Fort Loramie will try to do something at Redskin Stadium on Friday it hasn’t done yet this season: win a game for the second consecutive week.
The Redskins (3-2) are scheduled to host Edon (3-2) in what could be a high-flying affair. The Bombers average 298 passing yards per game while Fort Loramie averages 270.
“They throw it all over the yard,” Fort Loramie coach Spencer Wells said of Edon. “They’re going to go empty, they’re going to go quads, they’re going to throw trick plays at you. They’re going to make you be disciplined on the back end.
“Our defense has done a great job at that throughout the week. That’s going to be key on Friday. It’s a boring phrase but it’s so true; we’ve got to be disciplined. Our guys have to do their job, focus and communicate.”
Wells said being disciplined in all areas is a main focus for the squad entering the second half of the season.
Defensively, Fort Loramie has given up an average of 22 points per game this season. The squad moved from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 scheme, and Wells said players have done well adjusting.
“We’ve just got to be more disciplined,” Wells said. “There’s always going to be things to work through when you have a new system. We’re doing more cover three than we ever have. I think at this point, it’s just about being disciplined, focusing on doing your job. We’ve gotten better at that.
“We’ve had opportunities to make some big plays, and we’ve just missed. We’ve just missed on some sack opportunities and on some turnover opportunities. Just finishing when you’ve got a chance to make a big play is something that will help us out.”
Fort Loramie is hoping its running attack will improve in the second half of the season.
The Redskins gained 267 rushing yards in a 39-27 win over Minster in Week 1 and 144 in a 35-7 win over Spencerville in Week 3. But they gained only 178 yards combined in their other three games, including 66 yards on 29 carries in a 34-22 win over Dayton Dunbar last Friday at Welcome Stadium.
“We’ve just got to get all 11 games on the same page,” Wells said of the running attack. “When we’ve got all 11 guys on the same page, our run game is fun to watch. But too often, we haven’t been consistent with that. We’ve had situations where maybe four of the five linemen have great blocks, but the fifth guy had poor footwork and didn’t put himself in a position to execute the block properly, and his guy makes the tackle.
“That’s just been the story of it in the run game. When we get everybody on the same page, we’re more than fine. That’s what we’ve got to do moving forward.”
Fort Loramie senior quarterback Caleb Maurer is continuing to put up impressive numbers. He’s thrown for 1,348 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has completed 62.3 percent of his passes, up from 58.8 percent last season.
Senior receiver Logan Eilerman has caught 34 passes for 511 yards with five TDs while senior Isaac Raterman has caught 20 passes for 302 yards with two TDs.
“We feel like we can pass very well,” Wells said. “We like what’s there in the pass game with Caleb, with Logan, with Isaac, with Christian McGee, with Ethan Keiser. We really feel we’ve got some weapons on the perimeter.
“… Caleb’s really been leading the way, and he’s been doing a fantastic job making plays for us.”
Fort Loramie 2023 schedule coming together
Fort Loramie’s 2023 schedule is coming together, with only Week 6 remaining open.
Its first three opponents next year remain the same in Minster, Versailles and Covington. Columbus Academy moves to Week 4. The Redskins will travel to Gahanna for the game next year; they’re scheduled to host the Vikings for this season’s matchup next week.
In Week 5 of 2023, Fort Loramie has scheduled a home game with Dayton Meadowdale. The squad is scheduled to host Norwalk St. Paul in Week 7.
The last three opponents will remain the same in Dayton Thurgood Marshall, Lucas and Lima Central Catholic.
The squad has four home games and five road contests scheduled for next season at the moment.
“It’s a pretty good split now,” Wells said. “Hopefully we can get that fifth home game, but at least we’ve got four right now.”
Fort Loramie been independent since the breakup of the Cross County Conference after the 2020 season.
While Covington was scheduled for Week 3 this season, the game was canceled by Fort Loramie after a warning from the Buccaneers about potentially low numbers. Spencerville was added as a replacement opponent.
Covington scheduled Bradford’s junior varsity squad as a varsity game in Week 3 to replace Fort Loramie. The Buccaneers played that game and all of their first five scheduled games but have canceled this week’s contest against Dayton Northridge due to a low number of available players. Covington started the season with 21 players, only one of which was a senior.
Sidney to face retro-looking Troy
The Yellow Jackets will play their first game in four weeks at Sidney Memorial Stadium on Friday when they host Troy.
As long as it’s been since Sidney has played on its home field, it’s been a lot longer since the squad has faced a Trojan squad running a wing-T formation.
Troy (3-2, 2-2 Miami Valley League Miami Division) is being led by first-year coach Troy Everhart, who previously coached at Middletown and Winton Woods, among other stops.
Everhart has re-installed the wing-T offense at Troy, which the program hasn’t used since longtime coach Steve Nolan retired after the 2011 season.
The Trojans had run spread formations over the last decade under three head coaches; they had some problems in scrimmages and in games early this season running the old-school wing-T.
While Troy scored on every possession in a 56-24 win in a season opener against Dayton Dunbar, the squad didn’t move the ball until late in a 50-20 loss to Xenia in Week 2 and never moved it at all in a 59-0 loss to archrival Piqua in Week 3.
Troy has done better since and enters Friday’s matchup with a two-game winning streak. The squad gathered 310 yards of offense in a 17-7 win at Stebbins two weeks ago rolled up 422 yards of offense in a 40-7 win over Fairborn last week in Troy.
Junior running back Jahari Ward (6-foot-0, 215-pounds) has gained a team-high 557 rushing yards and scored six TDs. Senior halfback Nick Kawecki has run for 415 yards and two TDs, including a season-high 158 yards and one TD against Fairborn last week. Senior halfback Colin Stoltz has run for 227 yards and two TDs.
The squad lost its first two options at quarterback due to injuries. Junior Cameron Stoltz is guiding the squad under center.
Troy junior defensive back Logan Ullery has an MVL-best five interceptions, three of which came against Stebbins. He’s returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
The Yellow Jackets (2-3, 2-2 MVL Valley Division) will be looking to get back on track after a 42-6 loss to Piqua last week. Sidney turned the ball over three times in the loss and only got out of its own territory on offense twice.
New Bremen stays at No. 3 in AP poll
New Bremen (4-1) didn’t take a hit from its lopsided loss to Midwest Athletic Conference rival Marion Local and stayed at No. 3 in Division VII in this week’s Associated Press state poll. Undefeated Warren John F. Kennedy remains at No. 1.
Springfield Catholic Central (5-0) — which Fort Loramie beat 38-16 in a first-round playoff game last year — is ranked No. 2. The Fighting Irish haven’t beaten an opponent with a record better than 3-2 and haven’t won by more than seven points in the last three weeks.
Versailles (4-1) is ranked No. 5 in Div. VI.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.