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MLC football looks forward to home opener

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 4:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) - The Martin Luther College football team opened up the season on the road at Concordia-Wisconsin with a one-score loss. Joining me now is head coach Mark Stein.

Didn’t turn out the way you guys would have liked, but very good performance in the loss.

“Yeah, we were very pleased with how we played defensively holding a high-scoring team to 300 yards or so was important for us. Offensively we have to clean some things up in the second half. A 14 point lead in the first was a good start, but we didn’t finish the way we wanted to. Two out of the three phases played well, and hopefully, the offense steps up this week,” said Stein.

Rushing attack, guys put up big numbers in the season opener. How do you guys hope to lean on that as we move through the season?

“That’s who we are offensively. We lost Austin DeNoyer, first-team All-American, but we feel comfortable with the running backs we have. Carson Oestreich is a sophomore that’s a freak at 6-2, 205, just a really strong kid that can run hard. Josh Kren is a fifth-year senior that’s been a player of the year in the conference. We have some young guys too that we’re excited about. We’ll lean on the run quite a bit, but hopefully, we can get some big plays in the passing game too,” Stein added.

Home opener coming up this weekend, how excited is this team to be playing in an actual fall game here at home?

“Very excited, we had a tremendous crowd at Concordia last Saturday. I think we had upwards of a thousand people from MLC that were there. We expect the same on Saturday. We have a lot of parents that are happy to not be capped at 250 and have a full house. We’re excited to have WLC, a quality program here. Hoping that we compete very well,” said Stein.

For Martin Luther, you guys have a target on your back looking for a third straight UMAC championship. What’s the message to the team as you go into each game knowing that every team will throw their best at you?

“That’s exactly what we talk about. The whole idea of having a target on your back is something we welcome, something we embrace, something we need to take serious. Every team is going to bring their best against us. We have to have our best game ready, roll it out on Saturdays when we have the opportunity. We’re not looking to be perfect, we’re looking to play our football and play as hard as we can for 60 minutes and let the outcomes be what they are. We’re excited about our next game against WLC, St. John’s after that, rolling into conference play after Alma will be a challenge. We’re just taking it one game at a time and hoping every time we have the opportunity to play football we play it our best and hopefully come out with the victory,” said Stein.

Martin Luther College kicks off the season at 1 p.m. Saturday against WLC.

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