FORT LORAMIE — Repetitive occurrences can sometimes bore people. But repetition of lopsided wins hasn’t bored Fort Loramie’s football team according to senior Nathan Raterman.
If anything, Raterman says the Redskins have only become more enthused as each big victory occurs.
Fort Loramie got its latest lopsided victory with a 41-0 defeat of Hamilton New Miami in a Division VII regional quarterfinal on Saturday. The victory advances the team to a second-round playoff game against Lehman Catholic, which beat Ansonia by one point on Saturday.
“This is huge,” Raterman, a tight end and defensive end, said. “The team is pumped right now. We’re playing pretty good ball right now. Getting this win, which is the first playoff win for us as seniors, at home with this crowd with us, is awesome.”
The victory came in similar fashion as the last six for the Redskins, which have won each game in the stretch by at least 41 points. They dominated on the lines, built an early lead thanks to big plays by several speedy skill players and largely stuffed their opponents’ offense.
“Credit to our players and our assistants,” first-year Fort Loramie coach Spencer Wells said. “They’ve been preparing well, and I just told them how exciting it is that we get to prepare for another week. Taking practice seriously, ever since we started doing that seriously in about Week 6, we’ve been getting better and better. Hopefully we continue to do so.”
Fort Loramie (10-1) also rolled through its last five regular season games last year but lost in a playoff opener at Minster.
The Redskins, which are the No. 1 seed in Region 28, quickly proved they weren’t going to let another performance like last year’s playoff game happen. They built a 28-0 lead by halftime and scored on a 5-yard run by Max Hoying late in the third quarter to boost the lead to 35 points and start a running clock.
“Everyone’s picking up on their roles this year,” Raterman said. “We know what we need to do and we get it done. We have people filling in their jobs and knowing what they have to do on both sides of the ball. That helps everything click and everything roll better for us.”
Fort Loramie’s offense thrives behind an offensive line that has yet to allow a sack of sophomore quarterback Collin Moore this season.
Though the Vikings got into the backfield a couple of times on Saturday, Moore didn’t feel much pressure. He threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Raterman with 5:04 left in the first quarter, a 14-yard TD pass to Mark Seger less than two minutes later and a 35-yard TD pass to Seger early in the second to help Fort Loramie build a 21-0 lead.
“(The line) has done an outstanding job, and having a sophomore quarterback get confidence like that is big, because he knows he’ll have time and can set his feet on his throws without getting hit and really go through his progression,” Wells said. “Those guys up front — and that’s a physical team, I give (New Miami) credit — they were able to grind on them as the game went on. So credit to our offensive line.”
After taking an early lead through the air, the rest of Fort Loramie’s touchdowns came on runs.
Nick Brandewie scored a 7-yard run with 5:24 left in the first quarter to put the Redskins up 28-0.
Fort Loramie’s first drive of the second half was derailed shortly after senior Carter Mescher went out with an injury following a first-down catch. Moore fumbled a snap a couple of plays after the injury, and New Miami drove into the red zone on the resulting possession.
But the Redskins forced a turnover on downs, quickly drove down the field and scored on Hoying’s run to take a 35-0 lead.
“Besides for the fumble, I thought we played clean football,” Wells said. “That’s something we always try to do. I thought it was a good executed night, I really did.”
Fort Loramie’s starters were on the sidelines for most of the remainder of the game. Freshman quarterback Damon Mescher scored on a 9-yard run early in the fourth to finish the game’s scoring.
“It’s fun seeing the second group get in there and get some plays,” Raterman said. “It’s always fun to see the whole team get in there and enjoy it and be a part of it.”
Aside from the second-string players getting to work on offense at the end of games, Fort Loramie spreads the ball around to its first-string players as well.
Mescher, Seger, Raterman and Mason Kemper all have multiple touchdown receptions to their credit this season while Moore, Brandewie, Mescher and Hoying have all rushed for over seven touchdowns.
“We’re blessed to have a lot of athletes,” Wells said. “We have a lot of guys step up and make plays for us. That’s been fun to watch all year.”
The ability to spread the ball around is aided by having a 52-player roster, which few Div. VII opponents can match — including New Miami, which has 30 players. That depth could help next week against Lehman, which has had under 25 healthy players all season.
“I think our numbers help out a lot, and I think our conditioning and our endurance is huge,” Raterman said. “We pick up everything we need to do, and I think we execute well doing it.”
Fort Loramie will face Lehman at Alexander Stadium in Piqua on Saturday.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.