FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie is in Division VII and Miami East in Division V, but if you go to Friday’s matchup between the two schools, you may guess differently looking at the sidelines.
Though Loramie’s current OHSAA boys enrollment is 96, the Redskins have over 50 players on the roster. Miami East has a boys enrollment of 175 but has 35 players on the team this year.
That’s not the only size differential Miami East coach Max Current said he sees between the two teams, who will play in a Cross Country Conference game on Friday in Fort Loramie.
“They’re very big,” Current said. “That’s what pops out right away. They’ve got some very good size all over the field. They’re not all that flashy, but they’re a physical team that does a good job of blocking and tackling. I’m just hoping my little guys are able to tackle those big fellows.”
The Redskins (2-1) won their first game as members of the CCC in a 28-21 nailbiter over Covington last Friday. The Buccaneers scored a touchdown with a little over a minute left and then recovered an onside kick, but Loramie’s defense forced a turnover on downs.
“We just had to hang on at the end, but that’s the way football is,” Loramie coach Whit Parks said. “You run into a lot of situations you’ve got to be able to handle. We got pressure on the last couple of plays on their quarterback that made him hurry, and I think that was the big key. We had some letdowns on the secondary. We’ve got to do a better job of playing the ball in the secondary.”
Parks said he was pleased with Loramie’s rushing defense against Covington, which he said will be a big key against the Vikings (2-1). Miami East rushed for 259 yards and five touchdowns against National Trail last Friday. Quarterback Ian Gengler threw for 138 yards and two scores.
Parks said was impressed with Miami East’s size on film and thinks they have the advantage.
“I’ve watched them on film just wear some people down,” Parks said. “They can pound the ball. They’ve got a lot of size and good, hard running backs. They can throw it, too. Their quarterback has a good arm and can throw some nice passes. He does enough to keep you aware of that. They look to be pretty darn good.”
The Redskins had 385 yards of offense, 219 of which came on the ground on 41 carries from senior running back Mike Hoying. Hoying also scored three touchdowns for Loramie.
“Normally, we probably wouldn’t have Mike carry the ball that many times, but we were pounding the ball pretty well of tackles, so you take what you can get,” Parks said.
Current said he’s been impressed with Hoying on film and also with quarterback Austin Siegel, who threw for 114 yards against Covington.
With both teams having shown good balance on offense, Current said he thinks controlling the time of possession will be crucial.
“That’s always one of the goals that we have, to move the chains and to limit possessions for the other team,” Current said. “If you can do that, you’re going to be in a lot of ball games. We’ll take some quick strikes on offense, don’t get me wrong, but we can’t let them do that to us.
“If we can get some turnovers and just limit their touches, that’s good for us.”
Parks also said he thinks the time of possession battle will be key on Friday.
“We’ve got to control the clock against them and finish,” Parks said. “We had a couple of drives we didn’t finish (last week), and we can’t do that this week.”
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.