MVL searching for first win, Eagles and Greyhounds look to topple unbeaten teams

NEW ULM — This week is already the halfway mark of the regular season for local teams as they prepare for the fourth week of the high school football season.

This week sees two teams — Minnesota Valley Lutheran and New Ulm Cathedral — playing home games on Friday and Saturday respectively.

The New Ulm Eagles hit the road for a tough matchup with unbeaten — and unscored upon — Marshall on Friday.

All games will kick off at 7 p.m.

SOUTHLAND (1-2) AT MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (O-3) FRIDAY 7 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD

The Rebels make their first-ever appearance against the Chargers.

“We do not know a lot about them,” MVL coach Jim Buboltz said. “Some of these teams we may have seen six years ago or eight years ago, but Southland is a team that I have never seen. We have watched film and tried to get some of their tendencies down. They are primarily a running team so they are going to try and get their running game established and try a play-action pass. They play in a tough (Mid-Southeast District, East Subdistrict) conference and they play teams like Rusford-Peterson and Blooming Prairie. They are going to be an opponent that we are going to have to be ready for.”

Their two losses came to both Rushford-Peterson and Blooming Prairie, teams who are both currently 3-0.

Last week, the Rebels laid a 43-0 beating on Kingsland.

The trip to New Ulm from Southland, located in Adams, Minnesota, is a 120-mile trip that takes just over two hours.

“The advantage is definitely being able to play at home,” said Buboltz, whose team will make the long trip to Adams next season. “Southland runs into quite a few games that are long trips, so travel for them is something that they are probably used to. We are happy to play at home — I thought that we played well at home in our first game against Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity. We are looking forward to playing at home.”

Sitting at 0-3, Buboltz said that while right now he is concerned about the things that Southland is doing, he is more concerned about the things that his team is not doing.

“We are working on ourselves,” he said.” We need to correct our mistakes.”

And MVL fans will also see some personnel changes on the field.

“We are going to rotate a few people around on the defensive side of the ball,” Buboltz said. “I think that we will be OK on the offensive side — we just need to stick with the process. Matt (Munsen, MVL quarterback) is learning and is coming along. We are trying to mix in Carlos (Ramirez) and Colton (Collum) in the backfield and trying to get our receivers involved also.”

“We have shown some flashes at times in games and I believe that we are getting closer. We are looking forward to putting together a full game. A win is important for the kids and for the section. You do not to want to get too far behind in the section for the playoffs.”

MURRAY COUNTY CENTRAL (3-0) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL; (2-1) SATURDAY AFTERNOON 4 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD

Unbeaten Murray County Central arrives in New Ulm Saturday for a rare 4 p.m. game.

“They are a very good team with a good reputation for running the football,” New Ulm Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. “They look like they are primarily a running team — they have three offensive sets that they run out of. When they do throw, they kind of spread you out a little bit. They are trying to spread the defense out with their sets and then take advantage of that spot on the field.”

Lux said that the Rebels have quickness up front.

“And their linebackers are typical running back type of guys that have good speed and good flow,” Lux said.

Lux commented that it is hard to compare MCC to other teams.

“But it seems like most teams are using some kind of spread offense or an offense to spread the defense out,” Lux said. “Coach (Jesse) Nosbush (Cathedral defensive coach) is good to have because he gets his guys in the right spots. It really comes down to stopping their main running plays.”

Lux is hoping that the play of his team in the second half last week can carry over to this contest.

“We did a lot of nice things offensively and the guys were reading their blocks,” Lux said. “But it really comes down to setting the flow of the game by not having the turnovers — making the tackles when they present themselves — so we just need to come out and play a solid game for four quarters.”

As far as if the outcome of the game going to be decided offensively or defensively, Lux said that he likes to think of his team as a defensive one.

“Our tradition at Cathedral is playing strong defense and protect the football, That is what we have to get back to doing.”

NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (2-1) AT MARSHALL (3-0) FRIDAY 7 P.M. SOUTHWEST STATE

Two stats you need to know about the 3-0 Tigers.

They have not allowed a point in three games and they have scored 184 points in wins of 70-0 over Albert Lea, 58-0 over Belle Plaine and 56-0 over Worthington.

“I consider them a benchmark program,” Eagles coach Corey Kneeshaw said. “You play Marshall and Waseca and you really see where your program is at. You see things that you have to improve on going forward. They may not be as physical on the offensive line as last year — they lost Blaise Andres to graduation and he is playing at Minnesota — but (quarterback) Trey Lance is every bit as good as advertised and (running back) Jefferson Lee (who has over 70 career touchdowns) is just so fast. You have to be able to contain him from getting outside — he gets outside, he is gone.”

When coaches watch film of opposing teams, they try and locate a weakness that they can exploit. Do the Tigers have any such flaw?  

“I like to think that our defensive line is getting better each week, so that is an area where we can try and get after them,” Kneeshaw said. “They have some good cornerbacks and Lance also plays safety. We fully expect that they are going to put their best corner and Lance over the top of Foley. So we think that we can kind of exploit some of the insides and use some of our other receivers. The good thing about having four receivers is that they do not feel that they can stop everybody — they are going to try and take away what we do well. We think that is what their game plan is going to be, so we need to have other players step up and catch some balls for us if they take Foley out with coverage.”

Kneeshaw said that as a coach you wonder if a team may come with the “deer in the headlights” look to a game against a team like Marshall.

“But I think that we may have had that moment when we played Waseca in our first game of the season,” he said. “We know that we are playing a great team. It is not so much about preaching about Marshall. It is more about talking about what are the things that we need to do to be successful on Friday nights. So we are really working that and concentrating on ourselves.”

“We definitely want to be the first team to score on them, but we do not want that to happen in the fourth quarter of a meaningless game — we want to go out and score in the first quarter. We need to break this game down into quarters and see how we are doing after each quarter.”

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