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Week 3 sees 2 New Ulm teams at home

NEW ULM — The third week of the high school football season means that we are already halfway through the shortened 2020 regular season.

And all three local high schools are looking to rebound from losses last week.

Minnesota Valley Lutheran is the lone local team on the road as they bus to Adrian Friday night for a Southwest District-East game against the Dragons.

New Ulm High School hosts St. Peter at the New Ulm High School field in a South Central-Red District game while New Ulm Cathedral entertains Springfield at Johnson Field in a Southwest District-East contest.

All games have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (0-2) AT ADRIAN (0-2) FRIDAY 7 P.M. ADRIAN

Last year was the first year that MVL played the Dragons in football as the Chargers came away with a 30-13 home win over the Dragons.

This year in Adrian, both squads are seeking their first win of the season. The Dragons fell 22-0 at the hands of Springfield while the Chargers dropped a 48-6 contest to a very good Wabasso team.

“They are a football team that will basically bring it straight at you,” MVL head coach Jim Buboltz said.

“They have that pounding kind of offense mentality. They have that same kind of mentality on the defensive side of the ball. They are going to try and run the ball — they want to establish the run — and even if they cannot run the ball, they are going to try and get the run going.”

Buboltz said that while Adrian has the same running mentality that Wabasso did last week, the Dragons are not in the same class as the Rabbits talent-wise.

“Wabasso was one of the best football teams that I have seen in a long time,” Buboltz said.

That means that the Chargers’ defense needs to make strides defensively in tackling.

“We have to tackle better,” Buboltz said. “We struggled with that the other night. We did a little bit better job in the second half. But we need to do that better right off the start. And it is a long bus trip (109 miles), our players have to be ready to go when they get on the field.”

While Buboltz said that his team is not looking good offensively, he is still stressing the defense.

“You are not going to win a lot of games if you can’t play defense,” he said. “We have played two good football teams. But for us defensively it is we are going after the ball but we are not taking the proper angles running behind ball carriers. They are not breaking their feet down when they are out in space. And we just have to wrap up when we tackle.

“When we do not do that, it puts more pressure on our offense, we can move the ball with big plays but we need to maintain possession for long drives so we keep their offense off of the field,” Buboltz said. “You play good offense, you help out your defense. We are getting beat up on the defensive side of the ball and by the time we get the ball on offense there is not much left in the tank. We need to score right away and have some positive things happen right away.”

ST. PETER (0-1) AT NEW ULM (0-2) FRIDAY 7 P.M. NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL

If you like to compare scores between teams with common opponents, New Ulm lost to Marshall 48-16 in the first week of football while St. Peter dropped a 35-0 contest to the Tigers last week.

“They have changed things up offensively and now they are running more of a double-wing, wing-T offense and they are running the ball more than they did last year,” New Ulm coach Eric Kauffmann said. “That is probably because they graduated their quarterback (Wyatt Olson) so we know that they are going to try and run the ball. They are going to use a lot of motion. Their offense is really similar to what we run so I think that our kids should be able to adjust defensively to it pretty well.”

Kauffmann said that his biggest concern with the Saints is that “this is not what we have seen out of them in the past. Last year they were all shotgun and were spread out like crazy and ran the ball. Now they are under center — they do some shotgun — but the big thing is that they are running a different offense.”

Kauffmann said that St. Peter is athletic.

“We watched their film against Marshall and they can move the ball. They did not score but they got inside there a couple of times. They are quick so we will have to see what the weather is like.”

Kauffmann said that he is looking for improvement in not making mistakes.

“We are making big-time mental mistakes offensively and defensively,” he said. “We are not reading our keys very well and we are making some blocking mistakes. But we do have some young players that do not have that varsity playing time. And with the shortened season we did not get in all of the practice time we needed so we are probably making first-week mistakes going into our third week. We need to clean up those mistakes and we will be a lot better.

“We are going to be watching more film this week and getting the team mentally prepared,” Kauffmann said. “Once they see the mistakes that they made last week they are almost going to kick themselves. We as coaches need to pick up those things as the game goes on and make corrections faster.”

Kauffmann said that he has been pleased with the play of Jaden Drill at defensive and offensive tackle.

“Our quarterback play has not been super great but it is better than I thought it was going to be with Isaiah Miller — I did not know what we were going to get out of him but he has handled it OK.”

SPRINGFIELD (1-1) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (1-1) FRIDAY 7 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD

The young Springfield Tigers enter this game coming off a 22-0 blanking of Adrian last week while the Greyhounds are looking to rebound from a 38-14 loss last week to Sleepy Eye.

Cathedral head football coach Denny Lux said that the Tigers are looking to carry on a winning tradition.

“For the past few years they have been playing at a pretty high level and it seems like their players are working to keep it at that level right now,” Lux said. “They run a spread offense — they spread you out with their receivers — but it is really the running game that they are working at. It may look to the fans that it is a throwing offense but they want to run the ball off tackle. Their linemen do a good job of blocking. They look like they have reloaded pretty good.”

Lux said that their game against the Indians last week was one where his team did not get the level of intensity that they needed.

“And we had a couple of plays early in the third quarter that went against us and kind of sealed the loss,” he said. “For a lot of teams it is still early in the season yet it is only their second game but with only two weeks of practice. There were some programs that worked out over the summer and they got a little bit of a jump on people. Our kids are giving a good effort. We have a good mix of new kids up front and in the backfield so I think overall it has been OK.

“Sam Knowles [Cathedral quarterback] has been a great leader on offense, but on defense we are still looking for that leader,” Lux said. “We are looking for those one or two players on defense who can help us keep that high level that we need.”

Lux said that it will be nice to play at home.

“It is strange going on the road and you have no fans there and most of the teams are not taking their full rosters on road games. There are a lot of things that are different so it is always good to be around familiar surroundings.

“But whether there are people at the game or not, you have to make the most out of your chances. I think that you will see more teams start to settle in now in their third game.”

Lux said that he knows that the Tigers are going to throw a lot of different defenses at the Greyhounds “We need to have our offensive line settle in and do their jobs. In this short season every game is so important because it is hard to make up ground when you are trying to go after a top four spot in the section. And every game is counting for these seniors in a shortened season with no state tournament.”

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