Sleepy Eye ekes by Greyhounds

Indians win 8-7 in low-scoring contest

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Sleepy Eye running back Landon Strong collides with Joey Griebel (71) of New Ulm Cathedral during the first quarter Friday at Johnson Field in New Ulm.

NEW ULM — For the second straight game, the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds came up a point short.

Landon Strong’s 2-point conversion following a 5-yard Ethan Fischer touchdown run in the second quarter was the difference in the game as Sleepy Eye Public overcame four turnovers and six penalties to edge the Greyhounds 8-7 Friday night in a Southwest District football game at Johnson Field.

The Greyhounds lost their opener last week 34-33 to Lakeview.

Zach Helget had the lone Cathedral touchdown on a 77-yard run in the second quarter for a 7-0 Greyhounds lead.

Helget ended the game with 111 yards on 17 carries.

For Cathedral coach Denny Lux and Sleepy Eye coach Cory Haala, this was a game that could have been won by either team in a fourth quarter that saw each team turn the ball over twice.

“Either team could have won this game,” Lux said. “We had our chance at the end of the first half and that is on me because I have to get the team in the end zone.”

After the Indians had taken an 8-7 lead with 4:31 left in the first half, the Greyhounds began a drive that took them from their own 43-yard line deep into Indians territory. A 10-yard pass from Sam Knowles to Alex Hillesheim, runs of 7 and 3 yards by Josh Seidl and a 4-yard run from Elliot Schoo had the ball on the 4-yard line as time was running. Cathedral was unable to run another play as time expired in the first half as Sleepy Eye carried an 8-7 lead into halftime.

“We were just fortunate enough to get that 2-point conversion,” Haala said. “Our defense stepped up.”

Other than that, the contest came down to the final 12 minutes that saw both teams exchange turnovers.

Cathedral’s Sam Knowles was intercepted by Ethan Fischer on the Greyhounds’ second play of the final quarter.

Three plays later, Cathedral’s Alex Hillesheim recovered a Sleepy Eye fumble.

On Cathedral’s first snap, Sleepy Eye’s Blake Tauer jumped on a Greyhounds fumble.

On the Indians’ seventh play after the recovery, Alex Hillesheim recovered a fumble.

Cathedral then moved the ball from their own 10-yard line to the Indians’ 40, where their drive ended when they did not convert on a fourth down with two minutes to go in the game.

“It was not a clean game on our end,” Haala said. “But you are going to have ups and downs. You have to deal with adversity. Fortunately we saw our way though it.”

“We are close,” Lux said. “Defensively what coach Jesse Nosbush had going I thought that we did a good job.This team is rallying together and staying together. We do not feel like we are 0-2 at all. We will get these tables to turn a little bit.”