Saturday, September 25th, 2010
By Bruce Monnin
Moore gets first win with Minster
MINSTER - The Minster Wildcats secured their first win of the season on their Homecoming night, a 27-20 triumph over the rival New Bremen Cardinals.
It was also the first win in the career of Minster coach Nate Moore, and many members of the student body gathered in the end zone after the game chanting "We want Moore! We want Moore!"
The jubilant Wildcat coach obliged the fans by sprinting through their tunnel, giving high fives to all on his way to join his victorious team.
Though Minster seemed in control for much of the game, New Bremen made the home fans nervous with a late score until the Wildcats recovered a late Cardinals on-side kick.
Minster compiled 392 yards of offense while holding New Bremen to just 241 yards. The Wildcats were led by quarterback Chase Paxson, who completed 18-of-30 passes for 209 yards while running for 85 more.
"Chase flat out makes things happen," commented Moore. "And thanks to the offensive line, he had all day back there to do so."
The entire Minster team showed a lot of poise on the night, converting on nine out of 16 third-down opportunities (with an average of seven yards needed for each first down) and two out of four fourth-down attempts.
The Wildcats also showed unusual proficiency in the kicking game, as Devon Peoppelman converted on all three of his PAT kicks and made both field goals he attempted.
"We have to have the most confidence of any 1-4 team in the state," explained Moore. "They had their best week of practice of the year."
Minster got off to a quick start when Devon Poeppelman intercepted a New Bremen pass on the second play of the game. Six plays later, Paxson capped a 38-yard touchdown drive with an eight-yard scoring run to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals evened the score in the second quarter when they used 15 plays to drive 65 yards. The drive featured a critical third-down pass interference call against Minster and a 10-yard touchdown pass from Elliot Westerbeck to Ben Chaney on a fourth-and-four play.
The Wildcats answered in kind, putting together an 18-play drive of their own. Minster converted on third down plays of 10, 6, 9 and 9 yards on the drive and benefited when a Cardinal interception was nullified by their own pass interference call.
The drive stalled at the New Bremen four-yard line, resulting in a 21 yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 10-7 lead at intermission.
Minster extended the lead to 17-7 midway through the third quarter, when Coach Moore opened up the playbook.
Wildcats running back Adam Kaiser took the handoff, then threw the halfback pass back to Paxson for a 32-yard gain. Three plays later it was Paxson completing a 12 yard touchdown pass to Daniel Gushing.
The Wildcats earned some breathing room with another touchdown to start the fourth quarter. Paxson made the score 24-7 when he found Mitchel Poeppelman for a five-yard touchdown pass.
There was no quit in the boys from New Bremen, however. The Cardinals used their own halfback pass from Alec Frideger to Chaney for a 32-yard gain. A 30-yard pass from Westerbeck to Frideger set up a three-yard scoring run by Calib Cox. The PAT was missed and the New Bremen deficit was 24-13.
Minster seemed to seal the game when put together a 14-play, seven-plus minute drive to bring the clock down to under three minutes remaining. Poeppelman capped the drive with a 24-yard field goal to make the score 27-13.
But the Cardinals again struck quickly, using just six plays before Westerbeck again connected with Frideger, this time for a seven-yard score.
With the Minster lead now just 27-20 and a little over a minute left in the game, the Cardinals attempted the expected on-side kick. Daniel Gusching smothered the kick to secure the Wildcats' first win of the season.
The Wildcats (1-4) will look for their second win of the season versus the 2-3 Fort Recovery Indians next Friday while the Cardinals (1-4) will host the Anna Rockets (3-2).
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