Minster Wins, But Cardinals Clinch Playoffs

Minster’s Trent Roegterman (19) hits New Bremen’s Mitchell Hays (14) in midair during a Midwest Athletic Conference football game on Friday at New Bremen High School.
Staff Writer

For the fifth time in the history of the Minster Wildcat football team, they have won a share of the Midwest Athletic Conference Friday night as they defeated the New Bremen Cardinals 42-2 in a regular-season finale.

“Our seniors had an awesome week,” Minster coach Geron Stokes said. “Emotional. They done a lot of work and they struggled some in our program, but this group has come together.They want to be a family and I think that is the coolest thing in team sports that you have kids who will sacrifice and do whatever it takes to help one another.”

The Wildcats (9-1, 7-1 MAC) share a piece of the MAC title with Marion Local and Anna. Also a playoff team in Division VI, Region 23, the Wildcats are looked to be hosting Anna next week in a regional quarterfinal. As for the Cardinals (7-3, 5-2), New Bremen clinched its first playoff berth for the first time since 2004 and will travel next Saturday to take on New Miami.

On Friday, however, Minster got off to a quick start by capitalizing on a pair of Cardinal turnovers.

On the third play of the game, New Bremen quarterback Mitchell Hays threw a pass intercepted by Gabe Phillips. 

Starting at the Cardinals 29, Minster had a few runs by Alex Schmitmeyer and a few passes from Jacob Niemeyer to end a 7-play drive with a 7-yard run on a run/pass option for a touchdown. The extra point from Bryan Falk made the score 7-0 with 8:27 left.

“Minster historically doesn’t beat themselves,” New Bremen coach Chris Schmidt said. “You don’t want to help them by making mistakes whether it be by penalty or turnovers and we hurt ourselves tonight.” 

The Minster defense stopped the Cardinals on their second drive and forced a punt giving the Wildcats a first and 10 at the 25.

Giving the ball to Schmitmeyer, the back ran three consecutive plays bringing the ball out to the 41 and the Wildcats finished the 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 27-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Trent Roetgerman for a 14-0 lead with 1:59 left in the opening quarter.

Minster once again stopped New Bremen when Brendon Bornhorst intercepted a pass at midfield. Niemeyer started the ensuing drive with a 15-yard run and then had two passes that brought the ball down to the 4 yard line when Schmitmeyer went right up the middle for the touchdown to make the score 21-0 with 11:55 left in the second quarter.

Minster scored its final first half touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Niemeyer to Roetgerman with 2:53 left in the first half.

Leading 28-0 at halftime, Minster scored two more touchdowns in the second half.

The first score came on the opening drive of the second half when Schmitmeyer culminated an 11-play 70-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-0 and activate a continuous clock the remainder of the game.

The final touchdown came in the fourth quarter when Schmitmeyer scored his third touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run with 8:33 left to make the score 42-0.

New Bremen broke up the shutout when Minster reserve quarterback Johnny Nixon fumbled the snap and was tackled in the end zone for a safety.

“They were able to control the line of scrimmage up front both offensively and defensively,” Schmidt said. “That was where the game was won for the most part. Hopefully we will still have football to play, because last year at this time we didn’t.”  

Both teams will now prepare for week 11.

Minster will be making its sixth straight playoff appearance in what may likely be against Anna. Neither team has played each other since 2017 when the Wildcats won 20-7. 

New Bremen will make the trip to Hamilton, but will be in its first playoff game since 2004 as the program has steadily improved since Schmidt has taken over.