FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie may be running a spread scheme this year, but if Friday’s scrimmage against Elida is any indication, the yards may get accumulated the same way.
The Redskins outscored Elida five touchdowns to two in the first portion of a scrimmage on Friday, during which the teams swapped possessions for 10-minute intervals.
Fort Loramie used a variety of running backs and largely ran over the Bulldogs, which finished 8-3 last year and earned a playoff berth in Division III. It was the debut of the new spread offense first-year coach Spencer Wells is installing, which replaces the single wing former coach Whit Parks utilized the last three years.
“One thing that we’ve really stressed in our camp days and in our two-a-days was our run game,” Wells said. “I think our offensive line did a really nice job communicating their calls and getting a push off the line. We were really pleased with their effort as a unit tonight.”
Elida’s quarterback ran for a 20-yard touchdown on the seventh play of the team’s first possession and a short touchdown late in their second possession. Other than that, the Bulldogs struggled against Fort Loramie.
Fort Loramie’s 4-3 defense intercepted two passes (one by senior linebacker Devin Wehrman), recovered a fumble and deflected two passes.
“Our entire defensive staff has done a great job preaching to the guys about pursuing the football,” Wells said. “I think it’s great when you see it translate, and I thought we saw that tonight. We pursued really hard to the football, we looked fast, and we played physical.”
Teams got the ball at the 40-yard line to start each possession and advanced without downs. The ball was placed back at the 40 after a touchdown or turnover.
Fort Loramie scored three touchdowns in the first eight plays of its first offensive possession.
Sophomore running back Max Hoying started the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown run, then senior Carter Mescher followed with a similar run up the middle.
Hoying immediately followed Mescher’s touchdown with a 40-yard scoring run. He took a handoff up the middle, ran to his left through defenders and made it to the end zone untouched.
“When I think of Max, I think of attitude,” Wells said. “He’s all business, and he’s just a football player. He’s fun to watch.”
Noah Guillozet finished Fort Loramie’s first drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. His scoring run was set up by an 18-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Collin Moore to Mescher.
Moore and Mescher hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown pass on the Redskins’ second drive.
Wells is in his first head coaching position after assisting at Allen East, Celina, Marion Local and Wapakoneta. He’s a Delphos St. John’s graduate and was quarterback on the school’s 2005 state championship team.
“It’s been really a blessing in how much support I’ve received from the community, the administration,” Wells said. “I’ve been really pleased with how we’ve been able to progress with the installation of a new offense and a new defense. I think that says a lot about our assistant coaches and our players.
“We’ve got eight assistant coaches this year, and they’re local guys, Loramie guys. They’ve bought in and really dove into the scheme and have really done a great job teaching it to the guys. In turn, the players have a done a great job of helping each other with a team mindset. As a result, we’ve been able to install the majority of our offense and defense, and that’s been really neat to see.”
The Redskins, which were 8-3 last year, will travel to Spencerville for a scrimmage on Thursday before opening the season at home against Minster on Aug. 24.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.