Wildcats Prowl On Wurst

Minster’s Isaac Schmiesing leaps to intercept a pass during a Division VII, Region 28 championship on Friday at Harmon Field in Wapakoneta.
Sports Editor

In a rematch of week 3 of the season, Midwest Athletic Conference rivals met again with a birth to the state semifinals on the line.

The Minster Wildcats opened with a touchdown on their first drive of the game and that score, coupled with three interceptions by the Minster defense, was enough in a 20-0 shutout victory against Delphos St. John’s at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field on Friday night.

With the win, the Wildcats (9-4) will take on Norwalk St. Paul (13-0) — who defeated Pandora-Gilboa 49-7 in the other Division VII, regional final — in next week’s state semifinal at 7:30 p.m. at a destination to be determined.

The Wildcats offense picked up where they left off a week ago, driving 36 yards on five plays capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run when senior Isaac Schmiesing found the right edge and was able to dive to front pylon to get the score.

On a fumble PAT attempt, Jacob Hoying was able to recover and find Joe Winner in the back of the end zone to give the Wildcats the 8-0 lead early.

The Blue Jays  found themselves driving looking to tie the game, but the Wildcats ball-hawking defense showed up when Blue Jays junior quarterback Jared Wurst was picked off in the end zone by senior Alex Lehmkuhl.

Coming into the game, the Wildcats led the MAC in turnover ratio at +15, coupled with Wurst’s 11 interceptions, it proved to be a significant difference in this game.

Coming out of the half, the Wildcats offense could not get anything going again, with a quick punt.

But the tide changed, and the Minster defense came up with another big turnover when junior August Boehnlein jumped in front of a Blue Jay receiver to intercept another Wurst pass, giving the Wildcats the ball on Delphos side of the field.

Wildcats coach Geron Stokes and the Minster offense did not wait long to try to strike when senior quarterback Jared Huelsman threw a lateral pass to Schmiesing to the right side who then found a wide-open teammate, sophomore Austin Brown, for the 45-yard touchdown pass and the 14-0 lead.

On the next drive, the Wildcats defense did it again, this time Schmiesing picking off a floating ball down the middle of the field to give Minster great field position.

Running clock and grinding out first downs, Minster found themselves at the Delphos 14-yard line on a fourth and 9 when Huelsman found his man across the middle on a bullet pass to Lehmkuhl to give the Wildcats the 20-0 advantage.

Minster is now winners of six in a row and win their second straight regional final.

For the full story, see Saturday's print edition of The Evening Leader.