Area teams prep for section playoffs
NEW ULM – High school football playoffs begin Tuesday around Minnesota and locally in Section 2A and 2AAAA involving local teams. Here is a thumbnail sketch of some of those “second season” games.
No. 6-seed CEDAR MOUNTAIN/COMFREY (1-7) at No. 3-seed MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERN (4-4), 4 p.m. Tuesday at Johnson Field
The Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers (4-4) will face the only team in the Southern Minnesota Conference it has not played in the regular season, Cedar Mountain/Comfrey (1-7).
“We will not play them for two years in the conference,” said MVL coach Jim Buboltz. “And this is the one team that we have not seen so it has an interesting match-up to it. They do try and spread out – they will try and get the ball in the air – and they are very creative offensively.’
MVL earned the home playoff game by defeating Sleepy Eye on Friday.
“The boys fought hard for this,” Buboltz said. “We played some up-and-down football at times during the year. We responded well to the loss to Cathedral by the way that we came out against Sleepy Eye Public. Our starters mainly played in the first half.”
He said that the 34-0 loss to the Greyhounds a game earlier was a case of things going wrong from the get-go.
“We have had things go wrong in a game but not for that long of a time period,” Buboltz said. “That is a combination of our mistakes and also how good Cathedral played that game and how well Denny [Lux] had them ready for that game. If anything it was a wake-up call for us.”
While not looking ahead, a win would probably mean a second meeting with New Ulm Cathedral on Saturday night at Johnson Field.
No. 7-seed SLEEPY EYE (0-8) at No. 2-seed NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (5-3), 8 p.m. Tuesday at Johnson Field
The Greyhounds will be entering the playoffs following a 21-14 loss to Springfield.It was a loss in which the Tigers played one of their better games of the year, said Cathedral coach Denny Lux.
“Their defense played solid all game and ran the veer pretty well,” Lux said. “We played a pretty good team that night and we feel that kind of game can only get us better for the playoffs. You want to be tested and we were by Springfield.”
Lux knows that a win Tuesday may mean a rematch with MVL if it beats Cedar Mointain/Comfrey.
Lux feels his team has matured as the season has gone along depsite having only three seniors on the roster.
“We have seen that maturity in our juniors and sophomores and that automatic leadership that you get with the seniors is not there because of the lack of numbers,” Lux said. “I give our guys a lot of credit for keeping a mature attitude and a steadfast work ethic.”
Like Buboltz, Lux feels that any of the top four seeds could be wearing the section crown when the dust settles.”
No. 5-seed JANESVILLE-WALDORF-PEMBERTON (5-3) at No. 4-seed SPRINGFIELD (4-4), 7 p.m. Tuesday at Riverside Park
Springfield football coach Paul Dunn is in an unusual situation in his game against Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Tuesday. He can look at all of the game film of the Bulldogs that he wants and it will probaly do little to help.
During the regular season, JWP plays 9-man football with a different-sized field. The Bulldogs now add two more players for their playoff game with the Tigers.
“I know they run an offense similar to Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, Cedar Mountain and Martin County West,” Dunn said. “They use big tight end and runnng back.”
Where the Bulldogs are going to put the two additional players is something Dunn said is difficult to figure after watching film.
“It is hard to visualize what their offense in 9-man will look like in 11-man football,” Dunn said. “We are going to have to adjust in game as we go. Hopefully the bigger field will be an issue for them. Our plan is to run right at them and hopefully they will have a diffculty handling that.”
Dunn knows that a win at home Tuesday probably means a trip east to play the top-seeded Knights on Saturday.
“We would like another opportunity at the Knights,” Dunn said. “We did not play well in the first game – we turned the ball over a bunch – so we’d like another shot at them. Obviously they are the favorites in the section, ranked second in the state and they have earned that. But it is always fun when you get a chance at the top dog.”
No. 6-seed NEW ULM (0-8) at No. 3-seed MARSHALL (5-3), 7 p.m. Tuesday at Marshall
New Ulm football coach Tony Ortmann said that his team is looking forward to its meeting with Marshall.
“In the playoffs everyone starts 0-0 and your season starts over,” Ortmann said. “This is a new opportunty for us.”
With New Ulm’s winless season, Ortmann said it is hoping to surprise Marshall come Tuesday.
“We are a team that no one is expecting a whole lot from,” Ortmann said. “But at the same time our team knows what we are capable of. We have some ability in the backfield with [quarterback] Nate Glaubitz running the football and we can pound the football as well. They have the most to lose as the higher seed. They came into the year with high expectations as we are trying to build our program.”
Ortmann said turnovers have been an issue for his team. Last Wednesday, the Eagles turned the ball over four times while failing to reach the end zone.