MINSTER — Fort Loramie’s frustration against Minster continued in a season opener on Friday at Memorial Field. The Wildcats jumped out by 13 points by halftime and held on from there to earn a 20-13 victory in a nonconference game.
Though the Redskins outgained Minster on offensive yardage, plenty of penalties and turnovers hurt the squad all night. They lost two fumbles and Minster intercepted two of junior quarterback Collin Moore’s passes.
“That was our downfall all night. Just too many penalties and turnovers,” second-year Fort Loramie coach Spencer Wells said. “Those kind of mistakes can be fixed. But give Minster credit. They are an excellent team and played well tonight.”
Minster coach Geron Stokes credited the squad’s toughness for the win.
“We are going to get after it in film and in the next four practices,” Stokes said. “They are loaded with talent, but we outworked them. Fort Loramie has some very good players. I’m not sure we should be beating them. But we played strong and I think our conditioning and our work ethic helped.”
The Redskins started with a turnover early as sophomore defensive back Damon Mescher intercepted a long pass from Minster senior QB Jacob Niemeyer.
Moore promptly followed with a 50-yard pass to tight end Tyler Luthman, but the drive quickly fizzled out as Moore threw an incomplete pass on third down and Loramie had to punt.
The Wildcats were pinned back on their own 16-yard line but drove down quickly. Niemeyer had runs of 40 yards and 20 yards on the drive and capped it off with a 25-yard TD pass to Trent Roetgerman with 4:21 left. The extra point was missed, but the Wildcats led 6-0.
After several punts, Fort Loramie got going again in the second quarter. Moore threw an apparent first-down pass, but Minster defensive back Bryan Falk clobbered the receiver, who fumbled. The Wildcats recovered but had to punt on the next drive.
Fort Loramie fumbled again, though. After Nick Brandewie had picked up a good gain, he was stripped of the ball, and Minster defensive back Adam Ketner recovered with 3:06 left on Fort Loramie’s 30.
The Wildcats drove down to the 1 on some passes by Niemeyer and rushes by senior RB Alex Schmitmeyer.
On the last play of the half, Roetgerman took the handoff from Niemeyer and looked to run it in. But just that quick he passed to a wide open Niemeyer for the touchdown, which increased the lead to 13-0 at halftime.
“That was a play that we work on all the time,” Stokes said. “Not sure where it came from. Might have gotten it from the Eagles. But our kids probably drew it up.”
Moore went to work in the second half, but the Wildcats intercepted two passes to stave off a comeback attempt.
Moore started the third with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Damon Mescher 42 seconds into the third quarter to pull Fort Loramie within 13-7.
Minster responded quickly with a 65-yard drive. Niemeyer threw a couple of good passes to move the ball to the 4, and Schmitmeyer then ran it in for a touchdown. Schmitmeyer finished the night with 66 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Brandewie caught a 45-yard pass on Fort Loramie’s next drive but it ended soon after when Ketner intercepted a pass.
The Wildcats had to punt on their next drive, but Fort Loramie turned it over again after Moore was flushed out of the pocket and threw a pass that was picked off by Kody Richard.
After a couple of punts by each squad and one turnover on downs, Fort Loramie got going again late. Moore led the team down the field and threw a 4-yard touchdown to Hank Ruhenkamp with two minutes left in the fourth. The Redskins missed the extra point but made it a seven-point game.
Fort Loramie was out of timeouts, though, and couldn’t recover an onside kick. Minster then ran out the clock.
Niemeyer completed 13-of-19 passes for 139 yards and had 11 carries for 61 rushing yards.
Moore passed 32 times and had 22 completions for 313 yards.
“He is capable of having games like this every week,” Wells said.
The Redskins haven’t beat Minster since 2013. The Wildcats have won eight consecutive games in the series, including playoff games in 2015 and 2017.