It was not a good night for the New Ulm Eagles' football team Friday night in their South Central Conference clash at Waseca.
The Eagles were guilty of five turnovers in the first half, one of which came on the opening kickoff and really set the tone for the rest of the game.
"We got the kickoff and started to bring it back and fumbled it," New Ulm coach Tony Ortmann said. "They recovered the ball and got good field position. That was the story of the first half."
The Eagles fumbled two kickoffs and also turned the ball over on a fumbled snap from center along with a fumble on a run.
"It was a combination of this and that and all of the turnovers gave them good field position," Ortmann said. "It was difficult in the wind but both sides had to deal with the wind so it is hard to make an excuse.It was hard for both teams to throw because of the wind and teams were trying to stay with the running game."
He added that the first quarter was the story of the game.
"They had the wind to start with and they were able to keep good field position and get a couple of breaks go their way," Ortmann said. "They are a good team with good running backs."
Getting ahead in the game Friday was a key for both teams as the wind basically eliminated any sort of passing game.
"We stayed with our running game because of the wind," Ortmann said. "It was also difficult to pass because of the cold weather."
Being down 42-0 at halftime, Ortmann felt that his team still played hard in the second half.
It sounds like a broken record but turnovers and penalties have hurt this team all season.
GREYHOUNDS ROLL AFTER HALFTIME: It seems like the second half has been the key for the Greyhounds in wins this season.
Friday night at Cedar Mountain/Comfrey, the Greyhounds led just 14-6 at halftime, but they scored 24 points in the second half in a 38-18 win.
"What we were real pleased about was that we came off of the bus at halftime," coach Denny Lux said. "Our guys on the offensive line just decided that we they needed to stay in their blocks longer. We always talk about winning the second half and we did. We ran the ball with all three backs (Adam Schnobrich, Austin Cooper and Jake Stadick)."
The success of those three are due in large part because of the work on the line. Lux said that the low scoring first half was due in large part to the weather.
"I think that Cedar Mountain felt that because of the wind that we were not going to throw the ball," he said. "So they were bringing 10 guys up to stop the run.We did not back down, we stayed with the game plan. I give a lot of credit our offensive line."
And the maturing of the offensive line has been a big factor in the improving running game.
"They have gained so much experience in the past few games," Lux said. "Part of that is that they are seeing different kind of defensive fronts and then having to make adjustments in their blocks. They want to do well and they are turning into real students of the game."
That is good news for an offensive line that had no starters coming back from last season.
"The biggest adjustment that they had to make was to the speed of the game on the varsity from the B-squad. You are playing against the best of the other team. And the players on the varsity get more practice time and the defensive schemes that the face are more complicated."
So hats off to the offensive line of center Michael Larson, guards Kyle Franta and Brandon Beranek, tackles Russ Hoffmann and Jacob Helget along with tight end Jeff Osborne.