- Local Guide
WAPAKONETA — Minster's defense didn't allow a touchdown for 95 minutes and 50 seconds of the 96 minutes it played against Fort Loramie this season.
That kind of dominant defense now has Minster alive as one the state's final eight teams left in the Division VI playoffs.
Minster shut out For Loramie for all but the final 10 seconds of the game and the Wildcat offense steadily moved the ball in a 30-7 win over the Redskins in a Division VI regional semifinal game at Harmon Field in Wapakoneta on Saturday night.
Minster now moves on to play Marion Local for the second time this season and for the second straight in the playoffs next Saturday again at Wapakoneta.
"It's going to be intense," Minster junior quarterback Adam Niemeyer said. "The whole towns of both those teams will be there. I'm looking forward to it."
Marion Local beat Ada 41-14 on Saturday night at Lima Stadium.
Minster methodically dismantled Fort Loramie for the second time this season, rolling up 377 total yards of offense while giving up 177 yards on defense.
"As long as we're playing the way we're capable, we have a chance against any team in the state," Minster head coach Nate Moore said after his team improved to 9-3 on the season and went to 4-1 in playoff games in the past two seasons.
Minster's defense hounded the Redskins when they were in their triple option and when they went to the shotgun spread. Minster held Fort Loramie to 2.5 yards per rush and sacked Fort Loramie quarterback Zach Guillozet four times.
"Our kids just play their tails off," Nate Moore said. "We've got good players. They had some decent runs against us, but we just kept at it. A team like that that wants to grind it out against you is going to break some. You're not going to win every battle, but hopefully you win the war. I thought we did that."
The Wildcat defense held a team to seven or fewer points for the sixth time this season.
Minster's offense was efficient, with the only turnover being an interception on a desperation heave with the clock run out on the first half.
Otherwise, Minster kept the chains moving.
Niemeyer ran in from 13 yards out with 11:12 left in the fourth quarter to give Minster a 30-0 lead.
Niemeyer broke containment often in the game, adding a dimension to Minster's offense it didn't have in the Wildcats 26-5 Week 1 win over the Redskins. He finished the game with 81 yards rushing and the score on 12 carries.
"Obviously he's run the ball before, but I've never seen him run with such authority," Minster head coach Nate Moore said.
"I was just getting good reads early," Niemeyer said. "Things were going well. I was seeing the field really well tonight."
"That was a concern for us coming into tonight — his running ability," Fort Loramie head coach Matt Burgbacher said. "If you look at their box scores, it's something he's done more and more as the season's gone on. He didn't do that in our game in Week 1. We just didn't maintain our run lanes. We tackled well, but just not well enough."
Daniel Gusching ran in from one yard out on a fullback dive late in the third quarter to put Minster up 23-0.
Following a Fort Loramie defensive goalline stand against Minster, the Redskins fumbled a pitch inside the end zone for a safety. Minster led 16-0.
The Wildcats took a 14-0 lead to the half.
Troy Kauffman reached the second level on a run and cut back to the left sideline on a 40-yard touchdown and then caught a two-point conversion pass to put Minster up 14-0 midway through the second quarter. A 44-yard completion from Adam Niemeyer to Ethan Wolf set up the score.
Kauffman rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries on the night.
Minster got on the board on a Korey Shultz nine yard touchdown run that capped an 80-yard scoring drive late in the first quarter.
Shultz carried the ball 12 times for 72 yards.
Between penalties, the fumble in the end zone and drives that stalled inside Minster territory, Fort Loramie's offense never found its rhythm.
"We were moving the ball in the first half, we just couldn't sustain it," Fort Loramie head coach Matt Burgbacher said. "They weren't big mistakes, but they were mistakes we couldn't make against a good football team like Minster."
Fort Loramie had brought a 10-game winning streak into the night and hadn't lost since the Week 1 loss to Minster.
"The towns are just so close together," Minster junior quarterback Adam Niemeyer said. "There's a lot of trash-talking that goes on between the two towns."
For the second time this season, those bragging rights go to Minster.
Ethan Wolf led Minster with three catches for 72 yards.