Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Indians bottle up Redskins

By Gary R. Rasberry

Fort Recovery's Chris Link, 65, tackles Fort Loramie's Jake Ward during Friday's. . .

FORT RECOVERY - The opening play of the game by Fort Loramie's Jake Ward proved to be the only highlight of the game for the Redskins.
Fort Recovery stopped Ward from scoring - and the Indians had many highlights of their own after that.
The Indians shut down the Redskins after Ward's 61-yard run and improved to 2-0 with a 32-0 victory in the home opener on Friday night at Barrenbrugge Park.
Ward, running out of Redskins coach Whit Parks' trademark single-wing offense, went around the left end from the Redskin 22-yard line and appeared to be heading for the end zone. Fort Recovery's Davis Will managed to catch up to Ward and pull him down at the Indian 17-yard line. The Redskins went back 10 yards on the first two plays via a false start and then a five-yard face mask. Fort Loramie gained one yard on its next two plays before a block to the back call put them on the 25. Loramie quarterback Nathan Ratermann looked to pass the ball the end zone, but Jason Roessner picked it off for the Indians.
It took some time for the Indians to find their rhythm, with quarterback Caleb Martin pooch-punting twice into the end zone for touchbacks. The Indian defense clamped down on Ward, who rushed for 161 yards on 34 carries, but Fort Loramie was unable to get any closer to the end zone.
"We were able to adjust. It's big when the kids can see what those adjustments need to be," Fort Recovery coach Brent Niekamp said. "They understand why you're shifting and moving guys a certain way. Once they got it and figured how much they had to adjust, then they attacked it.
"I'm happy that with that long run, we chased him down and made them line up and run again. That's something we constantly preach: if someone breaks open a play, you can't give up on the play, because you can still stop it."
Fort Recovery hit paydirt late in the first quarter. After a 13-yard Will Homan run put the Indians at the Loramie 48, Martin found Derek Siefring for a 48-yard scoring pass with 1:11 left in the opening quarter.
From that point, the Indians moved the ball with ease. Martin forced Fort Loramie away from focusing on just the Homan run with some solid passing. Down at the goal line, Homan punched in from three yards out to make it 13-0 with 4:51 left in the half.
After a Loramie three-and-out, Martin scrambled after looking for the open man and didn't stop until he hit the end zone 52-yards later to make it 20-0 with 1:50 left in the half. The Indians stopped the Redskins and got back the ball with 66 seconds to go at the Loramie 39. Martin found Roessner for three yards, and then Homan did a throw-back to Martin for a 16-yard gain to the 20. Roessner pulled down a Martin pass in the end zone to push the score to 26-0 at the half.
Fort Recovery used its opening drive of the second half to put the game on ice. Martin capped off a five-play, 80-yard drive by faking to Homan and running the other way for a 67-yard TD to make it 32-0 and, more importantly, trigger the running clock for the remainder of the game.
"Will's dangerous. Caleb proved he's dangerous running the ball," Niekamp said. "(Fort Loramie) started packing guys inside and playing a five-man front. We tried to take advantage of matchup situations. We were able to spread the ball around (Martin threw to six different receivers in the game)."
Martin finished with 208 yards on 10-of-19 passing and added 119 yards rushing on six carries. Homan finished with 114 yards rushing on 14 carries and had three catches for 70 yards.
Fort Recovery opens Midwest Athletic Conference play next Friday at Barrenbrugge Park as Parkway comes to town.
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