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Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Minster scores lone TD of the game

By Bruce Monnin

Minster's Josh Otting, right, reaches to make a tackle on St. Henry's Tyler Schw. . .

MINSTER - Mother Nature and two determined defenses combined to create a soggy and low scoring game between the Minster Wildcats and the St. Henry Redskins.
Three red zone stops by Minster's defense kept the Wildcats in the game long enough for Josh Nixon to find A.J. Huelsman for a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give Minster a 7-0 victory.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and drove 26 yards to St. Henry's 44-yard line before punting. Minster's offense struggled for the remainder of the first half as the Redskins' defense held them to a total of 10 yards in their next five possessions and 68 yards total for the first half.
The first quarter was no better for St. Henry's offense as they netted just one yard in their first four possessions. But the second quarter consisted of the Redskins trying to cross the goal line with the Wildcats barely keeping them out.
A 17-yard run by Jordan Osterholt and a 23 yard pass from Mitchel A. Stammen to Jeff Paul gave St. Henry a first down at Minster's four-yard line. After three runs and an incomplete pass, the ball was turned over to the Wildcats on the four-yard line.
The Redskins' defense wasted no time forcing a Minster punt, and two running plays by Jesse Niekamp pushed the Redskins to the Wildcats' 12-yard line. A quarterback sack by Prater Otting took the steam out of the St. Henry drive and a 29-yard field goal attempt went wide to the right, leaving the game scoreless at halftime.
"Our defense gave an unbelievable effort," complimented Minster coach Geron Stokes. "They were put in bad situations, but they dug their cleats in the ground and got stops."
The Redskins threatened again early in the third quarter. Minster failed to cleanly field a punt and St. Henry recovered the ball on the Wildcats 20-yard line. Once again, Minster's defense stuffed three straight runs and forced an incomplete pass on fourth down to keep the game scoreless.
The Wildcats then put together their only scoring drive of the game. They started with five straight running plays, four by senior Paul Dues who was seeing his first action of the season after returning from injury. On a critical third down, Nixon found Huelsman for a 26-yard gain to keep the drive alive.
The next two plays were the most critical of the game. Minster ran the ball up the middle for seven yards, but the ball popped loose and the Redskins' players celebrated their recovery of the apparent fumble. However, the officials ruled the runner had been down before the ball came loose, so the Wildcats retained possession. On the following play, Nixon found Huelsman again for a 40-yard scoring strike and a 7-0 Minster lead.
"We thought we would get that matchup," described Stokes about the man-to-man coverage on Huelsman. "Finally it presented itself and the kids made the play."
Neither team seriously threatened to score in the fourth quarter. While Minster was able to move the ball a little better in the second half, St. Henry was only able to generate 62 yards of offense in the second half and just 142 yards for the game.
Minster improves to 2-2 and the Wildcats go on the road next week to face Coldwater. St. Henry falls to 0-4 and will travel next Friday to play against winless New Bremen.
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Additional online story on this date
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
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