Fort Loramie has thrown nearly 150 passes in five games. Caleb Maurer, the Redskins senior quarterback, has taken off and dashed down the field another 40 times.
You might believe it’s hard to search the landscape of Ohio high school football and find another club requiring as much from its QB.
Especially in Division VII. Right?
Well, maybe not.
Could it be that such a club is right under our noses on Friday night playing against Fort Loramie?
When asked if his Edon quarterback might match the Redskins QB in being responsible for the bulk of the offense, the veteran and wily head coach Bob Olwin joked that his “guy” may pitch it by arm or ditch it by foot “99 times out of 100.”
Olwin, who has coached at eleven Ohio football programs spanning 44 years, was exaggerating, of course.
But game statisticians had better arrive at the Fort Loramie stadium Friday evening with their calculator batteries fully charged. Maurer and Edon’s 6-foot-0, 170-pound sophomore Kyler Sapp may electrify the crowd by combining for 65 to 70, or more, runs and throws.
If you can’t make it to Fort Loramie for what should be a close, high-scoring night of football between the Redskins (3-2) and Edon (3-2), join ScoresBroadcast.com at 6:25 p.m. Hits 105.5 will simulcast. Spencer Wells, the Redskins’ head coach, is featured during an interview before the 7 p.m. kickoff, along with Olwin.
Drew Pasteur’s “Fantastic 50” website, which predicts outcomes and final margins of Ohio high school football games, forecasts a 20-point win for Fort Loramie. But don’t count on that. Edon is scoring more than six touchdowns per contest and has reeled off three straight decisive triumphs.
For the Bombers from Williams County, Sapp has completed 103 passes in five contests; Maurer, 91. In addition, each has darted to the end zone on the ground three times. Sapp has a dozen touchdown strikes through the air; Maurer, eleven.
Last Friday, Maurer completed 20-of-32 for 334 yards and three touchdowns in the Redskins’ 34-22 victory at Dayton Dunbar.
Edon’s Olwin favors super quick lateral tosses which serve, more or less, as end sweeps. And he mixes in bubble and jail-break screens with occasional deep vertical routes when his feel for the game senses defensive backs are starting to hug the line of scrimmage.
In much the same way, Wells has used his junior running back Will Holland and his superb quartet of receivers: Logan Eilerman, Isaac Raterman, Ethan Keiser, and Christian McGee. All five are averaging between 12 and 16 yards per reception. At Dunbar, McGee bolted for an average of 49 yards on two kickoff returns.
So which pass-happy club tonight will minimize its mistakes and cash in for points on most of its possessions?
Well, Sapp has not thrown a single pick on the season, while Maurer has air mailed eight into the hands of the enemy. In fact, the Redskins have three more turnovers than takeaways. Edon is an eye-popping plus-eight on the season.
Furthermore, Fort Loramie’s offensive series of plays have started, on average, between its own 25 and 30 yard lines.
These things need to change for the Redskins.
“We’d like to generate more opposition turnovers and shorten the field for Caleb and his weapons,” said Wells. “Seventy- and eighty-yard marches are difficult to sustain, drive after drive.”
Tracking down Sapp tonight won’t be easy for the Redskins “D.” However, Wells noted the importance of producing consistent pressures on the elusive Edon quarterback. Redskins Nate Boerger and Damien Bruns have recorded 2.5 sacks apiece. Calvin Hoying has been a part of 38 tackles through five games.
Edon has fashioned a five-man defensive front against the several run-heavy teams on its schedule so far. But that scheme will likely be modified this evening for Fort Loramie’s air show. Sophomore linebacker Cohen Hulbert paces the Bombers with 70 tackles.
Sapp’s number one target is wide receiver Caden Nester, who has snared 37 passes — three more than the Redskins’ Eilerman. Nester is a 6-foot-0, 190-pound senior. Flanker Carter Kiess has reeled in another 26 passes; Max Radabaugh, 16 more.
Edon has kicked eight points after touchdowns and also successfully converted two points following six scores.
Last October at Edon High School, the Bombers tallied eight points three times versus Fort Loramie, including 16 points in the fourth period to rally from a 21-8 deficit and win by three.
A Fort Loramie victory tonight gives the Redskins an inside track on a home field tilt to start the playoffs. Division V Columbus Academy travels to Shelby County next Friday. The Redskins are currently eighth in the southwest region of D-VII right behind Minster.
Edon, number eleven in its northwest region of D-VII, can likely vault to ninth with a triumph tonight. This region’s first-rated Antwerp and seventh-ranked Edgerton are responsible for Edon’s only two losses.
During Olwin’s journey throughout the western part of Ohio, he has made previous head coaching stops at Ada, Antwerp, Arlington, Lake, Mechanicsburg, Morral Ridgedale, Sherwood Fairview, Tiffin Calvert and Versailles.
Last season, Olwin’s second at Edon, resulted in the school’s best football campaign ever. The Bombers went 11-2 and produced two, one-score victories in the playoffs. Edon competes with five other football programs in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference.
Olwin’s teams spanning five decades have notched tournament berths a dozen times. He coached at Versailles from 2008-2012 and earned Division V co-Coach of the Year recognition.
Tonight, on the gridiron between the white lines, experience will clearly be on the Redskins’ side. Edon often inserts as many as six sophomores on both sides of the ball.