Bucs relish home playoff game

Beach football coach Mike Zier, who has been a Buccaneers' coach for eight years - the past two as head coach - remembers where his football has been.

Beach football coach Mike Zier, who has been a Buccaneers' coach for eight years - the past two as head coach - remembers where his football has been.

Today the Buccaneers will make only their third playoff appearance in school history and play its first home playoff game as well.

"Anything after making the playoffs and getting a home game is gravy for us," Zier said. "We remember all those teams in the past that didn't get breaks."

The Buccaneers host Grant County-Flasher at 1:30 p.m. today in the first round of the Class A playoffs.

The event has created quite a buzz over the football team - a No. 2 seed from Region 4 - which finished the season 5-3 by winning its final four regular-season games.


"The school and the community are pretty excited about us hosting," Zier said. "Anytime in a small community, when it's the first time something happening, it's pretty exciting, especially when it involves the community's kids and school."

The Buccaneers defeated the Storm 40-0 on Oct. 5, by catching a number of breaks including a blocked punt and a botched snap that Beach returned for a touchdown.

The Storm struggled to pass the ball as well, forcing them to go predominantly with a running attack. Beach countered by stacking the box and putting at least two men on the ball carrier.

"In that first match up, we had a lot of breaks that don't normally happen in football games," Zier said.

Beach, who will dress only 20 players today, is led by its quarterback, Jake Tescher. The 6-foot-2 junior has thrown for 10 touchdowns and rushed in another six this season.

"Their quarterback is an all-region pick," said Storm coach Jamie Krenz about Beach. "They do a really good job of, when he does scramble, guys come back to the ball."

Tescher's favorite target this season has been senior wide receiver Nate Zachmann, who has caught five touchdowns.

Zachmann's dominance on the field has attracted a number of defenders, resulting in other receivers getting involved in the Buccaneers air attack as well, Zier said.


The biggest turnaround for the offense though has been the development of a running game.

"The key is that they've been able to run the ball this year," Krenz said.

Junior Derek Weinreis has been the Buccaneers' leading rusher. While Zier admits that Beach's bread and butter is launching the ball through the air out of a shotgun formation, the ability to run the ball has brought some balance this season.

"Now we've kind of developed where we can get some rhythm in our running game a bit," Zier said.

The Storm have made a change at offense, moving junior Weston Wells from running back to quarterback. Offensively, GCF is much more in sync now, Krenz said.

"We're going to hang our hat on the option," Krenz said. "The first time we played Beach we didn't have an identity on offense. Last week (against Garrison-Max), we really found our niche (offensively)."

The Dickinson Press sports reporter Chris Aarhus contributed to this story.

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