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Week 2 local prep football preview: New Ulm teams search for 1st wins of season

By Jim Bastian

Journal Sports Writer

NEW ULM — Week 2 of the high school football season has all three local high schools looking for their first win of the season.

Both New Ulm High School and Minnesota Valley Lutheran have road contests this Friday at Belle Plaine and Springfield, respectively.

New Ulm Cathedral has a home contest against Tracy-Milroy-Balaton at Johnson Field.

All games have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (0-1) AT BELLE PLAINE (0-1) 7 P.M. BELLE PLAINE

Belle Plaine is coming off a 35-7 spanking at the hands of Jordan last week, while the Eagles fell 16-6 to Redwood Valley.

Belle Plaine defeated New Ulm 17-15 last year, but they are a new team offensively.

“They have changed their offense from last year and they are running what New Ulm Cathedral runs in the Power T,” New Ulm coach Eric Kaufmann said. “They run double tight end with a full backfield and they just want to run the ball. And they did not score (last week) until late in the game.”

Kaufmann said that they will change up their defense.

“We are going to have to pack the box — we will put between eight and nine guys in the box — and force them to do something that they do not want to do. I am guessing that they do not want to pass the ball.”

Kaufmann said that his team made new team mistakes last week.

“It is just little blocking assignments — guys not getting to the right guys. We need to fine-tune our offense and get more comfortable with what we are doing. We have only practiced this offense for four weeks. Mistakes will happen early, but as we go on, they should not happen any more.”

Kaufmann said that each week he will add something to the offense.

“I think that maybe we can get outside on Belle Plaine. We have speed in Teagan Kamm and Cole Ranweiler, so if we can attack the edges more, we will be better off. And we need to limit our mistakes and win the turnover battle.”

MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (0-1) AT SPRINGFIELD (1-0) 7 P.M. FRIDAY SPRINGFIELD

The last time that MVL and Springfield met on the football field was in the 2016-17 season when the Chargers down the Tigers 37-14.

MVL is coming off of a tough 20-16 loss to Lakeview, while the Tigers opened with a 38-7 shellacking of Lac qui Parle Valley.

“They look very explosive on the offense.” Chargers head coach Jim Buboltz said. “They have done a great job of recreating themselves the last couple of years. They really look good. They threw the ball for almost 240 yards last game, they have a good mix of run and pass, they have a lot of playmakers. Their offense is generating into good defense.”

Decker Scheffler still runs the offense at quarterback.

“Anytime he gets the ball in his hands, he is an athlete and he knows how to get the ball around to everybody,” Buboltz said. “They have a lot of different weapons. The pass generates into big plays for them.”

Buboltz said that last week they had three backs that each had 40 yards offense.

“They are big-play orientated.”

Buboltz said that the Chargers have to take care of the ball better than they did last week.

“And our defense has to do a better job on first downs. If we can get those things done, we can be OK.”

TRACY-MILROY-BALATON (0-1) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (0-1) 7 P.M. FRIDAY JOHNSON FIELD

Last week, Cathedral fell 32-28 to Dawson-Boyd, while Tracy-Milroy-Balaton lost 50-7 to perennial power Minneota.

The Greyhounds have beaten TMB twice in their last two meetings and Greyhounds head coach Denny Lux knows that the Panthers always have a good defensive game plan.

“They do a good job defending the Michigan T (that Cathedral runs) and they seem to get the right match-ups for themselves” he said. “So going forward, we know that we really have to work hard on our assignments offensively.”

Lux said that they will try and spread you out defensively.

“They will throw probably half the time, so we need to get ready for a number of things. They do have a couple of receivers that they want to highlight in their offense.”

Lux said that his team needs to clean up mistakes from last week that they had in their backfield.

“In this offense, we try and get everything down to the steps that we take, and we need to get to the block quicker in some spots in the offensive line.”

Lux said that he hopes to see a repeat of his defense last week when they forced two turnovers.

“I think that Will Schabert, Tony Geiger and Chris Knowles really set the tone on the field last week both on offense and defense. We will need those guys to do the same on Friday.”

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