Fort Loramie, Lima Central Catholic to be broadcast

The squads have combined to win nine games in a row

Last season’s Week 10 win by Fort Loramie over Lima Central Catholic was a good upset victory for the Redskins. Understatement number one!

Coupled with the triumph over Division II Sidney, the Redskins 36-31 comeback versus LCC vaulted the red and black a whopping nine or ten spots in the regional D-VII rankings enabling it to earn a home playoff game.

Thus, you would then think that Friday’s 2022 Redskins-Thunderbirds clash offers much less incentive for Fort Loramie, which has already leaped to number two, behind Ansonia and ahead of Mechanicsburg, Riverside, New Bremen and Minster. It’s even possible that tonight’s loser doesn’t drop more than a single place. Lima Central Catholic is also second in the D-VII northwest region.

You see, for both schools, home field is already secured for not one, but a pair of post-season playoff contests. Furthermore, FL and LCC are independents; no league title to play for. Mission accomplished after nine weeks, right?

Misconception number two!

Sustaining improvement is a process — a season-long, contagious process, if every player wants to catch on and win as a team deep into next month.

Coach Spencer Wells of Fort Loramie said that the Redskins program the last couple weeks has been built on good gridiron practice behaviors and the team’s close attention to details in game preparation. The process is producing results.

“We have been really sharp” Monday through Thursday, “even during the recent changing weather,” Wells pointed out. “Our start, finish and mid-game performances against Lucas represented our most complete Friday night of the year.”

Fort Loramie (7-2) and Lima Central Catholic (6-3) are starting to simmer. They have combined to win nine straight. Fall color is peaking. So are the “games” of the Redskins and Thunderbirds.

Call Friday a playoff tilt, if you want. A steady diet of upgraded competition for both schools is right around the corner.

What’s the cliché? To beat the best, you have to play the best? No better time than tonight to take the slogan very seriously.

Without a league crown or a major climb in rankings being on the line, enhancing the already established positive momentum is what this time of the high school football year is all about. will cover the game at 6:25 p.m. Hits 105.5 FM will simulcast.

The Redskins face a major challenge trying to slow down LCC’s barrage of crunching runs led by a one-man wrecking crew — 6-foot-2, 210 pound, junior quarterback Carson Parker, who takes off with the football on nearly a third of LCC’s plays from scrimmage. He cracks ahead at 6.5 yards a pop. Upback Gabe Cira churns out nearly 8 yards per play. Matthew Quatman is averaging 17 yards per reception.

On defense, stellar middle linebacker Ethan Frankhouser has rolled up 62 tackles in LCC’s 4-3 scheme.

Meanwhile, T-Birds head coach Scott Palte knows his club has not seen the likes of a big-time passing show since the same two squads met last year.

“Those Fort Loramie receivers have height, skill and talent,” Palte said. “And Maurer finds a way to get the ball to them anywhere on the field.”

Palte added that his unit doesn’t possess the elite speed it had last season. “We grind it out much more this year, but still throw 15 to 20 times a game.”

Earlier this month, Licking Valley got a big taste of the T-Birds powerful blend on offense. Parker zipped the ball for 173 yards against this opponent and galloped for 195 more, including four scampers for scores.

Tonight, LCC’s offense may be its best defense. Control the ball and force Fort Loramie’s attack to sit.

The red and black threw a twist at Lucas last week. And it wasn’t a thrown forward pass. Because of the extensive double teams by Lucas in the secondary, the Redskins took advantage of fewer numbers defending the run and gashed the visitors for 150 yards on the ground.

Fort Loramie had 25 fewer plays from scrimmage than Lucas, but was extremely efficient, scoring touchdowns on five of eight possessions.

“The mark of a really good football team is being able to adjust on the fly during the game and find different ways to win,” Palte said.

“That club is complete. They hurt us last year with key late game runs,” Palte recalled. “And their special teams set them up with good field position all night against Lucas. Their return game is a big weapon.”

By the way, LCC beat Lucas on September 30, 26-23, when Parker accounted for four football fields of yardage.

“The LCC QB reminds our coaching staff of Colin Moore, who was a fine quarterback for us several years ago,” Wells said. “Parker is a load to bring down and can light it up threw the air.”

As a sophomore last year, Parker gained 16 quarters of playoff experience, guiding the T-Birds to an 11-3 campaign.

Fort Loramie quarterback Caleb Maurer would like nothing better than to lead the Redskins well into November this season, much like Moore paced his club to a 2018 regional title victory over Convoy Crestview, 48-20.

Maurer is completing 62 percent of his tosses for 233 yards per night. Logan Eilerman is fast approaching one thousand yards receiving. Will Holland gives the club balance with an average of 77 yards each Friday on the ground. Darren Eilerman pinch hits in the run game and has stepped up for the injured Isaac Raterman at linebacker.

The Redskins “D” is starting to flourish. Calvin Hoying has racked up 74 tackles. Nate Boerger has tagged 61 more ball carriers.

Christian McGee’s outstanding kick-off returns enable the Redskins to get a “hidden yards” advantage game after game.

Momentum is in Fort Loramie’s favor. The team is generating a good surplus of yards after catch, or YAC (yack). The run game and offensive line are starting to move the stack. The defense is getting after it and creating that timely sack. And Maurer keeps plays alive because he has the knack.

Hopefully, the Redskins whetted their appetite for tonight with last Friday’s outstanding triumph over Lucas, a highly regarded playoff squad.

And after feasting on LCC’s defense in the final half at Lima Stadium one year ago, Fort Loramie should be ready for seconds.
The squads have combined to win nine games in a row