Thursday, November 7th, 2019

MAC championship game

2 of 3 conference winners collide as Anna visits Minster in Week 11

By Colin Foster

A Midwest Athletic Conference championship game in Week 11.

That ought to peak some interest.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday as fifth-seeded and regular-season poll champion Anna visits fourth-seeded and fifth-ranked Minster at Memorial Field in the opening round of the Division VI, Region 23 playoffs.

"It's perfect," Minster coach Geron Stokes said. "We're playing one of the best teams in the state, if not the best team in the state in Division VI. We get to play (Anna coach) Nick (Marino) and his guys that we haven't played. It's just a really cool set up, and it's going to demand that we're both at our best, which is a perfect scenario."

Photo by Dan Melograna/The Daily Standard

Anna's Riley Huelskamp (20) breaks away from the Coldwater defense during a Week 8 game in Anna. Huelskamp won the MAC rushing title this season with 1,516 yards.

The Wildcats (9-1) and Rockets (9-1) didn't meet in 2018 or 2019. This season, each team went 7-1 in MAC play, as did Marion Local, to give the conference a tri-champion for the first time since 1989. It was Anna's second straight MAC title and Minster's first since 1989.

"The MAC championship is all in the past, that's all been settled," Anna's Marino said. "We're focused on the playoffs now. At the end of the year, we're looking to play our best football."

"We feel good (about winning the MAC), but we've got such a big test this week that there's no time to think about any of that," Stokes added. "It's about how we can get as good as we possibly can, as fast as we can, to match Anna's strengths."

A few items of note ahead of kickoff:

Ex-Colleagues Clash

The question as to which football team is better will be settled in Minster.

But the football journeys of both Stokes and Marino began in Urbana.

Stokes was an assistant at Urbana during Marino's senior year of high school. When Stokes got the Urbana head job at age 23, Marino served as his defensive coordinator for four years. After Stokes headed to Minster, Marino assumed Stokes' duties before joining him in the MAC.

"We learned football together," Stokes said.

"Dave Carroll was both of our high school football coach," Marino said. "Dave's a great coach - he's up at Clear Fork now. A lot of the stuff that I have learned from football came from coach Carroll. We learned a lot from the same guy. I don't know if he'll be at the game on Friday, but I'd be grateful if he was."

And a lot of Carroll's methods and systems are still used by the coaches today.

"Pretty similar (styles)," Stokes added. "… When I left Urbana and he got the head coaching job there, it's been cool to see him put his own twist on things, because we both learned from Dave. We kind of studied together forever while we were there. It's kind of been cool to see his growth and how he morphs things to fit his style."

Postseason History

This is Minster's sixth straight trip to the playoffs. The Wildcats have won their opening-round game each time during that stretch, which has included two state titles (2014, Division VI, and 2017, Division VII) and one runner-up (2016, Division VI).

Anna is making its third straight postseason appearance. The Rockets, however, haven't had much success - having lost their openers in back-to-back seasons. They were bounced from the Division V playoffs last year with a 42-35 loss to Elyria Catholic. Anna's last postseason win came on Nov. 6, 2009, against Bishop Ready.

Key Players

Anna 

- Riley Huelskamp, RB

162 points, 1,516 rushing yards, 9.42 yards per carry, 25 rushing touchdowns (leads MAC in each category)

- Bart Bixler, QB

120 points, 1,008 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns (tied for second in MAC), 8.13 yards per carry, 75-of-109 passing, 1,080 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, four interceptions

- Kam Steward, WR

30 receptions, 404 yards, two touchdowns

- Isaac Egbert, LB

79 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles

Photo by Dan Melograna/The Daily Standard

Brendan Bornhorst and Minster host Anna in the opening round of the Division VI, Region 23 playoffs on Friday at 7 p.m.

