NEW ULM - Those who look at the final score of New Ulm Cathedral's 54-26 win over Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Friday night might assume that it was a blowout from the opening kick-off. That was not the case.
"We were only leading 21-20 at halftime," Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. "But after halftime, our offensive line really took over the game. Jeff Osborne, Michael Larson, Kyle Franta, Brandon Beranek, Russ Hoffmann and Jacob Helget really stepped it up. At halftime we got together and those guys understood that they needed to correct any blocking mistakes and get our offense moving. That was really the difference in the second half."
The Greyhounds' running backs of Austin Cooper, Adam Schnobrich and Jake Stadick were the beneficiaries of the work of the offensive line.
"All three backs ran well and [quarterback] Collin Helget took a step forward Friday," Lux said. He also said that senior Josh Kienlen stepped up his play in the defensive secondary.
"He made some fantastic plays at cornerback in the end zone on some well-thrown balls," Lux said.
"We had three scores in the first half but BLHS came right back and they threw the ball well," Lux said. "It was a good football game in the first half but it seemed that we wore them out in the second half especially on the offensive and defensive lines."
He added that the biggest stride that he saw was in the confidence that his young team gained.
"Our first year starters and some of our seniors and juniors were more relaxed in their second game. BLHS played well and they are going to win their share of games this year."
CHARGERS LOSE CLOSE GAME: Last week, St. Clair put up 67 points in a win. Friday night, the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers held them to 20 points in a close 20-13 loss.
"We just ran out of time," MVL coach Jim Buboltz said. "Our guys kept battling until the end. We had a scoring opportunity when we got down inside the 10-yard line but we had some tough things take us out of a drive. And late in the game we had the ball again."
MVL forced a St. Clair fumble late in the game to give it a chance to score to tie or potentially win the game.
Buboltz said that penalties were a problem "especially in crucial situations and when we had a first down. We did not have many penalties but the ones that we had really hurt and we need to get those cleaned up."
Buboltz said that St, Clair has four good running backs and an offensive line that had two players in the 265-280 pound range.
"They caused some match-up problems," Buboltz said
The coach also said that he was pleased with the improvement of the passing game that saw the Chargers pass for more than 200 yards.
He felt that the turning point in the game may have come when the score was 13-6 in the fourth quarter.
"We had a turnover deep in our territory," Buboltz said. "And being down 20-6 and having a penalty called on their one yard line - that brought us back. But there are no excuses. We need to clean some things up."
SLOW START STOPS EAGLES: It was not the kind of start that Tony Ortmann wanted for his team in St. Peter when they fell behind 27-0.
"We had costly mistakes early-on in the game," Ortmann said as the Eagles lost 41-0. "That really set the tempo for the rest of the game.They ran a trap for a touchdown. We got the ball and our quarterback runs with the ball and fumbles into the hands of a St. Peter player who runs for a touchdown. They score again and we are down 21-0 in the first four minutes."
Ortmann said that he did not want to change his game plan because his team had not been able to establish anything yet.
"My goal was to get back to running the football. But we just kept making constant mistakes as the game went on," he said. "There were a lot of mental mistakes. Across the line I wouldn't say that their guys were better than our guys. But we didn't trust our reads at linebacker and it showed.
"We need to sit down and watch the film and talk about these mistakes," Ortmann said. "We need to be focused (Monday). We can't have these mental mistakes that are causing these breakdowns."