New Ulm football team finds success this season
NEW ULM — For the first time since 2004, the New Ulm Eagles football team has won three straight games after their 26-22 win over Worthington Friday.
Coming off an 0-9 season last year in which they scored a total of 41 points, the Eagles are now 3-1 on the year and have scored a total of 96 points in four games.
And they are currently ranked 25th in the QRF rankings for Class 4A schools in the state.
Add in the performance of junior running back Cole Ranweiler. In the last three games, Ranweiler has rushed for a total of 682 yards and nine touchdowns after his 225 yards rushing and two touchdown performance Friday.
“We did not give up after we gave up some big plays early,” New Ulm coach Eric Kauffmann said. The Eagles got down 7-6 early in the game but battled back. “You know that your team starts getting better when you give up a big play but you come back from that. You know your team is starting to get better when you can do those things.”
And it was the play of the offensive line and Ranweiler that got New Ulm going.
“Teams are going to key on him — he is our workhorse — and he is going to get his 20-plus touches a game.”
But Kauffmann said that the Eagles did some other things offensively Friday.
“We ran some different formations and Nolan Drill [New Ulm quarterback] had a good game for us. He scored our first touchdown but we had that all set up because of what we were doing with Cole on that first drive. Nolan kept the ball and got a 20-yard touchdown run. Things like that are starting to work for us. We want to give the ball to Cole as much as we can because he has big play capability. But we also know that every team we play knows that too so we need to put other things in.”
Drill also threw a touchdown pass to Isaiah Miller.
Kauffmann said that the New Ulm offensive line was without Reece Melby and had to make some alterations to the line because of that and again at halftime.
“Cole Rhode, who was replacing Reece got hurt so we had to move Connor Slette, who was playing guard to that spot and then replaced him with Tim Smith. And that was a big thing for those kids to realize we can do those things successfully.
“We wanted to run the ball this year and control the clock and we are doing that,” Kauffmann said.
GREYHOUNDS COULD BE 4-0: With a play here or there, the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds could very easily be 4-0 instead of 1-3. Their losses have come by four, two and six points.
What hurt the Greyhounds Friday in their 12-6 loss to Wabasso were four penalties for 35 yards and three turnovers, two coming on lost fumbles with one coming on the Rabbits’ 12-yard line on Cathedral’s opening drive of the second half in a 6-6 game.
“We need to be able to drive people off of the ball,” Greyhounds coach Denny Lux said. “In this style of offense, defenses take a chance here and there and if they guess right we still need to be able to drive them off of the line of scrimmage. We could not sustain our drives when we needed too. We will take a good look at what is holding us back but we will get there.”
STEEL WIN BIG: The New Ulm Steel fired 68 shots on goal Friday night in an 11-1 shelling of Breezy Point.
Steel coach Zach Stepan, who saw his team even their record at 1-1, said that he was happy with the play of his team.
“In about 95 percent of the game they played like they were supposed to play because some of the biggest things that can happen when you go up four or five goals you can get into the mindset that I can do anything,” he said. “Guys will try and take someone one-on-one and try all these plays that worked in high school hockey that will not work at the junior level. Our guys did a good job of sticking to our game plan.”
Jack Parks, who was on the Chippewa Falls NAHL roster out of training camp, was released by Chippewa and elected to come back to New Ulm where he played last season, recorded a hat trick in the game.
The Steel started Zach Hatten in the nets and he only allowed one goal.
“We just brought him in from Kalamazoo, Michigan. We do have four goalies and we are going to give each goalie their chance to show what they can do. And again I was happy that our guys did not fall into the trap of the game turning into open hockey.”
New Ulm plays Breezy Point again next week and Stepan said that it can become more of a mental thing when they meet them again. “It does not matter who we play because if we lose our good habits in those games when we play a good team it will bite us in the butt.”