Minster (2-0, 0-0) at Delphos St. John's (0-2, 0-0)
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
At Stadium Park, Delphos
Last Meeting: Delphos St. John's defeated the Wildcats, 35-7, in a match-up of Division VI playoff teams. The Blue Jays went on to win the state championship. Minster reached the regional title game before bowing out to Sidney Lehman.
Streak: Delphos St. John's has won 14 straight games over the Wildcats. Minster last beat the Blue Jays in 1996.
— Delphos St. John’s leads the all-time series 24-11
— Delphos has won 15 straight meetings, including a 1999 Division VI playoff game.
— Minster is 3-11 at Delphos’ Stadium Park all-time.
— Delphos St. John’s has averaged 26.4 points per game against Minster and Minster has averaged 14.8 points per game against the Blue Jays.
Storyline: Arguably one of the early season’s biggest games in the MAC will take place Friday in Delphos as the Minster Wildcats travel north on Ohio 66 to take on the defending state champion Delphos St. John’s Blue Jays in a game that could set the tone for the rest of the season.
Minster hasn’t beaten the Blue Jays since 1996, the victim of multiple close losses over the past decade and a half.
“It would be a huge win for all — I believe we haven’t beaten St. John’s since 1986,” Moore said. “There is some history there of not coming through with a victory and there is a mental hurdle there. Getting a win on the road will be a huge confidence builder for us.”
With Delphos St. John’s entering the game at 0-2 and the Wildcats a perfect 2-0 in out of conference play, this year the game is up for grabs.
“I think it’s going to be the team that executes the best, doesn’t turn the ball over and capitalizes on field position who wins,” Minster coach Nate Moore said. “I expect a MAC slugfest type of game. They are going to want to run the football and we will hopefully establish the run.”
Minster (2-0, 0-0 MAC) opens the league slate by traveling up to Delphos to take on a St. John’s team that dropped its first two games of the year (LCC and Detroit Catholic Central). Last week, the Wildcats gained a measure of revenge by drubbing Sidney Lehman Catholic 41-13 in a rematch of the playoffs last season.
“It was a good win for us and our program,” Moore said. “At the same time I don’t think we played as well as we are capable of and we need to learn from our mistakes and get better.”
Strictly looking at the stat sheet, the game was closer than the score would indicate. Minster outgained Lehman Catholic on offense 254 to 233 and the Wildcats had seven penalties for 55 yards. Where Minster made up of its miscues was in the takeaway department. The Wildcats had three takeaways and no giveaways. Moore also praised the work of his defense for keeping the Cavs in check all night.
“We’ve got confidence in that group and we have a talented defense,” Moore said. “We have a great group of linebackers and are pretty strong upfront. Our secondary has played well as well and we just have a strong overall defense.”
It was a group effort leading the Wildcats last week as no back had more than 50 yards rushing. Troy Kaufman (10 carries, 49 yards and a touchdown), Adam Niemeyer (seven carries, 47 yards and a touchdown) and Korey Shultz (six carries, 41 yards and a touchdown) led the way.
The defense also got into the scoring act. Shultz also returned a fumble for a score and Jay Eilerman had a pick-six to all but ice the game in the third quarter.
Minster’s fast start will be tested against a Blue Jay squad looking for its first win of the season. A Minster win Friday could set it up for a playoff run.
“We are expecting to see a team that is fired up,” Moore said of the Blue Jays. “They will be at home and it’s the league opening game and they are coming off two very tough ball games. We know we are going to have our hands full.”
Execution, Moore said, will be the biggest key to Friday’s game. If the Wildcats execute on all cylinders, it could mean their first win over St. John’s since the mid-1990s.
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Minster by the Numbers
Scoring By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
MINSTER 13 20 13 21 67
OPPONENTS 10 2 0 6 18
Minster Rushing 71 carries 433 yards
Opponents Rushing 88 carries 241 yards
Minster Passing 17-32 188 yards 1 TD 3 INT
Opponents Passing 8-23 56 yards 1TD 1INT