NEW ULM - It will be doubleheader football for fans of the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds and the Eagles of New Ulm High School as they both host games Friday.
At 3:30 p.m. at Johnson Field, New Ulm Cathedral hosts Red Rock Central in a Southern Minnesota Conference meeting.
Fans can run home and get a bite to eat before coming back for a 7:30 non-conference clash between Melrose Area and New Ulm High School.
It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran, which played its first football game one week earlier than the Greyhounds and the Eagles, will have a bye week.
Remember, because of MEA Week next week, football games will be played on Wednesday.
RED ROCK CENTRAL (4-2) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (4-2), 3:30 P.M. FRIDAY, JOHNSON FIELD
In a rare afternoon contest, a pair of 4-2 teams meet in a game that will have a bearing on sectional seedings for both teams.
The Falcons of Red Rock Central come in riding a four-game winning streak after losing their first two games.
"They have expanded their offense a little bit," New Ulm Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. "They are now running a version of the Wing-T offense, which when they put Jeff DeCock at wingback, it puts the pressure on the defense because he has a lot of speed," he said. "They are also running some power football. Coach Isaac Jenniges has,over the years, kept opposing teams guessing what offense he will run against you. So we expect to see multiple sets from them so our defense will need to be ready for anything."
RRC lost its first two games of the season before rattling off four straight wins in which it have outscored opponents157-59.
"They are playing good football," Lux said. "You could see that in the last few years that their program has taken the right steps every year. Their guys hustle and they play hard - they are also trying to make a move in their section also. This is lining up to be a very good football game."
Lux thinks that the Falcons will run more than they pass Friday afternoon.
"We just need to make sure that we read our keys defensively and get a jump on what is coming our way," he said.
He also knows that the Red Rock Central defense is solid.
"They have held teams down," Lux said. "They have always had an aggressive defensive unit. Our offense will have to make sure that we make the adjustments earlier in the game, maybe use a time-out to make sure we know what they are doing defensively. Each year that we have played them, they have done a little different defensive scheme. I am sure that we will have to adjust to things as we go along."
MELROSE AREA (3-3) AT NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (1-5), 7:30 P.M., JOHNSON FIELD
It the first-ever meeting between the Dutchmen of Melrose and the New Ulm High School Eagles, the first thing that you notice about Melrose is the teams that it has played.
Last week in Grand Rapids, Melrose beat International Falls 28-14. Next week, ironically, Melrose will play this week's New Ulm Cathedral opponent, Red Rock Central at St. John's University. And while the trip to New Ulm is a long one, earlier in the season Melrose rode the bus to Sherburne for a game at Martin County West in a 39-14 win.
"We watched them on film and they are very simple offensively," New Ulm High School coach Tony Ortmann said. "They are an I-back team that likes to run the ball. They beat International Falls last week with no passing yards. They like to wedge the football up the middle and run the double dive like Hutchinson did a few years ago.
"Then they like to bounce the ball outside after people fall asleep with the dive play. They are big up front - they have some big players. Their nose guard and right tackle are each 6-foot 6, 300 pounds, so they have some size up front. But I think that this is a good game for us to get a win."
Ortmann hopes that the Eagles can use their quickness to counter the size advantage that the Dutchmen have.
"I do not know how overly strong they are but we need to stop the run because passing is not something that they are interested in doing," Ortmann said.
One of the issues for the Eagles has been turnovers. Ortmann knows that his team has to significantly cut them down.
"They have been a key issue this year," Ortmann said. "We address that every day in practice. With time it is going to get better but it is not going to fix itself over night."
Ortmann knows that a win Friday is important for momentum going into next Wednesday's game at Fairmont and then a road playoff game.
"This game is probably one of the most important games for us when it comes down to section seeding," he said. "Right now in the section we are ahead of Mankato East in the rankings. That puts us at the fifth seed with East at six. Hutchinson, Glencoe-Silver Lake and Marshall are all solid football teams in the section and powerhouses in the state. So if we get a win Friday we will play at Dassel-Cokato. If we lose Friday I don't know what will happen and if we would stay ahead of East or not."
Ortmann said that both teams will want to run the football so cutting down turnovers is the big factor Friday night.