FORT LORAMIE — After a week of increased emphasis on tackling in practice, Fort Loramie’s defense went from having one of its worst performances to one of its best.
The Redskins shut out Twin Valley South 46-0 last Friday after allowing four touchdowns in each of their previous two games. It was the first shutout of the season for Fort Loramie, who will try for a second on Friday night at Mississinawa Valley in a Cross County Conference game.
Last week’s shutout was a marked improvement for the Redskins over a 52-28 win over Ansonia on Sept. 22. Ansonia had 305 yards of offense and had eight plays 10 yards or longer.
“We worked really hard on our defense last week and emphasized some things that we weren’t getting done,” Parks said. “People were doing their jobs, being disciplined and taking care of their assignments. We got a couple of turnovers, which always plays a big role when you can get them. That seemed to have helped, but we’ve still got a ways to go. We’re not the kind of team we want to be yet.”
The win was the second in a row for Fort Loramie (4-2, 3-1 CCC). Mississinawa Valley (1-5) has a three-game losing streak, including a 50-14 loss to Ansonia last Friday. Ansonia had 339 yards of offense in the game and led 43-0 at halftime.
“They’re pretty spread out and they like to throw it around, probably more so than any one we’ve seen yet,” Parks said of Mississinawa Valley. “They present some challenges for us with their multiple receivers and empty backfield. We haven’t seen a whole bunch of that. That’s made for different preparation for us this week than the last few weeks.
“We’re focused on us getting better and improving, because we know where we have to be as a team. We respect all of our opponents, and we get ready to play the same each week, no matter what anybody’s record is. We don’t look at those kinds of things very much. We just try to make our football team better each week.”
The Redskins have improved in several areas the last couple of weeks aside from defense. After some struggles on extra-point attempts in Week 4 against Miami East, Fort Loramie made four two-point conversions against Twin Valley South and kicker C.J. Billing completed 2-of-2 extra-point attempts.
Fort Loramie didn’t have any interceptions or fumbles against Twin Valley South, which was the team’s first game in four weeks without a turnover.
It was the second consecutive week senior quarterback Austin Siegel didn’t throw an interception. He threw five interceptions in the first four weeks of the season.
Siegel completed 5-of-8 pass attempts for 72 yards and also ran for 10 yards on one carry, while running backs Carter Mescher and Mike Hoying each ran for over 100 yards for the second consecutive week. Parks said Siegel’s ability to complete passes is crucial for Fort Loramie’s rushing attack so opponents don’t load defenders on or near the line.
“He manages the offense really well,” Parks said. “He’s in control and knows what everyone’s doing, and when he can get those play-action passes, that just elevates our offense that much more.”
Friday’s game at Mississinawa Valley kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.