Minster

- Alex Schmitmeyer, RB

120 points, 1,502 rushing yards (second in MAC), 6.1 yards per carry, 20 rushing touchdowns (tied for second in MAC), two interceptions at LB

- Jacob Niemeyer, QB

592 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 120-of-165 passing, 1,679 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, three interceptions

- Trent Roetgerman, WR

45 receptions, 841 yards, 13 touchdowns (leads MAC in each category)

- Brendan Bornhorst, WR

34 receptions, 397 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions at DB

- Kody Richard, DB

Four interceptions (leads MAC), 48 tackles

- Adam Ketner, LB

50 tackles, two interceptions

Coach Speak

"They're loaded," Stokes said. "Personnel wise, they've got better personnel than anybody we've seen. Their quarterback is electric. Their running back is electric. They're big and they're physical. They're aggressive defensively. They don't have any holes in any of their personnel. We've got our work cut out for us because they're as good of football team as we've seen all year."

"We're going to have to defend the run really well," Marino said. "They run the ball well. Their line is big and physical, so we're going to have to contend with that all night. That's going to be the biggest part of the game. You look at what they did a couple weeks ago in the Marion game, they kind of ball-controlled them and that's how they really got a good advantage in that ball game."

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Two-Minute Drill

By Daily Standard Staff

Friday
Division VI, Region 23
Coldwater at Archbold
Blue Streaks Stadium

Photo by Dan Melograna/The Daily Standard

Coldwater's Jake Hemmelgarn (10) gets rid of the football as Marion Local's Drew Seitz (28) brings the blitz during last week's game in Maria Stein.

First-ever meeting between the teams.First-ever meeting between the teams.

About the Cavaliers: Coldwater will look to bounce back from a tough shutout loss to Marion Local. The Cavaliers hit the road for the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Since higher seeds began hosting first-round games, Coldwater is 5-0 in first-round road games.

Coldwater was held to just 124 yards of offense and had to punt five times in the game. Coldwater will have to find a way to utilize Zack McKibben more on offense. Against St. Henry he scored two touchdowns on his first two carries of the game and went for a touchdown on his first reception. Against Marion, McKibben led the team in rushing and receiving yards but was held out of the end zone.Coldwater was held to just 124 yards of offense and had to punt five times in the game. Coldwater will have to find a way to utilize Zack McKibben more on offense. Against St. Henry he scored two touchdowns on his first two carries of the game and went for a touchdown on his first reception. Against Marion, McKibben led the team in rushing and receiving yards but was held out of the end zone.

This marks the third straight boys' season in which Coldwater and Archbold have met in the postseason. The Cavaliers beat the Blue Streaks in basketball and baseball. This marks the third straight boys' season in which Coldwater and Archbold have met in the postseason. The Cavaliers beat the Blue Streaks in basketball and baseball.

About the Blue Streaks: Archbold (9-1) shared the Northwest Ohio Athletic League (NWOAL) title with Liberty Center with its only loss of the season coming by a 39-36 margin against the Tigers, who picked up the second seed in Region 24.

Quarterback DJ Newman has thrown for 1,429 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Antonio Cruz has been his favorite target with 46 receptions, 725 yards and 10 touchdowns. Noah Gomez is the top rusher with 745 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Newman has added 550 yards and seven scores.Quarterback DJ Newman has thrown for 1,429 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Antonio Cruz has been his favorite target with 46 receptions, 725 yards and 10 touchdowns. Noah Gomez is the top rusher with 745 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Newman has added 550 yards and seven scores.

Division III, Region 12
St. Marys at Franklin
Wildcat Stadium

Third-ever meeting between the Roughriders and Wildcats. The first two games were at neutral sites. The first was in 1989 with St. Marys winning 21-7 at Troy Memorial Stadium. The last time was 2016 with St. Marys winning 55-31 at Heidkamp Stadium at Wayne High School in Huber Heights.Third-ever meeting between the Roughriders and Wildcats. The first two games were at neutral sites. The first was in 1989 with St. Marys winning 21-7 at Troy Memorial Stadium. The last time was 2016 with St. Marys winning 55-31 at Heidkamp Stadium at Wayne High School in Huber Heights.

