An Ethan Fischer 5-yard touchdown run and a Landon Strong two-point conversion was all the Indians needed as defense comes up big in win over New Ulm Cathedral.

It was a beautiful night for football as the Sleepy Eye Indians looked to get into the win column for the first time Friday night, Sept. 7th in their first Tomahawk Conference matchup of the season. The Indians traveled to New Ulm to take on the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds at Johnson Field.

The Indians would fight adversity as they hurt themselves with four turnovers, yet came away with the 8-7 victory over the Greyhounds.

The Indians found themselves in a 7-0 hole early in the second quarter after Cathedral’s Zach Helget took a handoff 77 yards to the house.

A Landon Strong two-point conversion after an Ethan Fischer five-yard touchdown run with 4:31 remaining in the first half would be all the Indians needed as they relied on their defense to come up big throughout the night.

The Indians fought off a last-second goal line charge by the Greyhounds as time expired at the end of the first half.

Following the Indians’ touchdown, Cathedral would take over at their own 43-yard line. With time running out, the Greyhounds would take themselves inside the 5-yard line of the Indians. Inching closer to the goal line, the Greyhounds were denied by the Indians’ defense as Strong came up big, tackling Cathedral ball carrier Ethan Schoo before reaching the end zone and time would run out of the first half.

With the teams swapping possessions throughout the third quarter, the Indians defense came up big once again as Ethan Fischer intercepted quarterback Sam Knowles pass on the second play of the fourth quarter. Within a four minute sequence, the Indians and Greyhounds would swap turnovers as each team would become careless with the ball.

The Indians would fight off a late charge from the Greyhounds but would buckle down as Cathedral crossed midfield and the Indians halted the comeback attempt at the Indians’ 40-yard line.

The Indians would put the game away after Strong took a hand-off in his own backfield and dashed to the right side, fighting off and carrying defenders for a first down, gaining seven yards on the play. The Indians would take the victory formation, taking a knee to run out the clock as they moved to 1-0 in Tomahawk Conference play and 1-1 overall.

Strong led the Indians in the rushing category with 135 yards on 22 carries. Jacob Berg had 18 carries for 70 yards and rounding out the leaderboard for the Indians was Ethan Fischer with 10 carries for 64 yards and the Indians’ only touchdown. Ike Velazquez led the defense with two tackles for loss and assisting on a total of eight tackles.

The Indians look to ride the momentum as they return home to face the Murray County Central Rebels. The Rebels are 2-0, coming fresh off a 30-14 victory over the Springfield Tigers. The Rebels are led by senior quarterback Mason Woldt. Woldt will have junior running back Aaron Johnson in the backfield to help set up the pass game for receivers Noah Boerboom and Matthew Woldt.

Coach Haala says the Indians will have to contain the Rebels’ run game as they like to use their run game to set up their passing game to move down the field. The Indians look to avenge their 27-22 loss to MCC last season in front of the home crowd Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at Sleepy Eye High School.