Fort Loramie and Minster have opened the season annually since the Redskins started their program in 2005. On Friday, one of the teams will close the season against their nearby rival for the second time in the last three seasons.
Fort Loramie will travel to Minster for the second time this season in a Division VII, Region 28 quarterfinal playoff game at Memorial Stadium.
It’s the fourth consecutive playoff berth for the Wildcats, who lost in the Division VII state title game last year and won the Div. VI title in 2014. Loramie (8-2) will be making its eighth playoff appearance in program history.
Minster (6-4) is eying a return trip to a state title game this season after a four-game losing streak in Midwest Athletic Conference play. The Wildcats endured a four-game losing streak in MAC play last year but went on a roll in the playoffs.
Minster has won the last five games the two schools have played, including a 37-7 first-round playoff win in 2015.
The Wildcats won this year’s season opener 22-8. Though Minster outgained Fort Loramie 404 yards to 183, the game was close until the fourth quarter. Minster senior quarterback Jared Huelsman scored a short touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead, but they didn’t put the game away until scoring two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter.
Huelsman, who was named the MAC’s offensive player of the year last year, has thrown for 1,437 yards and 10 touchdowns this season and has rushed for 1,034 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Isaac Schmiesing has rushed for 511 yards and five touchdowns and has 255 receiving yards on a team-high 26 receptions. Austin Brown leads the team in receiving yards (480) and has a team-high five receiving touchdowns.
Minster averages 310 yards and 23.4 points per game and has held opponents to an average of 286 yards and 15.9 points.
Fort Loramie lost to Miami East in Week 4 to fall to 2-2. After a 52-28 win over Ansonia in Week 5, the Redskins rolled in their last five Cross County Conference games. The only points Loramie allowed in its last five games came in the second half against Tri-Village with second-string players in. The smallest margin of victory in the last five weeks for Loramie was 32 points in a shutout win over Tri-County North last Friday.
Senior running back Mike Hoying has led Loramie’s offense this season. Hoying has rushed for 1,037 yards and 21 touchdowns on 160 carries and also has seven receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also recorded 45 tackles on defense as a linebacker.
Junior Carter Mescher has become a dependable running threat behind Hoying. Mescher has rushed for 793 yards and 12 touchdowns on 69 carries and also has caught 10 passes for 100 yards.
Senior quarterback Austin Siegel has completed 41-of-75 pass attempts for 663 yards and six touchdowns. He threw five interceptions in Loramie’s first four games (including two each against Minster and Miami East) but hasn’t been picked off since.
Loramie averages 345 yards and 35.2 points per game.
Riverside at Delphos St. John’s
The Blue Jays upset Coldwater in the rain last Friday to fly up the Region 28 standings and host a first-round playoff game. Riverside will try to bounce back after losing two of its last three games to Northwest Central Conference opponents Lima Perry and Lehman Catholic.
Riverside averages 344 yards and 28.6 points per game. Gaven Anderson has rushed for 1,289 yards and 15 touchdowns while Luke Roby has rushed for 939 yards and nine touchdowns.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.