LIMA — The Lehman football team faced a tough challenge Friday night in the second round of the Division VII playoffs. The Cavalier were facing Fort Recovery, a team they had lost to 36-0 in the season opener.
And while the Cavaliers turned in a great effort, which included several long drives, they couldn’t find the endzone and lost 20-3 to close the season at 7-5.
Fort Recovery, whose only losses were to Minster and Marion Local, improved to 10-2 and will play Minster again Friday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium in the regional championship game.
The game started with the Indians scoring on their first two drives to go up 12-0. Fort Recovery went 64 yards on the opening possession of the game, with quarterback Caleb Martin throwing eight yards to Ryan Braun for the score. Lehman blocked the PAT and with 8:43 to go in the first quarter in was 6-0.
On Lehman’s first drive, the Cavaliers turned it over on downs on their own 40 after three running plays gained just one yard.
On the Indians’ first play of the ensuing drive, Lehman’s Stephen Monnin had his hands on an interception, but Wes Wenning took it away from him and took it into the end zone to complete a 40-yard TD play from Martin. The PAT failed again, leaving the score at 12-0.
After a Jared Rourke interception for Lehman, the Cavaliers drove inside the 10-yard line on a 24-yard run by Jake Earhart and a 19-yard run by Dylan Arnold. But the Cavaliers turned the ball over on downs.
Lehman also had a chance to score late in the first half, when Brandon Barhorst recovered a Fort Recovery fumble. Jake Earhart ran 23 yards on a fake punt, but Lehman just missed completing a pass in the endzone from the 20-yard line on the final play of the half.
Lehman started the second half with a seven-minute drive before having to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Ian Smith to make it 12-3.
With 9:18 to go in the game, the Indians Will Homan had a 25-yard touchdown run and Martin threw to Wenning for the two-point conversion to make it 20-3 and put Lehman three scores down.
Lehman then put together another long drive all the way to the Indians’ three. But again the Cavaliers could not reach paydirt turned it over on downs. Fort Recovery then ran out the clock.
Homan finished with 175 yards rushing to lead the Indians.
For Lehman, Monnin had 21 carries for 91 yards and Jake Earhart added 21 carries for 90 yards.
away in 2nd half
SIDNEY — Minster had all it could handle in the first half from the Riverside Pirates, but was able to pull away in the second half to a 21-6 victory Friday night in Division 7 playoff action at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
The win put the Wildcats at 10-2 and into the regional championship game at 7:30 Friday night, again at at Sidney Memorial Stadium, against Midwest Athletic Conference foe Fort Recovery. When the two teams met during the regular season, Minster pulled out a 14-12 victory.
Friday night, Riverside mounted a 97-yard touchdown drive after holding Minster four times on first-and-goal from the two. The score came with 9:29 left in the second period on a four-yard run by Hayden Robinson.
Minster didn’t take long to take the lead for good, however, when Josh Nixon threw the first of his three scoring strikes to Jacob Dues, this one from 16 yards out. Jason Schultz’s extra point made it 7-6, which is how it stood at the half.
Minster then took less than a minute to get on the board again in the third quarter, with Dues again catching a 16-yard scoring strike from Nixon for a 14-6 lead with 11:14 remaining in the period.
The Wildcats then added a 17-yard TD pass from Nixon to Dues with 6:05 left in the third quarter, then turned things over to the defense, which picked off Riverside four times in the game, two by Johnny Niemeyer.
Nixon finished 16-for-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns for the Wildcats. Dues caught eight passes for 154 yards and all three scores.
Running back Evan Huelsman carried 14 times for 80 yards.
Riverside’s Connor Cotterman showed why he was the player of the year in the Northwest Central Conference, rushing for 134 yards on 31 carries for the Pirates. However, Riverside was able to throw for just 33 yards in the game.
Minster will begin selling tickets on Tuesday for Friday’s regional championship game at Sidney Memorial Stadium against Fort Recovery.
Game time is 7:30.
The tickets will be sold at the following times:
Tuesday – noon to 4 p.m., high school office
Wednesday, Thursday – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30-to-7:30 p.m., high school office
Friday – 7:45-to –8:15 .m., elementary school office, and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., high school office
All tickets are $8 in advance and $9 at the gate. The Minster Athletic Department will keep a portion of all tickets sold in advance.