CONVOY — For the second straight year Crestview will face off against Minster in Regional Semi-finals. The Wildcats got the better of the Knights last year in a game that went down to the wire, and went on to win the Division VII state title.

Minster comes into the game with three losses underneath their belt all from fellow MAC schools, including Marion Local, St. Henry and Coldwater. Crestview’s sole loss came against Columbus Grove earlier this season.

How you finish a season will be drilled into your memory, especially when take the eventual State Champions down to the last second.

“I think the way things went in [last year’s game against Minster] and the way things ended has been a little bit of fuel for us,” said Crestview head coach Jared Owens. “Having an opportunity to play against one of the best teams and programs in the state, we have a chance to see where we are as a program— we are looking forward to it.”

Minster brings a balanced attack into this game. At quarterback they have Geron Stokes, who is the brother of Minster’s quarterback a few years back that won the state title, leading the Wildcats offensively. His is a dual-threat and has passed for more than 1,500 yards and ran for over 600. They also bring Alex Schmitmeyer to the table, who rushed for just under 1,000 yards.

“[Schmitmeyer] runs quick and hard, and they are huge up front so offensively they have a lot of pieces of the puzzle,” said Owens of the Wildcat’s offensive.

Minster on average this season gives up 20 points, but they were able to hold reigning state champions Marion Local to just seven points. As we all know the Knights are no slouch on offense, though.

“We just have to be able to execute and gain yards on every play” commented Owens on what his team has to do offensively to beat Minster. “We don’t want to have turnovers or penalties and get behind the chains. If we can be in second-and-medium, third-and-manageable situations we can establish some kind of momentum.”

Often times in these match-ups the gravity of the game can take it’s toll on play. Crestview has been here before though. Six straight years in the postseason and the second straight year playing against Minster, the Knights are no strangers to these big games.

“When we get a chance to make plays, we have to make them,” continued Owens. “I told the kids that they can’t press, everything isn’t going to go the way we want but when we have an opportunity to make a big play we have to be able to do that.”

The player making those plays all season long is Drew Kline who has time and time again shown his ability to make the big play. One game that comes to mind was the Spencerville game at the end of September. Kline made a marvelous pass with time expiring to give to Knights a victory over the reigning NWC champs in a barn-burner.

One thing that Owens has stressed to his team is they don’t need to play a perfect game to beat the defending state champs. After all, in the end they just have to play one play better than Minster.

If Crestview beats Minster they will play the winner of the Lehman Catholic and Fort Loramie next Saturday in the region 28 finals.

If the Knights win a regional final berth will tie their farthest run in school history.