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New Ulm football teams all traveling this week

NEW ULM — On the road again.

Last weekend, all three local high school football teams enjoyed home cooking.

This weekend, all three schools hit the road for Week 3 contests.

All three have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Minnesota Valley Lutheran hopes to win its second straight game when it plays at unbeaten Martin County West.

New Ulm High School heads west to tangle with Marshall and New Ulm Cathedral travels to St. James to meet the Saints.

MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (1-1) AT MARTIN COUNTY WEST (2-0), 7 P.M. SHERBURN

“They struggled last year but they have won their first two games this year,” Chargers head coach Jim Buboltz said about the Mavericks, who have defeated St. James and Sleepy Eye High School. “They have put things together this year — they have a whole new offensive system. They line up in the ‘I’ and they power it at you. And they use play-action passes to some pretty good receivers. They can put points on the board. They are pretty excited.”

Buboltz said that the Mavericks are a power football team.

“So we need to take that away,” he said. “They get 3 to 4 yards a crack and that sets up their play-action pass at opportune times.”

Buboltz said that the Mavericks’ line is pretty solid with a good fullback.

“He is physical back and that is an improvement for them.”

Buboltz does like the matchup on the offensive and defensive lines.

“We can do good things there, but the biggest thing is can we get decent stops on first and second downs and put them in longer and tougher situations,” he said. “If we can do that, we can get the ball back in our offense’s hands. I really like how we moved the ball last week and we think if we can continue to establish the run, it will make our passing even better.”

Buboltz said that since the three-team scrimmage and the game with Dawson-Boyd that his team has switched up blocking schemes.

“Now we feel that the concept that we are teaching is easier for the players to learn.”

Buboltz said that while most coaches see the biggest improvement from Week 2 to Week 3, he thinks that his team turns things on by the fourth week.

“We are known as a second-half program.”

NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (0-2) AT MARSHALL (0-2), 7 P.M. SOUTHWEST STATE UNIVERSITY

You would have to look way back in the record books to find out when the last time Marshall opened a football season at 0-2.

“They lost a lot of skilled players from last year and their strength is definitely their line,” New Ulm High School head coach Eric Kauffmann said. “Their offensive line is still intact and they have a D-I prospect playing for them at left guard.

“But as we watch film of them, they seem to be struggling and they are not used to that. You can not really get an offensive tendency off of film on them.”

Kauffmann said that the Tigers, who have lost to Fairmont and Waseca, have been using two different quarterbacks this season.

“They used them both in both games,” he said. “One is a more mobile quarterback but he is young and the other is a senior who is not mobile. They like to throw the ball to [Chidi Nwakama] who gets about 80% of the balls either on a run or pass.”

Kauffmann thinks that the Tigers will go to their flex formation against the Eagles.

“That is what they have always done against us and will try and power the ball at us,” Kauffmann said. “They have a big line, but I think that they will take their shots at us. I do think that our line is quicker than they are.”

Offensively, Kauffmann said that the Eagles want to run the ball.

“We want to control the clock — they like to blitz a lot so we may throw the ball more to get them off-balance. We may also change up our snap counts.”

Kauffmann said that they are adding more plays for quarterback Ayden Jensen’s playbook.

“We try and do something different each week and we need to clean up some of our mistakes from last week,” Kauffmann said. “Scoring first is big for us and we cannot let them get any quick momentum.”

NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (1-1) AT ST. JAMES (0-2) 7 P.M. ST. JAMES.

New Ulm Cathedral head football coach Denny Lux said that the Saints have a defensive line that is very quick getting off of the ball.

“And they have some strong looking kids on the line and that seems to be the strength of their defense,” he said about their first-ever meeting in football. “They have some tall players in their defensive secondary that can cover some ground. They are hungry for a win and this is going to be the kind of game where most of the play will be at the line of scrimmage — both teams are going to play very hard there offensively and defensively.”

St James is in its second year of restarting football and Lux thinks that the technique that is being installed there is good.

“They are doing all of the right things and they have a scheme with their double-slot offense and defensively. We do not always know what we are going to see especially against our Michigan ‘T’,” Lux said. “The game that we saw they got an early lead on Martin County West and you could see the excitement on the sideline with their players and coaches. They are working very hard over there and this is going to be a good ballgame.”

Offensively, Lux says that the Saints resemble a tight double slot.

“It looks like all of the things that Dean Deible ran with the Sleepy Eye Indians back in the 1990s with a lot of success,” he said. “There is a lot of misdirection in that offense and movement with the halfback going in motion. It will be something different than we have seen in our first two games.”

For the Greyhounds offensively, Lux thinks that his team needs to establish the line of scrimmage.

“From tight end to tight end we need to do a better job of sustaining blocks and driving blocks,” Lux said. “That is the thing that we want to see the most out of this game. Whatever match-up we have [Friday], we need to get the job done on the offensive line.”

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