NEW ULM - Week Two of the high school football season here in New Ulm will see fans of all three high schools jumping into their cars and heading out of the City of Charm and Tradition for Friday night football.
New Ulm High School is at St. Peter, Minnesota Valley Lutheran heads to St. Clair while New Ulm Cathedral treks to Hector for a battle with Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart.
All three kick-offs are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Here is a preview of all three games.
NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (0-1) AT ST. PETER (1-0)
Both teams are coming off of games at the opposite side of the spectrum last week.
St. Peter topped LeSueur-Henderson 34-7 while the Eagles fell to Belle Plaine 34-18.
"We played a great game with them last year and we snuck out a win," New Ulm coach Tony Ortmann said. "But they look better than they did last year. They have changed offensively just a little bit - they are still running the spread offense but they are running more veer option. On defense they play a 3-5 and their linebackers play fast."
Ortmann said that it will be a test for his team to see if the Eagles can run on the Saints in the South Central Conference opener for both teams.
"They will have eight players in the box," Ortmann said. "That may be a challenge for our team to get after them more."
Ortmann knows that the Saints handled LeSueur-Henderson.
"They put up some points - they played a very good game. They're simple offensively but what they do they do very well. We're going to have to play a good game to beat them but they're going to have to play a good game to beat us."
Ortmann said that playing on the road for the second straight week is tough.
"You can't get in that rhythm being on the road right away," he said. "You want to be in front of your fans but it makes it more sweet when you can come back home."
The first-year coach also sees his team making improvements from last week.
"From our scrimmage to our first game was a big jump," he said. "And I think that we will make an even bigger jump this week. They have seen themselves in action when they watched film on themselves. They can learn from their mistakes. That will be a big jump for us. If we can run the ball it will open up the play-action pass for (Chris) Mulder."
NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (0-1) AT BUFFALO LAKE-HECTOR-STEWART (0-1) (At Hector)
The Greyhounds will try to recover from a 20-13 loss to Springfield last week when they meet the Mustangs in a Southern Minnesota Conference clash.
Cathedral coach Denny Lux said that BLHS has a new head coach in Brandon Neseth who is running a spread offense. Last week, BLHS lost to Cedar Mountain-Comfrey 18-14.
"In the past, coach Curt Strand would run a power-I offense which was pretty much in tight and smash-mouth," Lux said. "They are spreading the offense out more - they are in the shotgun. So they will create a few more things for us defensively then we have seen."
Despite a young team, Lux said that his coaching experience says that teams will see the most improvement from game one to game two.
"We have very smart football players and we are confident that they will learn from their mistakes," he added. "Just being on the field with Springfield last week was a huge step because it is a big game."
Lux said that he is more concerned about what his team is doing rather than the opponent.
"We have good techniques and schemes so we need to go out and do our job on both sides of the ball," Lux said. "And it is important that the older players talk to our younger players and keep them focused during the game."
One of the younger players who looks strong is sophomore Austin Cooper at fullback.
"He has run track and is fast," Lux said. "He is not big but he runs tough. He does not worry about where the hits are coming from. Between him, Adam Schnobrich and Jake Stadick, we will mix it up at running back. We will not highlight one player. We want to make sure their defense stays honest."
MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (1-1) AT ST, CLAIR (1-0)
A stat that jumps out at you right away is that last week, St. Clair scored 67 points in a 67-6 win over West Lutheran.
"They know how to put the ball in the end zone," MVL head coach Jim Buboltz said. "They have a nice team, good size and decent speed."
"They will mainly run the ball so it will probably be a game where the clock keeps running," Buboltz said.
And St. Clair has a club of running backs that come at you out of the double wing.
"They have guys going both directions with a lot of countering and movement," he said. "They will try and get behind their big offensive line."
Buboltz said that this game will be a big test for his team.
"But we made some big strides last week and we want to build on them," he said.
Buboltz said that his team's defense needs to stay home in their assignments with all of the motion that St. Clair will show.
"I am guessing that this game will come down to our running game against theirs," Buboltz said.
"We have Ryan Grunke, Matthew Tessmer, Tyler Mielke and Kris Goetzke in the backfield," Buboltz said. "That gives us a lot of options also."