Blue Earth senior Kysten Zierke knew his offense was enjoying a stellar day when he kept switching from quarterback to linebacker with no punt in between.
“At one point I asked, ‘Did we punt yet?’” Zierke said.
Just once. And it came in the fourth quarter after Blue Earth built a 31-21 lead that held up as the final score.
Offensive precision led Blue Earth to victory against Perham in the Class 3A semifinal game Saturday at the Metrodome. With the victory, the No. 2 Buccaneers (12-0) advance to their first-ever title game and will play No. 1 Rochester Lourdes (12-0) at 1 p.m. next Saturday at the Metrodome.
Blue Earth’s offense was sharp, scoring on its first five possessions through the third quarter to build a 31-13 lead. David Franta finished three of those drives with touchdown runs.
No. 5 Perham (10-2) cut the lead to 31-21 as quarterback Jordan Hein scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and completed a two-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter. But the Yellowjackets were unable to convert on a pair of later 4th and 10 situations.
Blue Earth, powered by superior play at the line of scrimmage, scored on all four of its first half possessions and raced to a 24-13 lead at intermission.
Zierke set up the Buccaneers’ final score of the first half. Blue Earth spread Perham out with five wide receivers and Zierke used the space for a 22-yard run to the Perham 5 yard line. He finished with 20 carries for 105 yards.
“It was a draw play and we like to run it because he can run through arm tackles,” Franta said.
Perham’s Payton Jordahl tied the game 7-7 with a first quarter 9-yard touchdown run. In the second quarter, Hein rolled right and found a wide open Eric Brauch from 12 yards out to cut Blue Earth’s lead to 17-13.