HARROD — Minster took advantage of three big second half turnovers to beat Allen East 14-6 a Division VI, Region 24 second-round playoff game on Saturday.
The Wildcats, who had their own trouble holding onto the ball throughout the game, recorded two big interceptions and a fumble that lead to both of its touchdowns.
With the win, No. 11 seed Minster (3-6) moves on to play No. 3 Frankfort Adena (7-0). Allen East, which was the region’s No. 6 seed, falls to 4-3 for the year.
The two Minster scores came within three minutes of each other in the fourth quarter.
“We stayed in the fight and kept swinging,” Minster coach Geron Stokes said. “This really showed the character of our seniors. This is keeping us in the fight.”
Stokes added that Minster had dumb turnovers in the first half that prevented them from scoring but the team maintained its composure and came back in the second half to garner the win.
“That is they way our program should be, ugly but staying in the fight,” Stokes said. “We have been doing that all year. We had stupid turnovers but we overcame it tonight and that is cool. We stood up to some adversity and kept swinging. We got punched. We got punched and we kept swinging.”
Offensively, Minster’s approach was simple and that was to pound the ball with junior quarterback Johnny Nixon, who at 6-foot-3 was a tough load to bring down for the Mustangs throughout the night. The Wildcat signal caller finished with 108 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown. Nixon also threw for one score.
Allen East’s defense continued to come up with big play after big play throughout the first three quarter and when the Mustangs made a big goal line stance to stop a long Minster drive it appeared the Mustangs had garnered the momentum.
But on the ensuing drive, Minster’s defense came up an interception at the 25 yard line and with this time the Wildcats with the short field were not going to be denied. It took Minster four plays for quarterback Johnny Nixon to dive in from one yard out. After the successful extra point, Minster owned a 7-6 lead with 7:53 left in the game.
Looking for a comeback and respond, Mustang took over on its 20 yard line but on the second play, Allen East fumbled and Minster pounced on the loose football at the 26 yard line for its third turnover of the half and another golden opportunity to score.
Minster took four plays this time to get its second touchdown when Nixon found Josh Albers streaking down the field from 23 yards out on a fourth and six at the 23 for the touchdown. With the successful extra point, Minster held a 14-6 lead with 5:58 left in the game.
Allen East owned a slim 6-0 at halftime.
In a tight defensive struggle, the Mustangs scored the only points of the half when Allen East’s quarterback Tyler Clum plunged in from 1-yard out to cap off a 12 play, 80 yard drive to hit paydirt. In the time consuming march downfield, Clum completed five passes for 48 yards.
Both teams had golden opportunities for more points but each came up short.
For Minster, the Wildcats drove the ball down to the Allen East two yard line but on third down, the Wildcats fumbled and Allen East pounced on the loose ball to take over possession of the ball.
In the second quarter, the Mustangs were in prime position to score when they were first and goal from the 8-yard line. But the Wildcats held strong and on fourth and one Minster stood tall and turned back a quarterback sneak to keep Allen East out of the end zone.
Reach Lima News sports editor Jose Nogueras at (567) 242-0468.