NEW ULM — New Ulm quarterback Ayden Jensen scored four touchdowns and the Eagles defense came up with a safety as New Ulm downed Albert Lea 29-18 at the New Ulm High School field in a non-district football game.
Jensen scored on first quarter runs of 13 and 3 yards, then added an 11-yard jaunt in the third quarter before capping his night off with a 62-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles, who were coming off of a 41-6 win over Belle Plaine last week, looked like they were going to try and match that point total again when they scored on their first two drives of the game.
The first score was set up by a fumble recovery on the Albert Lea 42 yard line.
It took the Eagles and Jensen five plays to march 42 yards, capped off on a Jensen 1-yard run.
New Ulm’s defense forced an Albert Lea punt and began their second scoring drive of the first quarter, going 55 yards in five plays with Jensen bolting in from a yard out.
“We came out to play tonight,” Jensen said. “We had some struggles with some guys banged up [they were without running back Ty Frederich who is expected back next week].”
Down 13-0, the Tigers struck back to cut the lead to 13-6 on a 44-yard run from Charlie Irvine.
Albert Lea’s defense then held the Eagles and forced them to punt.
The Tigers then went 55 yards — aided by a pass interference call on New Um — and cut the lead to 13-12 on a five yard run by Irvine with just over five minutes left in the first half.
Jensen said that the New Ulm offense — that had scored with relative ease early — may have gotten greedy and struggled.
“And we were not as fired up as we were on our first two drives,” Jensen said. “And it showed.”
Leading 13-12 going into the third quarter, the Eagles used a long, non-scoring drive to set up the opportunity to score nine points in the third quarter.
New Ulm started a drive on their own 35-yard line that used 13 plays and almost seven minutes that stalled on the Tigers’ 12 yard line.
Buried deep in their own territory, the Tigers were called for a safety when the Eagles defense forced an intentional grounding flag in the end zone for a safety.
New Ulm then got the ball on a free kick and used eight plays to get the offense back on track, going 40 yards with Jensen scampering in from 1 yard out for a 22-12 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter.
“Our defense kept us in the game — props to them — and thanks to them we scored points,” Jensen said.
And another defensive stand by the Eagles led to Jensen’s fourth touchdown.
After the New Ulm defense held the Tigers, Jensen broke lose for a 62-yard touchdown run that moved the Eagles into a 29-12 lead at the 9:08 mark of the fourth quarter.
“I started to cramp after that run, but otherwise I was fine,” Jensen said. “I am not used to running that much — I am used to throwing the ball more — but I will use my legs if I have to.”
Albert Lea cut the lead to 29-18 late in the game.
“We got tested tonight, but we played a good game,” Jensen said.
New Ulm (2-0) is at Tri-City United (1-1) next Friday.