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Greyhounds host Chargers for Homecoming football, Eagles travel to No. 3 Waseca

NEW ULM — Week 6 of the high school football season on the local scene has Minnesota Valley Lutheran meeting cross-town rival New Ulm Cathedral in a Southwest District game, while the Eagles of New Ulm High School head to Waseca to meet the Bluejays in a South Central District meeting.

Both games have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (3-2) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (2-3)

7 P.M., FRIDAY,

JOHNSON FIELD

Coming into this game, the Chargers are riding a two-game winning streak with wins over Wabasso (38-6) and Adrian (16-15), while the Greyhounds come in on a rare two-game losing skid with losses to Sleepy Eye Public (18-8) and Martin County West (20-0).

But as both coaches know, this is a game where you can throw out any records or streaks.

“They line up in the T formation and want to pound the ball in the middle with the fullback,” Chargers head coach Jim Buboltz said. “They want to use a lot of deception. Let’s be truthful — whether it is in the T formation or in spread formation, everything runs through Sam (Knowles, Cathedral quarterback). He is an incredible athlete and does a great job running or passing the ball. He is simply the leader of that team — it all runs through him. You have to be conscious of him making a play.”

Buboltz said that this will also be a physical football game at the line of scrimmage. “They have added a spread component to their offense to give Sam some more space. But really it starts with the T and running the ball.”

Buboltz said that in the last two games, he thinks that his team has started to find themselves.

“We like where we are at — we are not satisfied where we are at — but we like what we have been doing in practice the last 10-12 days,” he said. “And that seems to be the M.O. out here that we get better as the year goes on.”

Buboltz thinks that his defense has really stepped up in the last two weeks.

“They have done a very nice job — players like Landon Merseth, Malachi Kohls and Cole Thompson, all juniors — have stepped up this season. But we want to get better every game and take that step forward each game.”

Cathedral head coach Denny Lux said the Chargers offensively run the veer offense.

“And now they are doing the RPO which is a run-pass option,” Lux said. “When they come at you with the quarterback and that running back and then they keep a receiver off to the side a little bit, it really puts pressure on the assignments that our defensive players have.

“We do not see much veer at all — Springfield runs a real good spread offense — but they are not really running the veer where the quarterback either gives the ball off or keeps it. But MVL has now added the pass option to it. We are going to have to find some keys to get our defenders in the right spot.”

And the Greyhounds need to find a way to get their offense back on track after scoring just one touchdown in the last two games.

“We really do need to get our offense going,” Lux said. “We have to take a look at some of the mistakes we have made in the last couple of games and why they are happening. We have plenty of seniors on the team with two to three years of experience. We have looked back on the past few games and tried to figure out why we have this drought going.”

Lux added that with this Friday being Cathedral’s Homecoming, he wants to keep the Greyhound fans involved.

“We need to score right away to build our confidence,” Lux said. “And it is our Homecoming — we want to keep our crowd in the game. And turnovers will be a big key to this game. We have to win the turnover game.”

NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (0-5)

AT WASECA (4-1)

7 P.M., FRIDAY, WASECA

Last week the Eagles faced Fairmont, the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAA at the time.

Friday, New Ulm heads to Waseca to take on the now No. 3 QRF-ranked Class AAA team.

“It does not get any easier for us,” New Ulm head coach Eric Kauffmann said. “The only team Waseca has lost to is Fairmont (28-15). They run the ball a lot. They are not doing anything different than they have in the past. They run power and counter, coming up and kicking you out and running off tackle. They do not do anything too fancy. They will come at you and you have to stop them.”

Kauffmann said that the Eagles had a meeting Tuesday and talked about what they can control.

“We talked about dealing with anxiety,” Kauffmann said. “And a lot of people forget about the mental preparation it takes to play sports. I think that some of our players are afraid they are going to do something wrong and when they do that, bad things will happen and they admitted that to me, which is good because we can move forward with that.

“I tell them that I do not care if you make mistakes as long as you are going 100 miles an hour when you are doing it. Right now we are not — when we make a mistake, we hesitate, which makes it twice as bad so that is why those mental mistakes are happening.”

Against Waseca, Kauffmann wants his team to take one offensive series at a time.

“We know what they are going to do so we have to go in there and do what we can do and get our mental state right,” he said. “We have proven that we can run the ball — when we want to and do things right we can move the ball.”

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