Wildcats Jump To State Final

Minster is heading to its third state final in the last four seasons.
Staff Writer

Coming into the Division VII state semifinal game between the Minster Wildcats and the Norwalk St. Paul Flyers, the Flyers were averaging 445 yards of total offense per game.

But the Wildcats dominated the first half, holding the Flyers to 92 yards of offense, and a career night from senior Jared Huelmsan led the way for the Wildcats to advance to their second straight state finals with a 40-7 blowout victory at Lima Senior’s Spartan Stadium on Friday.

Minster (10-4) will play Cuyahoga Heights (12-1) in the Division VII state final on Friday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

It is the third time the Wildcats have advanced to a state final under head coach Geron Stokes in the last four seasons , and the first time in Canton.

The senior-led Wildcats did not take long to get going on Friday against previously unbeaten St. Paul.

After holding the explosive offense of St. Paul to a 3-and-out on the game’s opening drive, the Wildcats put together a 13-play drive, capped off by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jared Huelsman to senior Isaac Schmiesing to put Minster up 6-0.

The Wildcats grinded out another long drive, this one being 14 plays and capped off by Huelsman’s first rushing touchdown of the night with a 13-yard run to put the Wildcats back up 13-7 early in the second quarter.

Forcing another 3-and-out and forcing the Flyers to punt from their own end zone, the Wildcats took over in St. Paul territory and found paydirt five plays later when Huelsman ran it in again, this time from 2 yards out, to five the Wildcats the 20-7 lead.

After another St. Paul punt, the Wildcats offense put together another long drive on a 12-play, 80-yards drive as Huelsman scored his third rushing touchdown of the half, pounding the ball in from 1 yard out and giving the Wildcats an insurmountable 26-7 halftime lead.

Minster started the second half just the like first, as the Wildcats opened the second half with an 11-play drive, culminated by a Huelsman 4-yard touchdown run to extend the lead 33-7.

And then the Minster defense continued its domination, forcing another 3-and-out and a Flyers’ punt.

On the next drive, Minster had its only mistake of the night when Huelsman threw an interception to St. Paul’s Noah Good, but Minster’s defense came up big again, forcing a turnover on downs on the Flyers and giving the ball to the Wildcats going into the fourth quarter up 26 points.

Minster grinded the ball on the ground the rest of the game, scoring early in the final quarter when Huelsman scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the game from 4 yards out to put the Wildcats up 40-7 and enacting the running clock.

Huelman filled the record books coming up second in Minster history with in both rushing attempts with 42 and rushing yards with 277 to go along with his five touchdowns. Huelsman’s 277 rushing yards tops Bryce Schmiesing’s 2016 mark of 257 against New Bremen and is second to Ty Parks’ 302 against New Bremen in 2003.