Fort Loramie got in the win column last week with a return to the days of “Pop” Warner.
Head coach Whit Parks brought the single-wing offense with him when he became the head coach at Minster, where he spent seven seasons. It wasn’t the primary offense for his entire stay, but it was always there in the playbook.
Well, last week, Parks brought it out of hiding, pretty much out of necessity after his sophomore starting quarterback, Austin Siegel, went down with a season-ending injury.
“When we lost Austin, we went back to the single wing,” Parks said. “We needed to do something and it just kinda fit what we wanted to do. It was a little difficult to install in a week, and the kids weren’t sure a little at the beginning. But they liked gaining yards and winning the game last week.”
In the single wing, the ball is snapped directly back to a running back, pretty much a precursor to the shotgun or wildcat formations that are everywhere today.
It was a bit of a risk installing it before taking on a 3-1 team (Hardin Northern), but as Parks said, there wasn’t much choice. And an offense that struggled in the first four weeks rushed for 263 yards against Northern and needed to attempt just five passes.
Wes Puthoff was the spark, rushing for 203 yards on 32 carries. That’s 177 yards more than he had in his first four games combined.
The Redskins will take their throwback offense to Waynesfield Friday night to try to make it two in a row and go 2-1 in the Northwest Central Conference. Waynesfield comes in 0-5 on the year.
“What we want to make sure of is that we keep getting better,” Parks said. “We watched them on film in their game with Upper Scioto and they hung right with them, so we can’t take them lightly.
The Tigers are averaging just 94 yards per game on the ground and 72 through the air, and have just one rushing touchdown all season. They have allowed 51, 55, 56 and 42 points in their last four outings, but interestingly, they lost just 21-14 to Hilltop in their season opener and Hilltop is 5-0 and second in Region 24 of Division 7.
“Last week was a good win,” Parks said. “Any win is good, especially over a 3-1 team. We felt good about it and desperately needed one like that. And we need to keep it going this week.”
The Rockets are in the midst of their toughest stretch of games, having lost to Midwest Athletic Conference powerhouse Coldwater last week, and having to play another power in Marion Local Friday night at home. Both are ranked No. 1 in Ohio, Coldwater in D-5 and Marion in D-6.
Anna takes a 1-4 mark into the contest Friday night, with the Flyers coming in at 5-0.
“Coldwater was a pretty tough opponent,” Anna coach Nick Marino said about the 40-7 loss the Rockets suffered last week. “We didn’t sustain our blocks long enough, and their linebackers got off blocks pretty well. We didn’t get much out of it, so we’re just looking forward to going back out and competing this week.”
The Rockets were able to rush for just two yards last week against Coldwater, and when the game ended, there were just 33 yards in total offense. And now the Rockets take on a team just as good in perennial state champion Marion.
“They are two totally different teams in terms of style,” said Marino. “Coldwater is a spread team, and Marion Local lines up in the I and tries to run over you. And defensively, one is a 3-4 pressure front, and the other a 40 front. They’re different teams but they both do a heckuva job.”
The Flyers are led on the ground by Nate Moeller, who going into last week’s game was averaging 11 yards per carry.
“The big key for us is to control the line of scrimmage,” said Marino. “They are a good run team. That’s their bread and butter. And offensively, we have to pick up their blitzes and get a hat on a hat. A lot of people struggle with that.”
MAC standings — Coldwater 3-0 (5-0), Fort Recovery 3-0 (5-0), Marion Local 3-0 (5-0), Versailles 2-1 (3-2), St. Henry 1-2 (3-2), Minster 1-2 (3-23), Anna 1-2 (1-4), Delphos St. John’s 1-2 (1-4), New Bremen 0-3 (1-4), Parkway 0-3 (0-5)
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818