Playoff Football Notes: Minster looks to stop the run

MINSTER —  Minster knows what it must improve upon from its Week 4 26-17 loss to the Flyers when it takes on Marion Local again on Saturday in a regional final game.

Minster has to contain the Marion Local running game better than it did nine weeks ago. Marion Local ran for 196 yards in that one, the most the Wildcat defense has surrendered  all season.

“I thought we could’ve stopped the run a lot better,” lineman Ryan Will said. “There were a lot of plays where we didn’t bring the ballcarrier down. We have to tackle better and outfphysical them.”

Marion Local’s Jake Heitkamp rushed for 155 yards on 27 carries in the first game, scoring two touchdowns.

“They were able to hit us on the right and left and they had our defense off-balance most of the night,” Minster head coach Nate Moore said. “We have got to do a better job defending them and take something away from them, instead of going backwards the whole game.”

Teams have tried to slow down the Flyers’ balanced attack that scored a MAC-best 34.3 points per game this season.

Ada stacked the box against the Flyers last Saturday night in Marion Local’s regional semifinal win. The Flyers took to the air in retaliation.

 The Flyers responded to that strategy with a 300-yard passing night in which quarterback Adam Bertke hit Dylan Thobe for four touchdown passes.

“When somebody does that we have to be good enough on the outside so we can get them out of it,” Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin said.

“We’ve got to be really creative in our gameplan,” Moore said. “We have to have a plan to stop everything.”

The winner of that game plays in the state semifinal next Saturday night against the winner of Delphos St. John's and Leipsic. State semifinal games are reseeded by the OHSAA, but in the past the overseeing body of high school athletics in Ohio has matched up area teams. That would likely mean the winner of DSJ-Leipsic vs. the winner of Minster-Marion Local.

Mighty MAC: The MAC still has four teams alive in the playfoffs after only Versailles dropped out with its loss to Coldwater last Friday night.

Coldwater will play West Jefferson in a Division V regional championship game on Friday night at Piqua. DSJ plays Leipsic at Findlay's Donnell Stadium.