MINSTER — Just three years ago the notion that Minster and Marion Local would become a running playoff football rivalry seemed unlikely.
The Flyers have been a model of consistency over the past 15 seasons, racking up five state championships between stints in Divisions V and VI. Minster, meanwhile, was mired in a stretch of six straight seasons without a winning record and just two seasons with a winning record in the previous 13 seasons before Nate Moore took over in 2010. Marion Local had won 11 of the last 12 meetings against Minster heading into 2010.
MINSTER — The Minster defense stonewalled the Tri-County North wing-T offense, quarterback Adam Niemeyer delivered a handful of touchdown passes and the Wildcat running backs had four-foot wide holes to run through all night long.
For one week of the playoffs, the Minster Wildcats made it look easy.
The degree of difficulty goes way up next week when the Wildcats face the Division VI defending state champions.
Pre-sale tickets for Minster's Friday home playoff football game against Tri County North will be sold on Thursday at the high school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets will also be sold on Friday at the elementary school from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and at the high school from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Presale tickets are $7. All tickets at the gate are $9. Minster will keep a portion of all pre-sale ticket sales.
TROY — The Minster girls cross country team captured the Division III regional championship at Troy on Saturday afternoon and will be back at the state tournament in search of its 10th state title in school history.
The Wildcats scored 65 points to edge out second-place Russia, which had 69 points.
Minster’s seven runners all finished in the top 37.
Minster senior Hannah Butler led the way with an eighth-place finish and a 19:59 time.
The OHSAA released the playoff football pairings for Week 11 on Sunday afternoon.
The Minster Wildcats, who finished the season 8-2 with an overtime win over Delphos St. John's on Friday night, earned the second seed in Region 24 and will open the postseason with a home game against Lewisburg Tri-County North on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Field.
The winner of the Minster-Tri-County North game will face the winner of the Marion Local-Bradford game next Friday, Nov. 9 at a place to be determined.