LESTER PRAIRIE – It’s safe to say that things didn’t go as planned for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity football team in their first game of the season. Against the St. Clair/Mankato Loyola Cyclones, the Bulldogs fell behind quickly and could never catch up, as they started their season with a road loss.
“When you have the expectations we did, the guys were all down,” LP/HT coach Joe Scoblic said about the Week 1 loss. “We, as a coaching staff, said the exact same thing. It’s one game. You learn that the other team wants to win as bad as you do. Quite honestly, they kicked our butts. We played much better in the second half, but in watching film, we learned that we missed a lot of blocks and got lazy in a lot of blocks. We just can’t do that.”
With the loss behind them, it’s time to move on for the Bulldogs. They don’t have much time to feel sorry for themselves, as tough and well-coached Minnesota Valley Lutheran team comes into town Friday night.
“Our intention was to always run the table,” Scoblic said. “We just need to do that. We need to man-up and have a short memory. We have to beat a really good team this week. MVL is well-coached. Their coach has been there, probably, longer than I’ve been here. They’re going to smash us right in the mouth and we better be ready for it.”
Last week, the Bulldogs allowed more than 350 yards rushing on the ground, and gave up four touchdowns that were longer than 40 yards. If they want to right the ship this week against the Chargers, they’ll have to tighten things up on the defensive side.
“Big plays killed us all night,” Scoblic said. “Their first two scores were on big plays. The defense did not play its best game, and needs to pick it up.”
The first step toward bouncing back for the Bulldogs starts in practice. They need to move on, forget about the loss last week, and have a good week of practice to get ready for MVL.
“We talked about that, and you have to have a great week,” Scoblic said. “You can’t let one team beat you twice. You just can’t do that. We can’t have many losses and then finish in the top four of our section. In our section, they are all pretty close teams.”
Like a lot of teams in the Mid Southeast West district, the Chargers want to run the ball. In last week’s loss to Mayer Lutheran, the Chargers fell behind early and were forced to throw more than they would like. If the Bulldogs get their offense going early and tighten up its defense, the game plan for LP/HT becomes a lot simpler.
“They passed a lot against Mayer, but then on the other hand, they were behind, too,” Scoblic said. “They run a lot of offensive sets. What we’re going to see the most of is double split one way and a single the other. They’re just trying to get other people out of the box and then they want to run traps. They run the option this year, and then a kick out with the fullbacks.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Lester Prairie Bulldog Field Friday night, as both the Chargers and Bulldogs look for their first win of the season.