Eagles vie to improve vs. favorite Waseca
NEW ULM – This week’s local high school football scene will see the New Ulm Eagles at home for their Homecoming game against Waseca, while both New Ulm Cathedral and Minnesota Valley Lutheran play conference road games.
WASECA (5-0. 3-0) at NEW ULM (0-6, 0-3), 7 p.m. at Johnson Field
For Homecoming, the Eagles face the Bluejays, who lead the South Central Conference.
This season, the Bluejays have dominated opponents by scoring 39.6 points per game with wins against St. Peter, Fairmont and formerly top-ranked Blue Earth Area.
“Right now they are a favorite to win the conference,” said New Ulm coach Tony Ortmann. “They bring a definite offensive threat. Their quarterback is very effective running the football – he moves well.”
While the Bluejays bring in the best offense in the conference, Ortmann and his coaching staff are focusing on improving their team first.
“We are trying to figure out where we are,” Ortmann said. “Last week against St. James it was a disappointing loss. But we also lost some key players to injuries in the game and we are going to have to find players to fill those holes. Our depth is low this year the way it is so the injuries hurt.”
Ortman said that running back Jackson Yackley was hurt in the first quarter of the game with St. James with a knee injury, but the extent is unknown. Quarterback Nate Glaubitz is also out for Friday’s game.
Blake Piotter, who has also seen time at quarterback, took a big hit in last week’s game. Ortmann said Piotter’s status for Friday is unclear.
“If Blake cannot go, the next in line is Cooper Yackley, who is a ninth grader,” Ortmann said. “But we will wait and see what happens with the other guys.”
With Jackson Yackley out, Ortman said that he will be moving some fullbacks around.
“We are deep there,” Ortmann said. “We have a lot of smart kids who are able to pick things up and that is one thing that we have.”
NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (3-2) at BUFFALO LAKE-HECTOR-STEWART (1-4), 7 p.m. in Hector
Cathedral football coach Denny Lux knows that the Mustangs are an athletic team.
“They have a nice football team as far as their speed and size,” Lux said. “And the other thing that we have noticed in the last few years is that their enthusiasm for football is on the rise. You can see that by the size of the crowds that they are getting.”
The crowd will be even bigger on Friday with Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart celebrating its Homecoming.
Lux said BLHS shows a similiar offense to that of Cedar Moutain/Comfrey, Martin County West and Sleepy Eye St.Mary’s.
“But at the same time they will run the football out of the I-formation and try and overload one side and use a power runing game,” Lux said. “Their coaching staff does a nice job using his players. He has some tall receivers and some hard running backs in the backfield.”
Lux said he was happy with how his defense played against St. Mary’s last week, which can only help the team moving forward.
Despite the triple-overtime loss to the Knights, Lux feels that there will not be a negative carryover to this game.
“Every coach worries that when you have a tough loss like that about how you come off of it and rebound,” Lux said. “We were back together on Monday in practice and you could see the fire in the players’ eyes.”
Lux feels that his team’s ability to control the ball on the ground will be a key.
“Our motto is that we can play defense with our offense,” Lux said. “You can wear teams down when you have the ball and play that field position game.”
It is not known if Cathedral lineman Dan Hayes will play Friday. Hayes was carted off the field in the first overtime against St. Mary’s last Friday.
MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (2-3) at SPRINGFIELD (3-2)
Two teams separated by one game in the Southern Minnesota Conference will meet in Springfield.
“These are also big section games,” said Chargers’ coach Jim Buboltz. “Placement in the section is really what both teams are after right now.”
Buboltz said that his main concern centers around Tigers’ fullback Nick Runck.
“He is a fantastic running back and their running the veer offense is a concern,” Buboltz said. “The veer is a good offense – we ran it for years here. My concern is to be able to be ready against it.”
Buboltz said that the Chargers have not yet faced a team that runs the veer.
Defensively, Buboltz said his players need to have their responsibilites and cannot not be caught up in not doing their job.
“We are doing a lot of teaching this week individually,” Buboltz said. “We ran it so it is something that we can teach our guys defensively on what to look for. It is a responsibilty-type of defense.”
While both the Chargers and the Tigers want to run the ball, Buboltz said that he is not afraid to throw the ball with DeAndre Parker at quarterback.
“DeAndre throws a nice ball and we have some big receivers that can haul it in,” Buboltz said.
The Chargers also bring a trio of backs in Nate Wong, Seth Kroells and Grant Wilson.
“Nate is more speed in slashing and cutting and finding the gap while Seth and Grant are more of the power-type backs,” Buboltz said.