Saturday, September 14th, 2019
Run, Alex, Run!
Schmitmeyer tallies 261 yards rushing as Minster downs Fort Recovery
By Gary R. Rasberry
Minster's Kody Richard (6) intercepts a pass in the end zone as Fort Recovery's. . .
FORT RECOVERY - The weather didn't change Minster's offensive plans on Friday night.
Fort Recovery saw heaping doses of Alex Schmitmeyer and couldn't stop him.
The Minster senior doubled his season rushing output with 261 yards on 33 carries and four touchdowns as the Wildcats pulled away for a 41-20 win over the Indians at Barrenbrugge Park in the Midwest Athletic Conference lidlifter.
The game was delayed for nearly two hours by lightning and thunder, keeping both teams in the locker rooms until just before 9 p.m.
But Wildcats coach Geron Stokes wasn't changing the game plan with the weather.
"We like our offensive line. They work their tails off," said Stokes. "We knew with the rain, we told the guys 'Hey, we're going to put the ball behind you and let's win this thing.' "
Both teams worked the running game in the first half. Schmitmeyer took the first play from scrimmage and ran 74 yards to the end zone with less than 20 seconds run off the clock to put Minster in front 7-0. Fort Recovery moved the ball well with Peyton Jutte, but a Clay Schmitz pass attempt for the end zone was picked off by Kody Richard for the touchback.
Minster scored again late in the first quarter as Schmitmeyer punched in from four yards out with 61 seconds remaining to make it 13-0 after one. Fort Recovery moved the ball with Jutte down to the Minster 25 before Schmitz found Gavin Thobe for a 25-yard score with 8:14 left in the half. After Minster had to punt and the Indians returned it to the Minster 28, Jutte broke free for the tying score with 5:36 remaining.
Minster had the last word of the half, though.
The Wildcats took five minutes off the clock before Schmitmeyer scored his third touchdown of the half with 22 seconds remaining to send the Wildcats into the locker room up 20-13.
"We were scared of their offense," Stokes said of the Indians. "Ball-control and pounding it will help that. We did a really nice job."
The Minster defense came up big in the half. The Wildcats blocked a punt and recovered the ball at the Indian 30-yard line. Five plays later, quarterback Jacob Niemeyer called his own number and scored from nine yards out to make the score 27-13.
Fort Recovery nearly lost the ball on the first play of its next drive but recovered a fumble. The next play, though, Schmitmeyer showed he could catch the ball, snagging an interception to set up another Wildcat short drive from the Fort 29. Niemeyer kept the ball twice to get the score to raise the margin to 34-13.
With the Wildcats starting to bottle up Jutte's running game, Schmitz had to pass, hitting Regan Martin for a 46-yard scoring strike with 4:44 left in the third to cut the Minster margin to 34-20.
"We weren't playing great (defensively) in the first half," said Stokes. "They went into halftime as a mature group, made adjustments and corrections and came out and executed in the second half. That was big. It put our offense in great spots all night."
Minster applied the coup de grâce with a 5 1/2 minute drive to whittle down the clock in the fourth quarter. Schmitmeyer, who entered the game with 247 yards rushing and four touchdowns, capped off his night with a seven-yard scoring run with 4:50 remaining in the contest.
Niemeyer added 105 yards rushing and two scores and completed all three of his passes for 45 yards, all going to Brendan Bornhorst.
Jutte finished with 128 yards, but 118 of the yards came in the first half. Schmitz was 7-of-13 passing for 130 yards with two scores and two picks. Martin had two catches for 85 yards.
Minster (3-0, 1-0 MAC) hosts unbeaten Coldwater in MAC play next Friday. Fort Recovery also heads to Auglaize County to face New Bremen at Cardinals Stadium.