Saturday, October 7th, 2017
Cavaliers survive Wildcats
By Bruce Monnin
Coldwater's Justin Schwieterman, 21, hits Minster's Cody Frericks during Friday'. . .
COLDWATER - It was one of those games where not much was happening offensively for either the Coldwater Cavaliers or the Minster Wildcats. It had the feeling of a contest that would be decided by a big play late.
Instead, the final half of the fourth quarter was filled with big plays, but none larger than the Coldwater defense stopping Minster's Jared Huelsman short of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt, thus securing a 17-16 victory.
With seven minutes remaining in a 10-10 game, the Cavaliers were forced to punt. During the return, Will Broering made the hard tackle, forcing a fumble that Josh Hrycko recovered on the Minster 37-yard line. With momentum in hand, Coldwater turned to their running game, and gained 31 of their 97 yards rushing on the evening. Sam Broering scored from three yards out, and the Cavaliers had a 17-10 lead with 2:41 remaining.
"That last drive, I was really happy with our guys running the ball," stated Coldwater coach Chip Otten. "I think we ran it almost every time. We haven't run the ball real well this year, so that was good for us."
Minster responded with its most impressive drive of the game. Jared Huelsman completed three passes to quickly bring the ball to the Cavalier 19-yard line. Huelsman then kept the ball in his own hands the next three plays, capping off the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run around the left end of the line. With a little over a minute remaining, Wildcat coach Geron Stokes called for the two point conversion in an attempt to win in regulation. Again it was Huelsman on the carry, but the Coldwater defense shut him down short of the goal line.
"It was really just the same play they had just run for the touchdown," explained Otten. "That's what Minster does. They have that big tight end, and No. 34 (August Boehnlein), who's just a tough kid, and that quarterback, I think he's bigger and stronger than anybody we've got, other than our two big tackles. It's hard to get him down."
"That's our best call," echoed Stokes. "We just didn't execute."
The Cavaliers seemed to be in control from the start of the game, though they did not score an abundance of points. Their opening drive advanced all the way to the Minster three-yard line, where the Wildcat defense stopped them on fourth down. Minster fumbled the ball on their first play, and Coldwater was back in possession at the Wildcat three yard line. They were once again unable to advance any further, and had to settle for a Blake Dippold 20 yard field goal.
A bad snap ended Minster's next possession, and this time the Cavaliers fully cashed in. A 12-yard pass to Ben Wenning on a fourth down and six play kept the series alive and then Brad Giere eventually scored on a three yard run to make the advantage 10-0.
"The difference again in these last three weeks for us has been turnovers," added Otten. "I think we are plus 10 (turnover margin) the last three games."
"Three turnovers," lamented Stokes. "You can't beat them doing that. We were snapping the ball like crazy, dropping the ball like crazy."
When Minster started its final possession of the first half, it had negative seven net yards for the contest. A big 37-yard pass to August Boehnlein seemed to raise their spirits, and the Wildcats were able to score on a three yard Huelsman run to make the deficit 10-7 at the half.
Minster received the opening kickoff for the second half and again achieved a big play on a 45-yard pass to Austin Brown. But after gaining a first down at the Coldwater four yard line, it was the Cavalier defense's turn to rise to the occasion. The Wildcats were forced to settle for a 21 yard Isaac Schmiesing field goal, tying the game at 10-10. As it turned out, it was the defensive stand that ended up winning the game for Coldwater.
Coldwater, now 5-2, gains some needed computer points and travels to face the Versailles Tigers next week. Minster takes its four-game losing streak back home to face the New Bremen Cardinals.