ANNA — Anna secured a share of its second consecutive Midwest Athletic Conference title on Friday. Now the squad will face the only MAC team it didn’t play in regular season in a playoff game.
The Rockets ended regular season with a dominating 56-7 win over Delphos St. John’s on their home field. Anna (9-1) tied with Minster and Marion Local for the MAC title. Each squad had a 7-1 league record.
Now Anna will travel to Minster for a first-round playoff game this Friday. The squads didn’t play in regular season due to the 10-team MAC’s scheduling system for its eight-game conference arrangement.
The two schools are among four area squads that earned postseason berths. Fort Loramie also qualified, and New Bremen earned its first playoff berth since 2004.
The OHSAA determines playoff berths with the Harbins points system, which awards teams points for victories (first-level points) and points for wins by defeated opponents (second-level points).
Teams are divided into seven divisions, with four regions in each division. The top eight teams in each region advance to the playoffs, and the top four teams in each region host first-round games.
The Rockets finished as the No. 5 seed in Division VI, Region 23 while Minster (9-1) finished No. 4. They’ll travel to Memorial Field this Friday for a regional quarterfinal playoff game. It’s the third straight playoff berth for Anna and the sixth straight for Minster.
Friday’s victory marked the eighth time this season the Rockets won with a mercy rule, in which the clock runs continuously in the second half when the scoring margin is 30 points or greater.
Anna built a 49-7 lead by halftime. Riley Huelskamp scored three TDs in the first half while Bart Bixler scored one and threw TD passes to Nolan Emerson and Brandon Shannon. Hayden Davies also added a TD on an 18-yard run. Bixler finished the team’s scoring with a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Bixler completed 7-of-11 passes for 161 yards with two TDs and one interception and ran for 64 yards and two TDs on 14 carries. Huelskamp ran for 119 yards and two TDs on 12 carries and Davies ran for 82 yards and one TD on seven carries.
Huelskamp led the squad with four receptions for 66 yards. He had four tackles on defense and one interception, which he returned 27 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Isaac Lininger and Emerson also intercepted passes and Wil Luthman and Grant Spangler each recovered fumbles.
Fort Loramie 82, Tri-County North 8
The Redskins saved their most lopsided victory of the season for Week 10 as they steamrolled the Panthers in a Cross County Conference game on Friday in Fort Loramie to secure their second outright conference title.
Fort Loramie (9-1, 8-0 CCC) finished No. 3 in Div. VII, Region 28 to earn a playoff berth for the third consecutive year. The Redskins will host Hardin Northern on Saturday in a first-round game.
It was the sixth consecutive win by a running-block margin for Fort Loramie, which led 55-0 by halftime. Max Hoying ran for two touchdowns in the first half while Collin Moore threw TDs to Nick Brandewie and Mark Seger and ran for another. Nate Meyer ran for one TD in the first half, Sam Barhorst scored one rushing TD and Brandewie returned an interception for TD.
Minster 42, New Bremen 2
The Wildcats pulled out to a 28-0 lead by halftime and cruised from there to earn share of the MAC title with the win on Friday at Memorial Field.
Minster (9-1) will host Anna for a D-VI, Region 23 quarterfinal playoff game this Friday. New Bremen (7-3, 5-3 MAC) finished as the No. 8 seed in D-VII, Region 28 and will play its first playoff game in 15 years when it travels to No. 1 New Miami on Saturday.
Jacob Niemeyer scored on a 7-yard run to give Minster a 7-0 lead and then threw a 27-yard TD pass to Trent Roetgerman late in the first quarter to extend the lead to two touchdowns. Alex Schmitmeyer scored on a 3-yard run five seconds into the second quarter, then Niemeyer threw a 15-yard TD pass to Roetgerman with 2:53 left to extend the lead to 28.
Schmitmeyer scored on a pair of 9-yard runs in the third and fourth quarters. A safety late in the fourth resulted in the Cardinals’ points.
Schmitmeyer ran for 110 yards on 22 carries and scored three TDs. Niemeyer ran for 39 yards and one TD and completed 12-of-18 passes for 216 yards and two TDs. Roetgerman caught four passes for 95 yards, including both first-half TD grabs.
Adam Ketner led the Wildcats with 5.5 tackles and had one interception. Gabe Philipps had one interception.
Minster had 353 total yards of offense while New Bremen had 174.
Zach Bertke led the Cardinals with 82 rushing yards on eight carries. Wyatt Dicke gained 35 rushing yards and Mitchell Hays gained 22. Hays completed 3-of-9 passes for 25 yards with three interceptions.
Lima Perry 30, Lehman Catholic 24
The Cavaliers stayed close to Northwest Central Conference leader Perry on Friday at Sidney Memorial Stadium but couldn’t overcome a halftime deficit.
Lehman took an early 3-0 lead but Perry scored two TDs in the second to take a 14-10 halftime lead. The Commodores scored a TD and made a two-point conversion to boost the lead to 22-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Perry had 274 yard of offense while the Cavaliers had 233.
R.J. Bertini completed 6-of-20 passes for 53 yards with three interceptions for Lehman while Drew Barhorst completed 3-of-3 passes for 47 yards. Barhorst ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries while Brendan O’Leary scored a TD on a short run. Noah Young led the squad with 21 tackles and had one intetception. Tyler Sollmann had one interception and Seth Peoples recovered a fumble.
The Cavaliers finish 4-6 overall and 4-3 in NWCC play. The win captured the outright conference title for Perry (7-3, 7-0 NWCC).
Fort Recovery 41, Versailles 22
Versailles couldn’t keep up in the second half of a MAC game on Friday. The Indians took a 21-16 lead by halftime and then ran away in the second half.
Fort Recovery had 351 total yards of offense while Versailles had 301.
Versailles’ Ryan Martin passed for 170 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns. On the ground, the Tigers’ Landon Henry ran for 77 yards.
Fort Recovery’s Clay Schmitz was 12-of-20 for 214 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and Schmitz also caught a ball for score.
Versailles finishes 3-7 overall and 2-6 in MAC play.
Riverside 39, Ridgemont 12
The Pirates ran away late to finish the season with an NWCC win on Friday in Mount Victory.
Kale Long completed 12-of-23 passes for 124 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for Riverside and ran for 257 yards and two TDs on 19 carries. Ethan Jackson ran for 68 yards and one TD on 11 carries. Deven Frilling led the squad with six receptions for 78 yards with two TDs.
Long, Frilling and Levi Godwin each intercepted a pass. Godwin also recovered a fumble.
With Friday’s performance, Long became the first QB in Riverside history to pass and run for at least 1,000 yards in a season.
Riverside finishes 5-5 overall and 4-3 in NWCC play.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.