HS Football: Beach looks for second playoff upset

Local Sports

The Beach Buccaneers Football Team, who earned a surprising win on the road last week against Central McLean. Now in the quarterfinals, they will face Linton HMB.

If you’re looking for the most impressive performance in the opening round of the 9-man playoffs, it would be hard to overlook the way Beach dominated in their 8-0 win over Central McLean.

“I didn’t think it would be just one score that would win it,” says head coach Mike Zier. “Because things tighten up in the second half. But really, really proud of the kid’s effort, offensively and defensively.”

Despite the struggle to move the ball for both teams, Beach knows that this was their best defensive performance of the season.

“It was a great team game, you know what I mean?” senior Gage Swanson says. “We all played great as a team. We did our jobs. We didn’t try to do anybody else’s. We just worked good as a team.”

It hasn’t that easy for the Buccaneers this season. Many players point towards their 52-14 blowout loss at home to Kidder County as a learning experience, which provided a moment for the team to come together.

“After Kidder County, I think everyone looked at each other in the locker room, looking at ourselves and saying we’re a much better team than this,” says junior Blake Van Horn. “We’re all really good friends and if we call someone out, they’re not mad at us, it just brings everyone together.”

Beach’s only other loss was to Linton HMB, the team they play Saturday. Numerous injuries didn’t make the game close, but players say it’s a clean slate come playoff time…

“It’s a different season,” Swanson says. “The teams are better, every little thing counts. The fumbles matter, the interceptions, the penalties. Everything matters more.”

“You know, we’re a grinder,” says Zier. “That’s the way our team is. We grind it out and we play four quarters and do the best we can.”

The rematch between Beach and Linton HMB is set to kickoff at 2 p.m. Saturday in Linton.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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