HS FB Playoff NotebooK: Turf game puts a spring in Minster's step

MINSTER — Playing last week at Springfield made getting hit a little more painful than usual for the Minster Wildcats.

Minster rolled  to a 48-13 win over Catholic Central,  but a couple Wildcats said at times hitting the ground was the most physical part of the game on a field left almost barren of grass from flooding.

“At Springfield, you fall on the ground on your knees and it hurts,” Minster’s Ryan Bornhorst said. “It’s almost like falling on concrete. It was dirt with patches of grass.”

That won’t be a problem this week, as the Wildcats and Fort Loramie square off for the second time this season on the springy surface of synthetic turf at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field.

It’s not just the field that is better about this week in the playoffs.

“The further you go, the better the teams you’re playing and now you’re playing on a neutral site and the OHSAA does a good job to reward the teams to play in nice facilities and it’s great,”Minster head coach Nate Moore said. “The further you go, the more people there are at the games from outside the Minster community. They’re big ballgames.”

Minster will face Fort Loramie 11 weeks after the first encounter, which Minster won, 26-5.

“The atmosphere will be different playing under those lights and that turf field at Wapak,” Minster’s Ryan Will said. “That’s a big difference.

“We’re definitely faster on turf, too,” he added.

Minster is making its appearance in a regional semifinal game for the second straight season. Last year, Minster upset Marion Local at Wapakoneta.

“Second week (of the playoffs) is a lot more fun,” Minster’s Bornhorst added. “We’ll have all those fans out there yelling and the nice field. That’s going to add more to the atmosphere and make it more intense.”

Fort Loramie-Minster kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Wapak. The winner faces the winner of the Ada-Marion Local game, which is being played at the same time at Lima Stadium.