PIQUA — Marion Local kept trying to drive the stake into Minster’s heart.
That took a long time in a memorable playoff shootout on Friday between Midwest Athletic Conference rivals.
Between a 44-yard reverse pass for a touchdown, a goal line stand and a 99-yard, 14-play touchdown drive, Minster answered every call in the fourth quarter in its quest to come back from a 21-point deficit.
Fifty years ago this week, the St. Marys Roughriders concluded the 1962 football campaign by nearly upsetting the Western Buckeye League champion, Lima Shawnee Indians.
In a mud-caked mess, the first quarter came and went without any activity on the scoreboard. That all changed in the second period when St. Marys received a punt from Shawnee and returned it 25 yards to the 10-yard line.
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.