When Minster (7-4) meets Crestview (10-1) on Friday in a Division VII Region 28 Semifinal from Spartan Stadium, it may seem like intrasquad scrimmages for both clubs. The two teams are the spitting image of each other and it will be fun to see how this one turns out. The winner of this one will advance to face either Delphos St. John’s (7-4) or Lehman Catholic (10-1). One final thing worth noting is that this will be one of two Regional Semifinal round action that pits NWC and MAC schools, the other one being Spencerville and Marion Local.
When Minster has the Football:
Minster uses a balanced offense that likes to use the legs of their stud QB Jared Huelsman as well as his arm. In a perfect world, the Wildcats like to chew clock by methodically moving the ball down the field and letting the defense make a mistake that allows Huelsman to take advantage of. In the regular season, Minster’s offense scored 23.4 points and rang up 310.2 yards of total offense per game.
Huelsman is the mirror image of his counterpart on Crestview’s offense. As Huelsman goes, so goes the Minster offense. He finished his regular season running for 1,034 yards and 13 TD’s while tossing another 10 TD passes on 1,437 yards. Austin Brown is his top receiver with 480 yards and 5 TD grabs.
The Knights will try to counter Minster’s offensive versatility by forcing them into costly mistakes. Crestview has been incredibly opportunistic with a +7 turnover margin and Wade Sheets (9 INT) has made a habit of making the opposing QB pay for testing him joining him is Derick Dealey (3 INT) making it tough to pass. Crestview has allowed 25.3 points and 318 yards a game.
When Crestview has the Football:
Like Minster with Huelsman, the Knights have a had a great season thanks in no small part to their stud QB Drew Kline. Kline has carried the Crestview offense all season long and is nearly impossible to stop as one of the top dual threats in Limaland, if not the state. On the year, Kline has run for 792 yards and 11 touchdowns while throwing for another 1,853 yards, 22 TD’s, and only 6 interceptions. Kline’s efficiency rating of 175 is tops in the NWC and ranks right up there with any QB anywhere.
In the backfield with Kline is Trevor Gibson who has 519 yards and 10 TD’s rushing in helping to take some of the defensive attention away from Kline. When the Knights put the ball in the air Wade Sheets (849 yards, 11 TD’s) and Derick Dealey (507 yards, 5TD’s) give Kline a pair of big-play threats to choose from.
As has been the theme for this pair of teams, Minster is a lot like the Knights on defense as they are opportunistic as evidenced by their +16 turnover margin. The do it all Huelsman (4 INT) will be looking to help his own cause by making Kline pay for testing him. Kline’s top receiver Austin Brown (5 INT) will man the other side of the field and lies in wait for an opportunity to make a big play on defense. Minster allows just 285.5 yards and 15.9 points per game and is looking to shut down Kline and co.
Key to winning:
Seeing how Minster and Crestview are so similar, it appears this game will come down to whoever is able to play that style of football better. Huelsman and Minster have the experience of making it to the championship game, while Kline and the Knights have had much success, including securing the number seed in the region. This one could turn out to be a barn burner and one of the most exciting games the state has to offer…period.