NEW ULM - Week Four of the high school football season will see all three high school football teams in New Ulm facing conference opponents with only the Greyhounds of New Ulm Cathedral being able to taste home cooking.
The Greyhounds host Cedar Mountain/Comfrey at 7 p.m. Friday in a Southern Minnesota Conference tussle.
Meanwhile, the New Ulm Eagles travel to Blue Earth to meet the Bucs in a South Central Conference meeting with the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers heading west on Highway 14 to Lamberton for a Southern Minnesota Conference game against Red Rock Central.
CEDAR MOUNTAIN/COMFREY (1-2) AT NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (2-1) 7 P.M . JOHNSON FIELD
The Cedar Mountain/Comfrey Cougars come to Johnson Field as a team that runs the ball more than they did earlier in the season due to an injury to then-starting quarterback Riley Kirkhoff.
They do have good speed with Josh Green and Brady Kirkhoff, so those are two players who we need to keep our eyes on," Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. "They also pose some problems in their return game. We know that both of those players can return kicks so we need to be concerned about that."
And like last week against Sleepy Eye High School, Cathedral will be meeting a team who has seen their starting quarterback lost because of an injury.
Lux said that he will prepare his team like it typically does, meaning that the kids at CM/C grew up throwing the ball from the B-squad on up.
Lux said that the Cougars play solid defense.
"We have played them in a number of playoff games and have some very good games with them," Lux said. "They do a good job with their defensive players because they have both good strong and weakside players. We will probably see some players move from left to right. We will prepare for an odd and even-man front."
NEW ULM HIGH SCHOOL (0-3; 0-4) AT BLUE EARTH AREA (3-0)
The New Ulm Eagles head to Blue Earth to take on the defending Class 2A state champions and the co-leaders of the South Central Conference with Waseca.
"They are a great football team with some great athletes," said Eagles coach Tony Ortmann. "They want to run the football this year - they want to run a lot of isolation plays and off-tackle power plays, so we are going to have to shut down the run."
And for the Eagles, this is just another tough game in a conference filled with landmine games.
"The conference is a great conference," said Ortmann. "There is great competition every week. It is hard to play one team and say they are the conference favorites and next week somebody else in the conference beats them (Waseca beat St. Peter last week). There is a lot of competition at the top of the conference."
Like a lot of high school teams, BEA also lost its starting quarterback also to injury with a torn ACL.
"Their back-up quarterback throws the ball well in their spread formation, but we expect to see a lot of run from them," said Ortmann.
The Bucs also have more depth than a lot of teams do.
"When you win the state the previous year, you get a few more bodies out," added Ortmann.
Ortmann said that he was "very happy" with the way his team played last week against Robbinsdale Cooper.
"Athletically, they are probably the best team that we will play all year," Ortmann said. "We competed and battled all game and we had our chances to win the game. The players figured out that after that game that we can play with anyone.'
He said that his team needs to sustain the effort that it brought against Robbinsdale Cooper.
"We bring that same effort, the rest will take care of itself," Ortmann said.
MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (0-3) AT RED ROCK CENTRAL (O-3)
MVL head coach Jim Buboltz said that he was impressed with the running game of the Falcons.
"I like what they are doing with their running game," he said. "They look good on tape - they are trying to establish that power running game. That is going to be a tough match-up for us."
This will be another team that gets down to the basics and tries to run the ball for their yards.
"They line up with a double tight end and try and power it at you or else it is the read option," said Buboltz. "They will resemble Wabasso and that would make sense because (Red Rock Central coach) Isaac Jenniges is from Wabasso. I believe that they will do some similar things."
On defense, Buboltz said that the Falcons will show a lot of different fronts.
"Our offensive line needs to be able to make the proper adjustments to that," Buboltz said.
Right now, though, Buboltz is more concerned about his team's defense that has allowed a total of 108 points in its three games.
"Defense is our biggest concern right now," he said. "I feel comfortable about how we are coming around throwing the ball. DeAndre [Parker, MVL quarterback] has five touchdowns in three games and almost 600 yards. He is doing a nice job there. Last week against Martin County [West], we had 367 yards of offense. I am happy with the offense."
Both the Chargers and the Falcons will be battling for their first win of the season.
"We need a good start -get out of the gates right away," Buboltz said. "Last week we had an interception and a fumble in the first quarter and we finished plus two in turnovers. We were down 28-0 after the first quarter and outscored them 26-17 in the final three quarters. We get a good start and do not hurt ourselves we will be just fine."