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Saturday, October 31st, 2009

St. Henry grabs the final berth in the playoffs in region 20

By Bruce Monnin
MINSTER - St. Henry arrived in Minster barely holding on to its playoff hopes after losing three of the last four games. The fact that those three Redskin losses came against teams which finished the season with a combined record of 27-3 did not impress the OHSAA computers, so it was up to St. Henry to take a win from the Wildcats and hope the computers sent the Redskins to postseason play.
St. Henry took care of its business, holding Minster to just 25 first-half yards while scoring touchdowns on five of its six first-half possessions en route to a convincing 42-7 victory.
"We talked all week about getting off to a fast start," commented St. Henry coach Jeff Starkey on his team. "We played hard tonight. Both teams did."
The win was just enough to earn St. Henry the eighth seed in Region 20. This will earn the Redskins a trip to play 10-0 Richwood North Union next week.
"We talked about the playoffs on Monday, but have not talked about them after that," admitted Starkey after the game when their playoff status was still in doubt. "Hopefully our seniors get the chance (to be in the playoffs)."
The Redskins established their dominance on the opening drive of the game, as they used 13 plays to methodically drive 65 yards down the field, capping the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Stahl to Vic Fortkamp.
After shutting down the Wildcats on just three plays, St. Henry used a quick strike to score on its second possession. After a 16-yard pass completion, Neil Schwieterman broke free on the next play for a 43-yard touchdown run that made the score 14-0.
The Redskins were stymied on their third possession, but that would be the last time they failed to reach the end zone in the first half. Their next three scoring drives were finished with a 45-yard pass from Stahl to Tyler Bruns, an 18-yard pass from Stahl to Fortkamp and a one-yard Bryce Hoying run just before half to make the St. Henry lead 35-0.
The last Redskin score on the night came on their first possession of the third quarter, with Steven Lutmer running it in from 24 yards out to increase the lead to 42-0.
Minster put together its only scoring drive of the night starting late in the third quarter. The Wildcats used 12 consecutive running plays to drive 72 yards. The Wildcat score was earned by converted offensive lineman Ross Wuebker on a two-yard plunge.
St. Henry's record improves to 7-3, just good enough to be one of five Midwest Athletic Conference teams to qualify for the playoffs. With the loss, Minster ends the season with a 1-9 record.
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