Prep football preview: Chargers still seeking 1st win of the season

NEW ULM — Minnesota Valley Lutheran will be the lone local team that hosts a game this Friday as the seventh week of the high school football season is upon us.

MVL will host Medford in a 7 p.m. kick-off at Johnson Field while New Ulm Cathedral plays at Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in the first-ever football meeting between the two schools.

New Ulm High School hopes to get back on the winning track when it plays at Jordan.

Also, next week is MEA Week which means teams will be playing their final regular season games on Wednesday.

MEDFORD (0-6) AT MVL (0-6) FRIDAY 7 PM. JOHNSON FIELD.

One thing is certain about Friday’s game between the Chargers and the Tigers. One of them will be celebrating their first win of the season.

Like MVL, Medford is trying to work through the same issues that have hampered the Chargers this season.

“They have the same problems as we do,” said MVL head coach Jim Buboltz, who is one win shy of 100 career coaching wins. “They are looking for consistency on offense and they have turned the ball over — they are almost an exact replica of our team.”

Buboltz said that the Tigers’ offense likes to attack the edges.

“They will run the jet sweep and then bring the jet sweep back with a counter or a fullback trap,” Buboltz said. “Those are the three attacking areas. They like to get the defenses moving and switching. They want to try and get their athletes in space.”

For Buboltz and the Chargers, this week’s focus has been on taking care of the football.

“And the mentality of winning every play — win that play and then come back and win the next play,” he said. “And we are looking for the right combinations of players to put us in the best possible chance to succeed. I think that we have that so now I just have to get them to believe that.”

NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (4-2) AT TRACY-MILROY-BALATON (4-2) 7 P.M. FRIDAY TRACY

New Ulm Cathedral head football coach Denny Lux describes the identical record 4-2 Panthers as “very athletic with a young quarterback who runs and throws the ball well. They run five different offensive sets — they have a good scheme of getting their quarterback outside and giving him time to throw. They will mix up their offense pretty well and set up for their young quarterback.”

Lux said that while TMB spreads a defense out with a passing look, it really wants to run the ball.

“But then again they are not afraid to throw the ball with this quarterback,” he said.

He also knows that this is one of two big games that his team has to end the regular season and prepare for the playoffs.

“Everybody is counting these games down to see how it is all going to shake out,” Lux said. “Our feeling is that if you want to be a playoff team you have to be ready to play any team at any time. That is what is important. We have 14 seniors on this team and they are going to play hard into the playoffs.”

If Cathedral can win this game and then win its game against Springfield at home on Wednesday it should lock up the No. 2 seed in Section 3A behind Wabasso for the playoffs.

NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (3-3) AT JORDAN (4-2) FRIDAY 7 P.M. JORDAN

New Ulm High School head football coach Corey Kneeshaw feels that when his team meets the Hubmen of Jordan Friday night in a South Central District — Red game, it will be between two evenly matched teams record-wise.

“But they are a little unorthodox with some of the things that they do both offensively and defensively,” Kneeshaw said. “They like to throw the ball like we do — they have a good quarterback in Jonathan Draheim and they have two good receivers in Ryan Friedges and Ryan Samuelson. They are like us — they want to throw the ball and get the ball to their guys out on the perimeter and see if they can make some plays. They also can use two good running backs so we need to be aware of who is in the game at what time.”

The unorthodox things that the Hubmen do include an unconventional defense that is a 4-2-5 scheme.

“They bring one of their guys up to the line of scrimmage — we call him the ‘hang-over guy’ — and he plays just outside of the tight end,” Kneeshaw said.

Jordan also uses trick plays on offense.

“And when they score a touchdown they like to run a variation of the old swinging gate. For them it is a numbers thing. If they think they have you out-numbered they will take the ball and go.”

Because of the unorthodox defense that Jordan will throw at the Eagles, Kneeshaw said that his team will not adjust their offense.

“We are not changing our offensive style,” he said. “If they want to stop us they might need to change their defensive style. If they don’t they are going to leave some gaps out there that we will look to exploit. They will use two linebackers and for us that is a good match-up.”

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