Eagles looking for improvement after rough 1st game

NEW ULM — New Ulm High School football coach Corey Kneeshaw said that one of the things that he was most concerned about in his team’s 46-14 road loss to Waseca on Thursday was the players’ poor tackling.

“We left a lot of tackles on the field and that is something that we need to emphasize in practice,” Kneeshaw said. “Waseca is a great team and it is tough to start the season against them. But at the same time it lets you know where you are at with your program.”

Kneeshaw felt that the new offense unveiled by his team was good at times.

“In the first half we had them off-balance but we were our own worst enemy,” he said. “We had some procedure penalties. I thought that [quarterback] Hunter [Ranweiler] struggled a little bit — he was going too fast. We were running the no-huddle, which is fast but he was going even faster.

“He struggled passing in the first half — he had some high throws because of it and he was not able to make his reads. So what we did in the second half with him is slow down the tempo a little bit. I wanted him to take a couple of extra seconds to read over the defense, make the decision where he wanted to go with the ball. Once we did that we got him in a lot better rhythm in the second half.”

For the game. New Ulm ended with 58 yards rushing and 125 yards passing.

The Eagles’ offense only had one turnover in the game but had a couple false starts and a holding penalty.

“We came out in an offense that they were not expecting,” Kneeshaw said. “They changed their defense a little bit and that confused us. But we made the adjustment at halftime and we felt a lot better after we made those adjustments with our offensive line.”

Kneeshaw knows that teams make the most improvement from Week 1 to Week 2.

“That is what we expect to do this week,” he said. “We are going to improve.”

LUX HAPPY WITH WIN: New Ulm Cathedral football coach Denny Lux was happy with the play of his defense in a 16-0 shutout against Lakeview on Friday night in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

“We held them to under 100 yards of offense,” Lux said. “Coach [Jesse] Nosbush has changed our defensive alignment a little bit in changing the alignment of our defensive ends and outside linebackers and has responsibilities different with our interior linemen. He spent a lot of time over the winter putting some ideas together. And we had worked together at camp this summer at South Dakota State University — after three weeks of preseason it came together pretty well.”

Lux was also happy with the overall performance of the offense. Colton Braulick ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Other running backs David Berg and Nate Hauser also ran for a lot.

“We spread the running game out with four backs and that made it harder on their defense,” Lux said. “Our three backs and our quarterback [Josh Seidl] are all strong runners. We still have Mark Schommer, Jayden Hotovec and Brandon Berg on the sidelines.”

And even members of the offensive line that make the holes for the backs have a little running back mentality.

“Our philosophy is that if you are a guard, [Zach Helget and Tyler Wilson] you are really a fullback who is not running with the ball,” Lux said. “But we return the bulk of our offensive line. And I am really proud of our three tight ends [Andrew McClain, John Gillis, Alex Hillesheim]. They are not looking to catch the ball, they want to get downfield and block. We have the right mindset for this offense right now.”

Lux said that Seidl, who made his first start at quarterback, did a nice job.

“He never played quarterback before,” Lux said. “But at the SDSU camp, Jacob Manderfeld had the sore knee as did Mark Schommer. So I told Josh to run the offense like you want to keep the job and he did a great job.”

CHARGERS HAVE TOUGH 1ST GAME: Minnesota Valley Lutheran football coach Jim Buboltz’s team had a tough first game against Mayer Lutheran in a 35-6 loss.

“They had nine of their 11 starters back on offense including one of the best quarterbacks in the state,” Buboltz said. “They lost last year to Minneapolis North in the section playoffs.”

Buboltz said that Mayer blitzed a lot and put a lot of pressure up front in the first half.

“But at the end of the second quarter going into the half we were able to find things that worked for us and played much better,” he said.

Buboltz said that quarterback Matt Munsen ran the option well.

“We are going to work on our passing game more — we ran more [Friday] than we passed,” Buboltz said. “That was our first-game mentality to see where our line is and we are going to tweak that. We can build on some of the things that we did.”

Buboltz said that defensive linemen Jacob Kiecker and Josiah Glowicki did well as did Colton Collum.

“I was very pleased with our special teams so early in the year,” Buboltz said. “We had three kickoffs for over 50 yards in returns so that is good for this time of year. I saw more positive things from us than negatives.”