Minster knocks off Fort Loramie 26-20 in OT

Jared Huelsman scored a first quarter touchdown against Fort Loramie. (Staff Photo/Brian Smith)
By: 
Brian Smith
Staff Writer

FORT LORAMIE — “Go get it! Go get it!”

Minster head football coach Geron Stokes implored his team to get past the shock of giving up a long touchdown pass that tied the game against Fort Loramie on Friday night. The all-important extra point had yet to be kicked.

“We talk about ‘So what? Now what?’” Stokes said. “They just scored, so we just said, ‘so what, now it’s time to step up and make a play.’ We made big-time plays late in the game.”

Minster did its coach proud. The Wildcats burst through the Fort Loramie line, blocked the extra point and then took the game to overtime, where the defense made a goal line stand and quarterback Jared Huelsman barreled in from a yard out for the walk-off 26-20 overtime victory.

The game didn’t end until around midnight after a lightning south of Fort Loramie delayed the game for more than an hour and a half with Minster leading 20-14 with just 30 seconds left in the second quarter.

“We found a way to win,” Stokes said. “That was a big-time character win, because we weren’t very good football-wise.”

After play resumed, Minster’s defense held strong until the game’s final minute, when Austin Siegel hit Cody  Gasson with a 24-yard  pass down the middle seam. Minster’s secondary put a big hit on Ward as he neared the goal line and the ball popped loose, but Gasson pounced on  the ball for the tying touchdown.

Minster didn't act shellshocked. It just blocked the kick and won the game.

On the game-winning drive in overtime, Minster receiver Bryce Schmiesing made a diving shoestring catch to convert a third and ten to set up first and goal. Huelsman, a physically-imposing quarterback who moved over from running back to signal-caller this fall, did the rest. He finished off read-option runs with bruising style and put the ball in the hands of his biggest playmakers in Schmiesing and Jonathan Niemeyer in big situations.

“He’s a gamer,” Stokes said. “He’s been great. His leadership, toughness and work ethic, we knew that was coming. He’s a great kid.”

Jonathan Niemeyer had a big game for Minster with 21-yard touchdown catch from Huelsman with 3:16 left in the second quarter that put the Wildcats up 20-14. He also caught a wide open 53-yard touchdown from Huelsman in the first quarter that gave Minster a 13-7 lead. Niemeyer added an acrobatic second-half interception where he went high into the air to take the ball away from a would-be Loramie receiver.

“He’s a three-year starter and he made a play when we needed plays,” Stokes said. “It was great.”

Stokes said sitting in the locker room in the lightning delay was a great lesson for his young team. “It was perfect for us,” Stokes said. “We’re an immature team. It’s a chance to grow through that. The seniors did a great job of leading. Our kids handled it.”

Minster led 6-0 after it marched the opening drive down the field, capped by Hueslman’s seven-yard touchdown run.

Fort Loramie answered back with a Siegel to Ward 31-yard touchdown strike that put the Redskins up 7-6.

 

(Edit: The article originally miscredited the game-tying touchdown. Cody Gasson caught the pass and recovered the fumble in the end zone.)