Week Five will be a football feast for fans of the local high school football teams as all three will enjoy home cooking as Johnson Field will host three games this weekend.
New Ulm Cathedral kicks off the trifecta at 7 p.m. Friday night when it hosts Wabasso in a Southern Minnesota Conference game.
On Saturday it will be day-night doubleheader. At 1 p.m., New Ulm High School entertains St. James in a South Central Conference clash. At 7 p.m., Minnesota Valley Lutheran closes out the day in a Gopher Valley Conference contest, meeting Faribault Bethlehem Academy at 7 p.m.
WABASSO (2-2) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (2-2) 7 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD
Both teams enter this game coming off of wins last week. The Greyhounds defeated Sleepy Eye 39-12 while Wabasso upset Springfield 20-14.
"They are the typical Wabasso team where they have pretty quick running backs," Cathedral football coach Denny Lux said. "Their offensive line gets off of the ball real well. They play an aggressive defense - they want to stop the run. This should be a good game between two teams that want to establish the running game first and that will be a key for both teams."
Lux thinks that both teams will match up very well.
"We kind of resemble each other in the skill positions," he said. "This is a very important game for both teams. Now is when you start to look at the second half of the season and section play."
Lux thinks that Wabasso's seven-point defeat of the Tigers last week shows the overall balance of the conference.
"I don't believe that we are seeing upsets out there," he said. "It is just how the conference is this season. You are going to see teams come out with wins so momentum is big,"
Usually at about this time in the season, the Greyhounds unveil a young running back and the rest is history.
"We feel that we have done a good job of sharing the carries within our three running backs right now," Lux said. "I feel that all three of them have done a good job when their number has been called. That is part of our offense and part of our misdirection offense. As long as we are patient and our offensive line keeps working hard, eventually we have a chance for a big play."
ST. JAMES (0-4, 0-1) AT NEW ULM (0-4, 0-2) 1 P.M. SATURDAY JOHNSON FIELD
One thing is for sure Saturday afternoon: One of these teams is going to get its first win of the season.
"St. James is kind of struggling this year like we are," New Ulm coach Tony Ortmann said. "Sam Carlson is back as their quarterback. He was a good quarterback last year. He is a bigger quarterback who can run the ball. We expect that he will run the ball."
Ortmann said that the Saints will go 50-50 on offense as far as running and passing the ball.
"They do go into the shot-gun formation but they will also go under center," Ortmann said.
Last week,the Saints lost to St. Peter, 24-8. Comparing scores, the Eagles fell to St. Peter 41-0.
For New Ulm, finding that initial win may come in how well they do defending Carlson, who is one of the top quarterbacks in the SCC.
With both teams struggling and looking for some confidence, how important will getting that first score of the game be?
"That is going to be huge," Ortmann said. "We have to come out strong early in the game and set the tone. We need to make them think that they do not have a chance. The team that can get up early will be able to keep that momentum going."
For the Eagles, one of the biggest keys will be avoiding turnovers and breakdowns that have become a broken record for New Ulm this year in their first four games.
"That seems to be a common thing this year," he said. "Our kids are learning. I think that last week it was because we could not hone that energy from Homecoming so we had more mental mistakes than normal. This week we have really been focusing on assignments and making sure our kids know what we want to do."
FARIBAULT BA (4-0) AT MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (2-3) SATURDAY 7 P.M. JOHNSON FIELD
Last week, the Chargers headed to Blooming Prairie to meet a strong passing team in the Awesome Blossoms.
Saturday night, they will host unbeaten Faribault B.A.
"Faribault is playing fantastic football right now," Minnesota Valley Lutheran coach Jim Buboltz said. "They beat a very good Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity team that was ranked high in the state. They beat Mankato Loyola last week, 48-0 .They have also beaten [United South Central] 49-0."
Putting points up on the board has not been a problem for B.A. this season.In their first four games, they have lit up the scoreboard for 136 points. Allowing not a lot of points has also been a strong point.In those same four games, they have allowed only 30 points.
While Blooming Prairie does their damage through the air, Faribault B.A. levels opposing defenses with the run.
"Where I find where they are very, very good is that they are excellent on the defensive side of the ball," he said. "They have that good offense - don't get me wrong - but that defense of theirs is very fast and they all go to the ball."
Buboltz feels that this is a game where he can see what the Chargers can accomplish with their option and veer game.
"When a defense is going hard to the ball sometimes a fake here and there and a counter could play into success," Buboltz said.
"We are averaging over 300 yards a game on the ground," Buboltz said. "So we need to put a bigger emphasis on our defensive game.We need to stay in this game and give ourselves a chance to win the game. We are also at home - it is a Saturday game. We have a lot of good things in line."