NEW ULM In the crosstown battle between Minnesota Valley Lutheran and New Ulm Cathedral, Mother Nature was the winner.
Lightning ended up being the deciding factor for an early finish as the game was called early due to the weather. Cathedral was leading 34-0 with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter when lightning forced the officials to delay the game at 8:30 p.m.
After a brief conference, the teams decided to call it just before 9 p.m.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Bryan Kokesch (42) carries the ball as Chad Lease (12) of Minnesota Valley Lutheran pursues on the play Friday at Johnson Field in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
In the end, player safety was the overwhelming factor in ending the game early. The players would've been sitting for at least 30 minutes, then had to warm up again after the stoppage.
"It finally got the to the point when they'd let us back on the field,"?MVL coach Jim Buboltz said. "I think that after sitting for about 45 minutes it was the right decision."
The Greyhounds did take advantage of five MVL turnovers and scored as a result of the turnovers.
"What we really feel good about is our offense," Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. "All aspects of it, as far as when we were running the football, we just controlled the line of scrimmage. To take advantage of those turnovers early put MVL in a tough spot."
MVL fumbled on its first drive and the Greyhounds capitalized. They finished a four-play, 40-yard drive with a touchdown by Jacob Gangelhoff and led 7-0 after Nathan Berg's PAT.
After another MVL turnover, Austin Cooper scored on a 6-yard run to push Cathedral's lead to 14-0 with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
"There's two types of turnovers, theres turnovers that you give up and there's turnovers that are forced, and they did a good job of forcing them," Buboltz said. "We gave them a lot of opportunities and put ourselves in a bad position."
After an interception by Tyler Franta, Cooper scored his second touchdown of the game with 11:19 left in the second quarter and the Greyhounds led 20-0.
The Greyhounds added a 22-yard touchdown run by Bryan Kokesch and they led 27-0 at halftime.
The Greyhounds added one more score in the third quarter, this one coming on Kokesch's second touchdown of the game. He scored on a 14-yard run with 7:39 left in the third quarter to put the Greyhounds up 34-0, which is where it ended about four minutes later when the game was called.
"This just shows the class that Jim Buboltz has," Lux said. "That was a very, very hard decision for him to call the game, but it was the right decision. We can't have kids sitting around for 45 minutes and then come out and play on a wet field and that just shows what kind of guy Jim is."
For Cathedral, Kokesch had 10 carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper had 13 carries for 88 yards and two scores and Gangelhoff had 10 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Brody Forst had 10 tackles and Michael Skillings had seven tackles. Franta had two interceptions and two tackles.
MVL finished the game with 64 yards rushing and 93 yards receiving.
Both teams have a short week ahead. MVL (3-4) hosts Sleepy Eye at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Cathedral (5-2) is at Springfield at 7 p.m. Wednesday.