Hot start carries Chargers by Wolverines

Staff photo by Ari Selvey Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Brennan Bendix stiff arms a Sibley East defender during a nondistrict football game Thursday at Johnson Field.

NEW ULM — Minnesota Valley Lutheran jumped to a 34-0 halftime lead and went on to top Sibley East 34-6 Thursday night at Johnson Field in a nondistrict football game.

Ben Price scored twice on runs of 1 and 3 yards to lead MVL, with Ben Pearson scoring on a 24-yard pass from Kaden Peterson. Peterson added a 1-yard run to his resume.

Bradyn Kube scored one for the defense when he stepped in front of a Nate Colling pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown.

For Chargers head coach Jim Buboltz, it was a great start to the 2023 season.

“I was very happy with the way we got off of the bus,” he said. “We were very excited to get back on the field, especially with the way we left the field last year. I was very excited with the way they came out with a lot of fire tonight.”

The Chargers used just three plays of less than two minutes to score their first touchdown of the game when Price capped a short 44-yard drive with a 1-yard run.

MVL started its next offensive series looking like they were going to score again when they marched from the Wolverines 38-yard line to the 6-yard line.

But on the eighth play of the drive, Peterson was intercepted by Colling.

But on Sibley East’s second play, Kube jumped the rout and went 28 yards for a touchdown. A Price 2-point conversion run moved to it to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

The Chargers increased their lead to 20-0 5 seconds into the second quarter on a Price 5-yard scamper.

The Chargers machine kept on rolling when they turned a Brennan Bendix interception into a 24-yard scoring pass from Peterson to Ben Pearson. Another 2-point run from Price made it 28-0.

Peterson then capped off the dominating first half by the Chargers with a 1-yard run with 5 seconds left in the first half.

“We wanted to come out and set the tone right away,” Buboltz said. “I was especially happy with our defense — we got exceptional play from our two middle backs in Justin Ziemer and Caleb Hunter — Caleb as a sophomore. And Ethan Doering continues to impress with his speed. And we have those special guys on defense.”

Sibley East looked like it was going to scored on their first drive of the second half when they took the second half kickoff and used 14 plays that ate up almost the entire third quarter before its drive stalled on the Chargers 8-yard line.

“That was a good stop by that group — they faced some adversity but putting their foot down,” Buboltz said.

The Wolverines did get into the end zone in fourth quarter on an Evan Garcia touchdown.

“But all in all I am very happy with our play,” Buboltz said. “But we had enough mistakes to keep working on for our first game.”

The Chargers are at Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial next Thursday.


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