NEW ULM - Perhaps the most impressive aspects of Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity's 39-0 Gopher Valley A Conference win over Minnesota Valley Lutheran Friday night came on three of their scoring drives - two of them in the second half.
On their opening drive of the second half, the Bulldogs pieced together an 11-play, 87-yard scoring drive that took almost six minutes off of the clock.
But on its next offensive series, Lester Prairie manufactured an even more impressive scoring drive, this time marching 91 yards in 15 plays.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran running back Kris Goetzke carries the ball as Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity defender Collin Hummel (51) looks on during the Chargers’ loss Friday at Johnson Field in New Ulm.
"They are an impressive football team," Chargers coach Jim Buboltz said about LPHT, which had a 98-yard march for a score in the opening quarter.
While Buboltz praised the play of the Bulldogs, he was equally critical of his team.
"We are a better football team than we showed tonight," he said. "I thought that our guys got frustrated (two personal foul penalties). It was a sloppy game by us. That was not our football team."
LPHT quarterback Alex Heigl threw a pair of 20-yard touchdown passes to Nate Machemel and Ryan Quast while running for one on a 13-yard run. Joe Madsen added a pair of touchdown runs of five and 10 yards.
Both teams exchanged turnovers in the first quarter before LPHT scored its first touchdown when it went almost the length of the football field.
Taking over on their own two-yard line after being pinned there by a Nick Dewanz punt, Hiegl moved them into the end zone in just four plays. After a Matt Alberts run gained five yards, Heigl took off on a 73-yard run before being tackled by Grant Wilson. Two plays later, Heigl hooked up with Machemehl for a touchdown pass from 11-yards out. Alberts' two-point conversion run made it 8-0.
On their next possession, the Bulldogs upped the lead to 16-0 when Heigl hit Quast for a 20-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the second quarter and Heigl ran in the two-point conversion.
A successful 33-yard pass from punter Machemel to Spencer Radtke on a fake punt set the stage for a Madsen five-yard scoring run at the 6:10 mark of the second quarter. A Heigl to Radtke two-point conversion pass made it 24-0.
But the Chargers mounted an impressive drive of their own following the score when they moved from their own 49 to the LPHT five. But on a second down play, MVL quarterback Ryan Grunke was intercepted in the end zone by Madsen.
That would be as close as the Chargers came to the Bulldog end zone until late in the third quarter when they were held on the LPHT nine-yard line.
It was a game where LPHT dominated the Chargers in all aspects. But MVL hurt itself with three costly holding penalties in the game that erased a 14-yard run by Grunke, a 21-yard bolt by Matthew Tessmer and a 15-yard run by Kris Goetzke.
"This was a sloppy, sloppy game by our team," Buboltz said.
MVL has a bye week next week, which is coming at a good time, according to Buboltz.
"We need to take some time to re-group and get ourselves back together," he said.