Week 3 features crosstown battle

NEW ULM – The third week of the local football scene here in New Ulm has all three high schools playing at home.

On a rare Thursday night game, the New Ulm Eagles host a powerhouse Marshal Tigers squad at 7 p.m. at Johnson Field.

Then on Friday, the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds “travel” to Johnson Field to meet the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (1-1) AT MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (0-2) FRIDAY 7 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD

When the Chargers and the Greyhounds meet. One thing is for certain. Both teams are familiar enough with each other that while the players change each year, the schemes of both squads is consistent.

“We have a pretty good idea of what they want to do,” said MVL head coach Jim Buboltz, whose team is coming off a 48-14 loss to Wabasso. “There is a good history there so the game is put into the hands of the kids and there is probably not as much scheme work as we do with other teams. Schemes do not change as much so it is if we can put our players in the best position to succeed.”

While the Greyhounds will try and establish a solid ground game on Friday, Buboltz knows that his defense has to be alert.

“You can’t fall asleep on them throwing the ball – they are a heavily oriented running team who can hit you with some play-action passing. You have to stay disciplined to what you have to do defensively.”

While the Greyhounds are inexperienced in spots, Buboltz said that both teams have “a lot of guys playing for the first time in some very important spots. But I am confident that Denny (Lux, Cathedral head coach) will put them in the best spot to succeed. Age is really irrelevant. It is really just being in the right spot and knowing your responsibilities.”

Despite giving up 48 points last week, Buboltz felt that his team played good defense at times in the Wabasso game.

“We played good defense in the first and fourth quarters so I think that we are getting there but there are things that we will work on and get better this week. Teams usually add plays in Week 2 but we are going less and trying to master those plays.”

One big boost for the Chargers will be junior running back Josiah Glowicki, a 6-foot 1, 195-pound transfer from Luther Prep who was ruled eligible.

“He will play and he is excited about the opportunity,” Buboltz said. “We want to get him some bursts. We had have him for a whole week in practice and we know what he can bring to the table. He has a nice combination of speed and size. Having him there will open up our passing game.”

Cathedral head coach Denny Lux agrees with Buboltz in that his team has not changed a whole lot over the years.

“But MVL ran the spread (offense) last year so we are watching film and checking our notes. Obviously personnel has changed – they have a number of new players at some skilled positions. They do have A.J. (Buboltz) back who is a very good quarterback who runs the offense well. He is like a coach on the field so we have to respect him and what he can do.”

Lux said that the Chargers 0-2 record does not mean a thing.

“They do not shed any light on what kind of team MVL is,” Lux said. “In high school football in Minnesota you do not get that many practices – those first two games you are just getting things together and polished up. They ae a very good team.”

Lux said that the Chargers’ offense will throw the ball “but they still are going to run the ball first. That is part of what their spread offense does is to get your linebackers spread out and then find the seam for the running game.”

He said one of the keys on Friday will be his team’s ability to play with the physical linemen that MVL has.

“They have big size up front on both the offensive and defensive lines,” Lux said. “So it has to be our quickness and speed. That comes with experience. And I think that our guys have gained experience and know that they can fill those roles that they need to.”

He said that running backs Nate Hauser and John Gillis “need to get to the holes quicker – the offensive line that we have is solid but they can’t hold the holes open as long as others we have had.”

MARSHALL (2-0) AT NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (1-1) 7 P.M. THURSDAY, JOHNSON FIELD

The Tigers come in as the top team in Section 2AAAA, having outscored Jordan 64-14 and Waseca 45-6 as they come to New Ulm.

“They have a good running back, a good quarterback and a tall receiver,” said New Ulm coach Corey Kneeshaw. “They have a good offensive line – one of them (Blaise Andries, 6-foot 5, 300 pounds) is going to Minnesota to play football next year. They are a great team with a great program. This game is a benchmark for us – four or five years down the road this is where I want our program to be. For this game we are concentrating on what we can do better.”

While Marshall runs a balanced offense, Kneeshaw said that the Tigers like to run boot-leg passes and flex out their tight end “and put a receiver inside their tight end. They do run power but they can throw deep as well. We also have to contain their running back and not let him get outside – when he gets outside he is pretty much gone.”

Kneeshaw said that his team wants to go out in this game and compete.

“We want to use this game as a test and see where our program is right now,” Kneeshaw said. “Obviously we are not going to be right there with Marshall – we understand that and we know that – but I do think that we are a couple of notches up from where we have been. But Marshall is the best – they are the bar where things are set but where are we in the pecking order.”

While Marshall has a good running back, so do the Eagles. Currently, senior running back Jordan Hillesheim is at 2,921 career rushing yards and needs 79 yards to crack the 3,000-career yard mark.

“If it happens, it happens” said Kneeshaw. “Jordan will be the first one to tell you that he wants to win and if the stats happen. He is a team player – he wants to win as a team.”

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