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MINSTER — Minster dominated Ft. Recovery 43-7 in a Midwest Athletic Conference match-up on Friday night.
“I thought we did a nice job on defense as far no encroachment penalties like we had last week, and then offensively, (we) just executed our ballgame. Kids played great,” said Minster head coach Nate Moore.
Minster running back Troy Kaufman ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries. Korey Schulz added 93 yards and a score on 10 carries.
Following a stalled opening possession by Ft. Recovery, Minster took over on its own 36-yardline with 8:38 left in the opening quarter. On third-and-two, Minster’s Troy Kauffman took a hand-off up the middle for a 56-yard touchdown. Minster head coach Nate Moore called a fake kick on the point-after attempt as Daniel Gusching completed the two-point pass to Ethan Wolf, giving the Cats an early 8-0 lead.
“If it’s there, take it,” said Moore of the opportunity he saw to go for two.
Following a three-and-out possession by Recovery, Minster took over from their own 49-yardline. Minster quarterback Adam Niemeyer soon threw a short interception on third-and-8 to the Indians’ Aaron Vagedes.
Despite the turnover, the Indians soon punted the ball back to the Wildcats after another three-and-out series.
Minster took over at their own 29-yardline with about 3:30 left in the first quarter. The Cats then proceeded to drive straight down the field, thanks to two first-down runs by Kauffman and a first-down reception by Rob Wente. Niemeyer then connected with Wolf on a 28-yard pass.
On the next play, Kauffman took the ball 6 yards up the middle for the score. Devon Poeppelman’s point-after try was good and Minster led 15-0 with 1:59 still remaining in the first quarter.
Following an 8-yard punt by Ft. Recovery, Minster took over at their own 41-yardline with 10:04 remaining in the first half.
Again, Minster was able to drive down field at will. Following three first-down runs by Korey Schultz, Gusching caught a 5-yard touchdown pass on second-and-goal. The point-after was good as Minster grabbed a 22-0 lead with 7:01 left in the first half.
Following the kick-off, Ft. Recovery took over on their own 15-yardline. On the first play, Indians quarterback Kenny Wenning’s pass was picked off by Schultz at the Minster 43-yardline.
On Minster’s second play following the turnover, Kauffman again ran 56 yards for the touchdown. The point-after was good as Minster took a commanding 29-0 lead with just 6:31 left in the first half.
“We’ve got great backs on our offense,” said Moore. “They just did what they did. They played excellent; they hit the holes.”
Moore also credited his offensive line for allowing the running game to be so effective during the first half.
“The holes were there because of the offensive line. Anytime you see those guys run around untouched, it’s because of the guys up front,” said Moore. “So (our running backs) played well, but the offensive line executed the blocking schemes correctly and that’s the most important thing.”
Following another punt by the Indians, Minster took over at their own 38-yardline with 2:59 left in the first half. The Cats again stormed down the field, this time courtesy of first down runs by Niemeyer and Schultz. Schultz then ran 17 yards to paydirt. Following another successful extra point by Poeppelman, Minster led 36-0 with 1:23 left in the opening half.
After receiving the kick-off, the Indians called two running plays then headed to the locker rooms to try and recover from their massive 36-point deficit.
Minster’s positive momentum carried into the second half as Niemeyer connected with Derek Collins on a 40-yard pass just 16 seconds into the third quarter. Following a holding penalty that negated a first-down run, Niemeyer connected with Gusching on a third-and-17 pass to bring up fourth-and-five. Then, on the ensuing play, Gusching caught a pass for a first-down. The catch also brought Gusching into a tie for the most career receptions in Minster High School history.
Niemeyer soon scored on a 15-yard touchdown run. Following the point-after, Minster led 43-0 with 8:36 remaining in the third quarter.
Next Friday, Minster will travel to St. Henry, while Ft. Recovery will host Anna.
“It feels good to win, but it’s a long season,” said Moore. “We’ve got four more games in front of us and we’re going to enjoy this one tonight, but we’ve got to get up and get back to the grindstone as they say and get ready for St. Henry.”
FR 0 0 7 0 - 7
MIN 15 21 7 0 - 43
MIN — Kaufman 56-yard run, 7:11.
MIN — Kaufman 6-yard run, 0:50.
MIN — Gusching 6-yard TD reception from Niemeyer, 7:01.
MIN — Kaufman 57-yard run, 6:31.
MIN — Shulz 18-yard run, 1:23.
MIN — Niemeyer 15-yard run, 8:36.
FR — Vagedes 69 yard TD reception from Pottkotter, 2:35.
Team stats FR MIN
First downs 9 17
Rushing Yds. 41 289
Passing 13-24-209 8-12-116
Total offense 250 405
Penalties - yards 1-5 3-20
T.O.P. 23:46 24:14
3rd down Conv. 4-12 1-7
INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
MIN — Kaufman 8-148, Schulz 10-93.
MIN — Niemeyer 8-12-116, TD.
FR — 13-24-209, TD, INT.
MIN — Gushing 4-31, TD; Collins 1-30; Wolf 1-28.
FR — Vagedes 4-138, TD.
Coldwater 28 Parkway 0
Minster 43 Fort Recovery 7
Marion Local 47 St. Henry 6
Anna 34 New Bremen 6
Delphos St. John's 31 Versailles 7