneers got back on the winning track on Friday night as they came from behind with a big second half effort to beat a stouthearted Starmont Star team, 28-19.
“Coming into the Starmont game, we knew it was going to be a tough physical football game as Starmont was coming off a huge win at Bellevue and this was their home opener against us,” said Head Coach Jerry Alden. “This game was a battle in the trenches as it always is when we play each other, and I thought our offensive and defensive lines did a great job especially, in the second half.”
The Bucs would trail at the half, 13-8.
“When you play Starmont, you know you have to first and foremost stop the running game, and they have two great running backs we had to try and contain all night and not let them take over the game,” said Coach Alden.
“We gave up an early touchdown on a long run,” said Coach Alden, “but unlike last week when we kind of hung our heads, we came right back and scored to take the lead, and that was huge for us mentally.”
The second half was a different story, and a different Bucs team, as they dominated every phase of the game to take a 22-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought the second half was probably the best football we have played yet this year,” added Alden, “as it just seemed like the light switch came on and we just had a different mojo on both sides of the ball.”
Defensively, Coach Alden said they were good, but still gave up 3 big plays that led to Starmont touchdowns. If you take away just those 3 plays, the Bucs really held them in check with very few yards.
“That has kind of been our Achilles heel the last two games, and it basically comes down to being out of position and our assignment responsibilities and once we figure that out, we will be even better,” added Alden.
According to Coach Alden, the offense (much like the defense), played probably their best half of football in the second half as they just started to take over up front and they had that mentality.
“We were just going to move people out of the way, and that is tough to do when your opponent is bringing 8 or 9 guys in the box almost every play,” said Alden.
“We really talked at halftime about sooner or later we would get our own big play as we have been so close,” said Alden.
In the second half, the Bucs had a long touchdown run from senior Adam Hackett, a long touchdown pass from senior Keaton Kelly to sophomore Hunter Bowers, and 3 interceptions by Keaton Kelly, Hunter Bowers, and senior Aiden Cook on defense.
“Those big plays really played big in a dominating second half,” said Alden.
Kelly would finish with 81 yards passing on 3 of 6 attempts. Hackett finished with 161 yards on the ground on 21 carries and 2 touchdowns. Senior Connor Williams added 44 yards on 10 carries, while sophomore Tanner Thurn had 11 carries for 68 yards. Bowers had 67 yards receiving on 2 catches. Senior Kirby Cook added 1 catch for 14 yards.
1 2 3 4 T
East Buchanan 0 8 14 6 28
Starmont 7 6 0 6 19
“Overall, it was a great team win against a very tough Starmont team on the road, and we will build on that momentum going forward as we head into homecoming week and another tough opponent in Alburnett,” said Alden.
Coach Alden would also like to thank all the fans who made it up to Starmont for the game, especially the very vocal student section.
Coach said, “You guys rocked, as we heard you all night long.”
The Bucs are now 2-1 on the season and will host the Alburnett Pirates (1-2) for their homecoming game on Friday night.