To say that the Midwest Athletic Conference clash on Friday night between Anna (2-2 and Minster (2-2) is “a pick ‘em” may be understating the case.
The two clubs are fourth and fifth in the MAC in total offense. Anna is at 317 yards per game; Minster, 300 per outing. They are fifth and sixth in points per contest. Minster is scoring 23 per game; Anna, 22.
On defense, Anna’s yield per four quarters is 28 points and Minster’s is 26. Anna’s pass defense has allowed a 51 percent completion mark on the season. Minster has yielded 57 percent.
Each team has logged a win and a loss in conference action. Momentum might be on the side of Minster, which drubbed Fort Recovery last week, 41-21. Anna was trounced at Coldwater, 43-14.
The two fine sophomore quarterbacks in tonight’s battle — 6-foot-3 Alex Shappie of Anna and 6-1 Brogan Stephey of Minster — can produce yards and points with their arms and feet. Stephey is averaging 164 yards per game through the air and another 88 on the ground. Shappie has gone airborne for 200 yards per contest. He skipped 37 yards for a touchdown late in the victory over St Henry.
“The two QB’s are talented with very good futures ahead in their programs,” said Jack Kramer of ScoresBroadcast.com which will cover Friday’s game at 6:25 p.m. Hits 105.5 FM will simulcast.
“They play alike, look alike on the gridiron, and their names sound alike,” Kramer said with a laugh. “Hope I don’t trip over ‘Shappie and Stephey’ on the play-by-play call this evening.”
This is a big game for both schools. Minster is seventh in the southwest region of Division VII, just ahead of Fort Loramie, according to the computer rankings. The Wildcats will continue to benefit from the victory over D-IV Graham which has already recorded a couple triumphs.
Anna has beaten D-V Indian Lake and St. Henry. However, these two programs may combine for only four or five wins all season. The Rockets are 13th in the SW region of D-VI. They made the playoffs last year with only four regular season victories, but then reeled off two tourney triumphs and almost a third.
Wide receivers will play a key role in what may be a high scoring tilt at Booster Field tonight. Anna’s Noah Aufderhaar is the third top flanker in the MAC. He is averaging 14 yards per reception. He, Justin Richards, Trey Heitkamp, and Colin Elliott have combined to snare 58 throws from Shappie.
Minster features the league’s top pass catcher. James Niemeyer has piled up 265 yards on 22 snags. The speedy trio of Devan Wuebker, Chase Couse and Connor Schmiesing are right behind.
Stephey, who is responsible for 51 Minster points this season, has registered seven touchdowns rushing, plus nine perfect extra-point kicks.
Shappie has tossed five touchdowns; Stephey, four. Shappie has clicked on 51% of his passes. Stephey owns a remarkable 60% completion mark.
The two clubs have enjoyed a tight, well-played series of games recently. Minster has won three of the last five, scoring 18 TD’s to Anna’s 17. Anna succeeded, 28-21, a season ago.
During Anna’s 2019 D-VI state championship run, the Rockets thumped Minster, 47-21.
But tonight’s contest, which pits a pair of two, skilled, pass-minded quarterbacks, is clearly “up in the air.”