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Beach's main running tandem

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Beach senior running back Tyler Steffen, back, follows lead blocker Hunter Weinreis on a run during a 9-man, Region 4 game against Hettinger-Scranton on Aug. 31 in Beach.1 / 2
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Beach senior running back Anthony Weinreis, middle, runs through a host of Hettinger-Scranton defenders during a 9-man, Region 4 game on Aug. 31 in Beach.2 / 2

Beach senior running backs Tyler Steffen and Anthony Weinreis work well of each other.

Check that. They work extremely well together.

Steffen, a bruising back, and Weinreis, who uses his shiftiness and speed, are a solid 1-2 punch in the Beach football team's backfield.

"They've meant a lot for us," Beach head coach Mike Zier said. "Tyler is more of the bruiser, straight-line runner and Anthony is more of a slashing type of runner. He is a very good change of pace from Tyler. They are a good 1-2 combination in that regard."

The journey with Steffen and Weinreis began on the playground when the two were in grade school.

A majority of the Buccaneers' touchdowns in the past two seasons were scored by Steffen and Weinreis. Yet, both said it doesn't matter who gets the ball in the end zone, as long as the team is winning.

"As long as we are winning, it doesn't really matter to me," Steffen said with a laugh.

Winning is one thing Steffen, Weinreis and the rest of the Buccaneers (5-3) have been doing for the last two seasons. In that time, Beach has a 12-6 overall record and has made back-to-back trips to the 9-man playoffs.

The Buccaneers travel to No. 2-ranked Towner-Granville-Upham at 1 p.m. Saturday.

"It definitely helps that a majority of us have playoff experience, but there quite a few of us who haven't too," Weinreis said.

However, Beach's season came down to needing three straight wins.

The Buccaneers sealed their trip to the playoffs after earning a 50-20 win over Center-Stanton in their regular-season finale.

Zier said the message after dropping three straight games to Grant County-Flasher, Richardton-Taylor-Hebron and Shiloh Christian was that the Buccaneers' season was going to come down to the final three games.

With the senior leadership of quarterback Marshall Nunberg, Steffen and Weinreis, Beach didn't falter and came away with three wins.

"Those are our three core seniors and they've done a great job," Zier said. "When we were 2 and 3, we could have easily just kind of caved in and they brought into the whole three-game season. We took it one game at a time. They bought into it and the team really rallied around them. As a coach, you can't ask for anything more than that."

Steffen, who suffered a concussion during the 50-6 loss to Grant County-Flasher, said it was tough sitting out the next two weeks as the Buccaneers lost 35-14 to the Raiders and the 41-0 against the Skyhawks.

"It was tough to watch," he said. "I wanted to be out there and do anything I could. I was trying to get them pumped up on the sidelines and do anything I could do to help our team win."

Though Beach is on a three-game win streak, its opponent TGU is undefeated at 9-0. The Titans are 19-1 in the last two seasons. Their only loss was against Divide County in the 9-man playoff semifinals last year.

"We've won three in a row, but (TGU) has won nine in a row," Zier said with a laugh. "They've got some momentum and we've got some momentum too. We are going to have to play near perfect and catch a couple breaks. We are a little banged up, but everyone is banged up this time of the year. My expectations are to go up there and play the best that we can."

Whether the Buccaneers' season ends on Saturday or continues after a win, Steffen and Weinreis are pleased with their high school football careers.

"I'm extremely happy," Steffen said. "It couldn't have gone better."

Weinreis added: "It has been fun. I got play with my brother (Lloyd) for a couple years, Landon (Lechler) and Jake (Hardy). Being able to start three out of the four years has been fun and getting to playoffs quite a bit. I'm definitely not disappointed."