Minster and Marion Local Among Four MAC teams in Hunt for Regional Titles

Minster's Isaac Schmiesing intercepts a pass against USV last Saturday night at Wapakoneta. (Photo by John Zwez)Matt Rethman and associates take down the runner during Marion Local's win over St. Henry. (Photo by Fred Kremer)
Staff Writer

The 2016 brackets are playing out pretty similarly to last year's for area football squads.

The Midwest Athletic Conference is assured of one regional title on Friday night when two of its members, Minster and Fort Recovery, battle for the Division VII, Region 28 championship at Wapakoneta.

Coldwater, which narrowly escaped against Greeneview last Saturday, will take on top-seeded Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy at Northmont. Marion Local hopes to capture yet another regional title when it faces the state's fifth-ranked Mechnicsburg Indians at Sidney on Saturday.


Division VII – Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
Home Team Listed First
Region 28
5 Fort Recovery (8-4) vs. 3 Minster (8-4) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field

The Midwest Athletic Conference's vise grip on the regional title in Division VII is as strong as ever. Teams from Upper Scioto Valley and Covington, both sporting better records than their Week 12 MAC counterparts Minster and Fort Recovery, had the life squeezed out of them early last Saturday night. The lesson, as ever: Don't look at the record. Look at the resume. The battle-tested Wildcats and Indians,  who have a combined eight losses on the season and will now meet on Saturday night at Wapakoneta's Harmon Field, landed knockout punches to their non-conference foes early in Saturday's proceedings to set up a much-anticipated All-MAC re-match for the Region 28 title. Minster, the 2014 regional champ and state champion, left little doubt from the first moments of the game that it would be moving on. Returner Jonathan Niemeyer cracked the USV kick coverage and then flew down the right sideline for an 82-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. Minster never stuttered or stumbled in the 41-8 dismantling of USV. A little further south, Fort Recovery was bruising and battering the top-ranked and unbeaten Covington Buccaneers to the tune of a 41-14 final score. The last two times Minster and Fort Recovery have met, the Indians — strangely enough — won by matching 33-21 scores.

Division V – Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
Home Team Listed First
Region 20
1 Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (12-0) vs. 2 Coldwater (11-1) at Northmont Good Samaritan Stadium

The Cavaliers have squared off with CHCA the last two seasons in the playoffs and won both games at neutral site Piqua. In 2014, the Cavs beat CHCA 34-3. In 2015, it was a 44-14 score.

Division VI – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18
Home Team Listed First
Region 24
1 Marion Local (11-1) vs. 3 Mechanicsburg (12-0) at Sidney

Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin figured if his top-ranked Flyers reached the third round of the playoffs, they’d be facing the Mechanicsburg Indians once again for a regional title. After outlasting Midwest Athletic Conference foe St. Henry 22-0 last Friday night, his notions proved correct. “It’ll be a heck of a match-up,” Goodwin said. “In the back of our minds, you know, we kind of thought this would happen.”

If this year’s game plays out anything like the 2015 edtion , it’ll be quite a battle on Friday night at Sidney. The Flyers will meet the Indians for the fourth time since 2005. The Flyers have won all three previous match-ups, although all were close and low-scoring. To advance, Marion Local had to overcome some red zone woes and a St. Henry team that pushed a one-possession game into the fourth quarter. Marion Local busted open a close game in the fourth quarter with two quick scores to advance past St. Henry 22-0 on Friday night at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field in a Division VI regional semifinal game.