Saturday, September 20th, 2008
By Bruce Monnin
Minster improves to 4-0 in road contests
NEW BREMEN - All night long the Minster offense drove relentlessly toward the New Bremen end zone, but it was the Cardinal defense coming up big time and again.
Minster finally punched in a score with less than two minutes remaining in the game to secure a 21-13 victory and become one of the few teams in the state to have a 4-0 record in road games.
The Wildcats moved the ball inside the New Bremen 40-yard line on nine of their 10 possessions in the game, but could only come up with three touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals scored early in each half but were then shut out the rest of the game by the Wildcat defense.
New Bremen gained more yardage in four plays at the start of the two halfs than it did for the rest of the game combined.
It only took 36 seconds for New Bremen to grab the early lead as Caleb Williams completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Otting to ignite the home crowd.
Minster responded with what would be the only other score of the first half, but it took a bit more time. Fourteen plays and almost seven minutes later, Ty Whitford ran for 19 of his 173 yards on the night to even the score at 7-7.
On the Cardinals' next possession Brian Phlipot intercepted a New Bremen pass at midfield.
"In the first half we went right down and scored," explained New Bremen coach Rob Messick, "Then we threw the ball a little bit but they did a good job covering us."
On the next play, Wildcat quarterback Austin Baumer ran for seven yards but was injured while being tackled by the facemask. Baumer would not play the rest of the game and sophomore Chase Paxson came in to take over the reins of the Minster offense.
"We felt comfortable with Chase all year," stated Minster coach Eric Belcher. "We probably threw as much as we normally would have with Chase in there."
Minster drove to the 10-yard line but had its field-goal attempt blocked. New Bremen responded with a drive of its own to the Minster 14-yard line, but the Wildcat defense stopped the Cardinals on a fourth-and-one running play. Most of the rest of the half was played on the New Bremen side of the field with no scoring.
New Bremen struck early again in the second half. On the Cardinals' first play, Corey Jutte took an option pitch and streamed down the sidelines for a 73-yard touchdown scamper. A missed extra point would turn out to be huge, as it gave the Cardinals a six-point lead at 13-7.
This time, Minster answered right back in a quicker fashion. On the Wildcats' second play, Paxson connected with Brian Mueller for a 62-yard touchdown completion, and Mueller's kick gave Minster a 14-13 lead.
It appeared New Bremen would immediately regain the lead as it drove to the Minster 11-yard line, but a fumbled snap and a sack forced the Cardinals to attempt a 37-yard field goal which was long enough but a little wide.
The rest of the game belonged to the Minster offense. An eight-play drive resulted in a punt, then an 11 play drive was stopped on downs at the Cardinal 11-yard line. Late in the fourth quarter the Wildcats received the ball on the 31-yard line and decided to try something different by giving the ball to fullback Ian Ranly.
"Ty (Whitford) ran the ball well tonight but he jukes quite a bit. At the end, that was not what we were looking for," explained Belcher.
Ranly pounded the ball for four, five and 16 yards to push the Wildcats near the goal line. Finally, he finished off the drive with bruising four-yard touchdown run to seal the 21-13 win.
On Friday, Minster (4-1) plays only its second home game of the season versus the 1-4 Versailles Tigers. The 1-4 Cardinals travel to face the 3-2 Fort Recovery Indians.
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