About the Roughriders: St. Marys enters the game on a seven-game winning streak after losing back-to-back games in Weeks 2 and 3 to Wapakoneta and Ottawa-Glandorf. St. Marys has scored 24-or-more points in each of the seven wins during the streak and only scored less than 24 once the entire season (against Wapak). The Wing-T has been a committee of volunteers after Ty Schlosser went down early in the season. Ty Howell leads the team with 611 yards, but six other players have 161-or-more yards rushing this season and six have scored two-or-more touchdowns. This would allow coach Doug Frye to explore his depth when using players on offense and defense. Quarterback Kurt Bubp has completed 26 passes this season (in 46 attempts for a 56.5% completion rate) while throwing nine touchdowns and no interceptions. The Roughrider defense has recorded 44 sacks this season with Blake Kanorr racking up 11.

About the Wildcats: Franklin went 9-1 and won the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division with a 6-0 record, losing only to Xenia in non-league play on Sept. 13. Quarterback Braden Woods has passed for 1,421 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Wildcats and has also rushed for 554 yards and six scores. Gage Johnson leads the team in rushing with 837 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Saturday
Division VII, Region 28
Mississinawa Valley at Marion Local
Booster Stadium

First-ever meeting between the Blackhawks and Flyers.First-ever meeting between the Blackhawks and Flyers.

About the Blackhawks: Mississinawa Valley returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2004 after finishing 7-3 and 6-2 in the Cross County Conference. Senior quarterback Cody Dirksen has passed for more than 1,500 yards this season. Senior running back Alex Scholl leads the team in rushing with more then 800 yards and receiving with nearly 500 yards.

About the Flyers: Marion captured a share of the MAC and locked up a home playoff game with last week's 24-0 win over Coldwater. The Flyer defense has allowed just 100 points this season. In their five previous opening-round games, the Flyers have outscored their foes 204-37 while posting two shutouts. The balanced Flyers have four players that have scored 42-or-more points this season. Brandon Fleck and Grant Meier lead the team with 10 rushing touchdowns each.

Division VII, Region 28
New Bremen at New Miami
Viking Stadium

First-ever meeting between the Cardinals and Vikings.First-ever meeting between the Cardinals and Vikings.

About the Cardinals: New Bremen took a tough loss to Minster in Week 10 but still earned the program's first playoff appearance since 2004. The Cardinals got back quarterback Mitchell Hays last week. However, the team could still run plays for Nolan Bornhorst in Week 11. Bornhorst, a three-year starter at quarterback, filled in at QB when Hays didn't play in a Week 9 win over Delphos St. John's. He passed and rushed for two touchdowns each in a 41-13 victory.

About the Vikings: New Miami went 10-0 (only nine games were against OHSAA-sanctioned teams) and won the Miami Valley Conference Gray Division. The Vikings make their second straight playoff trip after losing to Fort Loramie in the opening round last season. The Vikings have rushed for more than 2,600 yards this season but have a strong quarterback in Trey Robinette (65-of-89, 1,512 yards, 18 TDs/two INT). Dylan Spivey (817 yards, 13 TDs) is the go-to running back, along with Jordan Robinette (674 yards, seven TDs) and Trey Robinette (11 TDs). Deanza Duncan is the top receiver with 31 receptions for 1,081 yards and 15 TDs.

Games of Interest
Friday
Division VI, Region 24
Worthington Christian at Covington

The Warriors (8-2), making their first-ever state playoff appearance, are coached by St. Henry grad, Penn State and NFL standout Jeff Hartings. The Warriors (8-2), making their first-ever state playoff appearance, are coached by St. Henry grad, Penn State and NFL standout Jeff Hartings.

