NEW ULM - Week 5 of the high school football season sees the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers as the lone team that will battle on Johnson Field this Friday when they host Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart in a Southern Minnesota Conference game.
Both the Greyhounds of New Ulm Cathedral and the New Ulm Eagles will have road games against conference opponents
NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (3-1) at NO. 4 SLEEPY EYE ST. MARY'S (4-0) 7 p.m.
Look at both team's scoring offense in the first four games, they are almost even.
The Knights have put up 136 points in their four wins while the Greyhounds have 132.
"It looks like they are getting very comfortable with their offense again," said Cathedral coach Denny Lux. "And they have been running that same offense for three or four years now so they know the ins and outs of the offense. So defensively we have to read all of our keys and respect everyone in their backfield as fast as a runner."
Even though the Knights' personnel has changed it is still the same.
"They have been able to work players in from their B squad and they have taken Brandon Helget from the receiving corps and put him at quarterback and he has done a very fine job for them," Lux said.
Lux said this game will be one of his defense's biggest challenges.
"They are similiar to Martin County West as far as spreading the field but we are fortunate to have the experience from the Cedar Mountain game last week to lead us into this game," Lux said. "Cedar Mountain also ran some shotgun spread."
One of the keys to slowing down the Knights' offense will be the success of the Cathedral offense and its ability to maintain ball control with its ground game.
"We need to keep doing things that got us to this point (three straight wins) in the season," Lux said. "We need to keep making our blocks downfield. A big part of the game will be ball control on offense."
Lux feels that the play of Greyhounds' quarterback Collin Helget will be big.
"He has 1 1/2 years as quarterback under his belt as our varsity quarterback," Lux said. "We need him to do things like he has been and I think that turnovers will play a part in the game. Both teams have been relatively clean on turnovers."
NEW ULM (0-5, 0-2) at ST. JAMES (1-4, 0-1), 7 p.m.
Comparing similar scores with a team that both the Eagles and Saints have met this season, it is each team's meeting with St.Peter. New Ulm lost 46-12 while St. James dropped a 41-0 game to St. Peter last week.
As New Ulm coach Tony Ortmann said, both teams are struggling.
"They beat Spectrum for their only win," Ortmann said. "I know that they had a couple of injuries in their game last week but we still have to play a good game against them."
Ortmann said the Saints' starting center was hurt and St. James' starting quarterback did not finish the game.
"They move the ball quickly - they run a hurry-up offense and try and get the ball into their playmakers hands as quickly as possible," Ortmann said. "It is tough to get to their quarterback but we are going to try and get some pressure on him."
The no-huddle offense means that the Eagles' defense will have to be in shape.
"It is hard to rotate players when they run that no-huddle because it is hard to get another guy in there to help him out," Ortmann said. "If they get stuck on the field they will have to play as hard as possible."
BUFFALO LAKE-HECTOR-STEWART (1-3) at MINNESOTA VALLEY LUTHERAN (1-3), 7 p.m. at Johnson Field
Both teams have identical records and lost to Martin County West by almost identical scores. MVL fell 33-14 while the Mustangs dropped a 34-8 game to Martin County West.
"They have a bunch of players who are playing some aggressive football," said MVL coach Jim Buboltz. "So our team will have to be ready for that aggressive style of play."
Buboltz said the Mustangs will try and deliver the saddlebags by either the ground or the air.
"They have some big targets on the outside in receivers ranging from 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-6 but they do like to work the ball on the ground," Buboltz said. "They try and pound the ball. It is going to be a physical game so we need to get ready for physical play."
Buboltz said that defensively Jacob Hoffman has the size to match the BLHS receivers.
"And Nate Wong is not the tallest in stature but he is one of the best tacklers that we have right now," Buboltz said. "He does a nice job out there."
Defensively the Mustangs will display different fronts. Buboltz said they like to show primarily even-numbered fronts of four or six players.
"Our game plan is to block four, five and six," Buboltz said. "Our front five has a lot more confidence in Game 5 than they do in Game 1."
Last week the Chargers had three different backs each rush for more than100 yards.
"It all starts with our offensive line," Buboltz said. "If they find the holes the line up front is doing the job and then that can open up our passing game."
Last week's win against Red Rock Central - MVL's first of the season - has taken off some pressure.
"They were wondering if they would ever be able to put four good quarters," Buboltz said. "Now that they have done that they want more of it -once you get a taste of that you want to keep doing that. We [lost to] three very good teams that are a combined 12-0 right now."