NEW ULM - Week Five of the high school football season has both New Ulm Catheral and Minnesota Valley Lutheran taking bus rides to road game while the Eagles of New Ulm High School are at home for homecoming.
All games are Friday night with 7 p.m. kickoffs.
MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (0-4) AT MAPLE RIVER (3-1) 7 P.M. MAPLETON
Last week, the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers scored their first two touchdowns of the season in a 41-16 loss to Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.
Friday, the Chargers are hoping to get their first win of the season when they tangle with the 3-1 Eagles in a Gopher/Valley Conference game.
MVL head coach Jim Buboltz said that Maple River will be showing a new offense that they implemented this season.
"They have gone to pretty much a spread offense," Buboltz said. "They have a younger quarterback and he has played well for them."
Buboltz said that Maple River resembles Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial.
"They do similar things that (LCWM) does," he said. "Their offense gives the quarterback a lot of opportunities to find receivers. They use four wide receivers which gives the quarterback a lot of targets."
Despite the spread offense, Buboltz said that the Eagles have not scored a bunch of points.
"They have been able to win some close games and play good enough defense to keep them in games," Buboltz said.
Now going into their fifth game, Buboltz is more concerned about what his team is doing.
"I want to build on what we did in the Waterville game," he said. "I think that our team was anxious to get back to practice and to get better. We are going to be excited to come out Friday night and build on what we did (Friday)."
On offense, he hopes to keep on doing what they did against WEM.
"We felt comfortable with both our running and passing attack," Buboltz said. "On defense, we will need to give them some different looks - we need to keep them off-balance."
This will also be the second game of moving Brandon Johnson and Seth Wendland from fullback and tight end respectively to the offensive line.
Buboltz feels they both learned a lot in their first game at their new positions.
"Their confidence level was so high after the game," he said. "Even with the loss they enjoyed themselves. They did an incredible, selfless thing for the team by making the changes. I think that it is going to turn our season around."
He feels that it will also open up both the passing and running game for the Chargers.
"It made our running game Friday more consistent and it improved our passing game with the play-action passes that we were able to use," Buboltz said. "We need to give them different looks on defense - defense is a gamble all of the time."
It is also the Chargers' fourth road game of the season.
'The kids are getting used to the bus rides - earlier in the year it was tough," Buboltz said. 'The kids are looking forward to getting back on the field again. We need to limit our mistakes - we did a nice job of that Friday with just one turnover and we had two takeaway from them."
BLUE EARTH AREA (2-1; 3-1) VS NEW ULM (1-1; 1-4) FRIDAY 7 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD:
The Eagles will be facing one of the favorites in the South Central Conference when they host Blue Earth Area in a SCC match-up.
"They have a lot of size in the line - they have two kids going around 300 pounds," New Ulm head coach Rob Bute said. "Their quarterback [Brady Anderson] throws a nice pass. And they have the best back in the conference [Zach Tvedten]. They have some speed in the backfield and size on the line. They are definitely one of the top teams in the conference."
Bute said that the Bucs "consistently run the ball and then they will play-action off of it."
On defense BEA will throw a 4-4 front at the Eagles.
"They are pretty good about how they play the option game," said Bute. "They have good speed on their defense and they have size in their line. They also have tall, athletic wide receivers so there will be some tough match-ups for us.
"They use different formations and try and confuse you - they will spread you out and run the ball. They are similar in Fairmont in that they will pass."
The Eagles also need to cut down on turnovers that have plagued them the last two games.
"We watched film and there is a lot of technique stuff that we need to get right with our quarterback," Bute said. "They are not setting their feet when they throw. We need to make better decisions when we have the ball. Our quarterbacks hardly got pressured unless they hang onto the ball too long."
This is also a big game for the Eagles, it is homecoming but is also a big game for the conference.
The SCC race is tight with most teams standing at 1-1 in conference play. BEA's loss came against Waseca. New Ulm's lone conference loss came against Fairmont. Fairmont and Waseca play each other this week.
"If Waseca can beat Fairmont and we win we are right back in the thick of things," Bute said. "We need a win if we want to take the conference crown."
NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (3-1) AT RED ROCK CENTRAL (3-1) 7 P.M. FRIDAY LAMBERTON
New Ulm Cathedral head football coach Denny Lux says Red Rock Central is a team that runs the ball very well and have a very good play-action passing game.
"They have a new coach in Isaac Jenniges and you can see that the players are buying into what he is doing," Lux said. "They are playing hard with a lot of spirit. We are going to have to play our best football on Friday."
Lux said that RRC is about 50-50 in passing and running.
"They have a good quarterback that can throw short or long," Lux said. "He can also run the ball well and we need to keep him in the pocket. They pose a lot of threats in different areas on the field."
Lux said that the Falcons have good linebackers and they play their safety deep.
"They do not want to give up the long throw," he said. "We will need to diversify our offense early-on."
He also feels that depth may be an issue in the game.
"I know that it is supposed to warm up some.," he said. "But we know that the more players that w can get on the field, we can create more energy."
Asked if his team has played their best football yet, Lux said that the Greyhounds have a ways to go.
"When we evaluate film of our previous game we find mistakes and we correct them." Lux said. "I can see from week to week that we do not make that same mistake twice. I can tell that with some of the leads that we have had that our kids are never satisfied - they can see a better team each week."
Lux said the Greyhounds have been playing strong offensively and defensively the last few weeks.
"This group of players has been starting games in a confident way. We are playing well on both ends of the ball. Defensively, our linebackers are filling holes quick and we have good defensive ends in Evan Walterman and Brandon Berg. In high school football, defensive ends are so valuable. Those guys along with tackles Dan Simon, Colin Gieseke and Luke Herzog have done a good job for us. They will need to continue that on Friday."