Worthington Christian's offense is led by quarterback Lucas Hartings, son of the coach. The younger Hartings has passed for 2,164 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Lucas Hartings has also rushed for 323 yards and nine touchdowns. Receiver DJ Moore has caught 47 passes for 1,017 yards and 11 touchdowns. Worthington Christian's offense is led by quarterback Lucas Hartings, son of the coach. The younger Hartings has passed for 2,164 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Lucas Hartings has also rushed for 323 yards and nine touchdowns. Receiver DJ Moore has caught 47 passes for 1,017 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Buccs enter the playoffs at 8-2 with losses to Minster and Fort Loramie. They finished runner-up to Loramie in the Cross County Conference. Over their last six games, the Buccs have averaged a 56-5 margin of victory. The Buccs enter the playoffs at 8-2 with losses to Minster and Fort Loramie. They finished runner-up to Loramie in the Cross County Conference. Over their last six games, the Buccs have averaged a 56-5 margin of victory.

Division VI, Region 24
Grandview Heights at Paint Valley

Grandview Heights finished 6-4 but an early win over Division III Centennial helped the Bobcats snag the seventh seed in the region and a trip to Bainbridge. Grandview Heights finished 6-4 but an early win over Division III Centennial helped the Bobcats snag the seventh seed in the region and a trip to Bainbridge.

A player of note on the Bobcats roster is senior tight end Luke Lachey, son of St. Henry grad and Ohio State and NFL standout Jim Lachey. Through nine games, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior had 46 catches for 532 yards while adding five interceptions on defense. A player of note on the Bobcats roster is senior tight end Luke Lachey, son of St. Henry grad and Ohio State and NFL standout Jim Lachey. Through nine games, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior had 46 catches for 532 yards while adding five interceptions on defense.

Luke Lachey will play in the Big Ten next season after verbally committing to Iowa.Luke Lachey will play in the Big Ten next season after verbally committing to Iowa.

Saturday
Division VII, Region 28
Hardin Northern at Fort Loramie

The Redskins (9-1) won the CCC championship and are seeking a second straight state trip. They lost to eventual state champion McComb in last year's state semifinal. After a Week 1 loss at Minster this season, Loramie outscored opponents 453-43 (14 of those points were scored by Covington). The Redskins (9-1) won the CCC championship and are seeking a second straight state trip. They lost to eventual state champion McComb in last year's state semifinal. After a Week 1 loss at Minster this season, Loramie outscored opponents 453-43 (14 of those points were scored by Covington).

The Polar Bears (8-2) earned a playoff berth by ending their season with five straight victories, including a 21-14 win over Waynesfield-Goshen last week. The Polar Bears (8-2) earned a playoff berth by ending their season with five straight victories, including a 21-14 win over Waynesfield-Goshen last week.

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Players of the Week

By Daily Standard Staff

Offense

Nick Hawk
Nick Hawk, RB
Parkway

27 carries for 227 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers' 33-6 win at St. Henry.

Defense

Brandon Fleck
Brandon Fleck, LB
Marion Local

Nine tackles and a sack in the Flyers' 24-0 win over Coldwater.
Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Playoff schedule

All games begin at 7 p.m.

Friday

Division III, Region 12

No. 8 Alter at No. 1 Chaminade Julienne

No. 7 Trotwood-Madison at No. 2 Wapakoneta

No. 6 St. Marys at No. 3 Franklin

No. 5 Hamilton Ross at No. 4 Hamilton Badin

Division VI, Region 23

No. 8 Fairview at No. 1 Lima Central Catholic

No. 7 Allen East at No. 2 Liberty Center

No. 6 Coldwater at No. 3 Archbold

No. 5 Anna at No. 4 Minster

Saturday

Division VII, Region 28

No. 8 New Bremen at No. 1 New Miami

No. 7 Mississinawa Valley at No. 2 Marion Local

No. 6 Hardin Northern at No. 3 Fort Loramie

No. 5 Lima Perry at No. 4 Cincinnati College Prep Academy

Regions included are ones involving local teams