Dixie Meets Fort Loramie Muscle
J. C. Tilton
Although this is the first year of varsity football for Fort Loramie, they have been doing their homework. They took the field with a team that had a combination of speed and power. And even more telling in the second half, the Redskins had more depth. The disciplined team committed few mistakes. It was easy to see their stragedy - to use clock consuming drives based on the run, this would keep the passing offense of Dixie on the sidelines. To counter the Redskins, Dixie had to keep them off balance with a combination of running and passing. They had to rely on the defense to stop the running attack of Fort Loramie.
Fort Loramie found the endzone first, but Nick Miller responded by completing a pass to Joey Blosser. Before the half would end Fort Loramie's Jordan Goldschmidt would break away and run over 60 yards to score another TD. This would put the Redskins up 15-6 at the half.
The Redskins came out of the locker room ready to go back to work. After a good return to midfield, they worked the short field to their advantage and scored to go up 22-6. Dixie was unable to answer, a critical holding penalty turned a first down into a third and long that Dixie could not convert. Fort Loramie drove the ball down to the Dixie three where the Greyhound defense dug in and stopped the drive. Dixie was able to move the ball thanks to a Tyler Wilson first down, but the drive fizzled and the ball was punted away. A good return put Fort Loramie in good field position. They again drove deep into Dixie territory, but when the drive stalled they opted for an 18 yard field goal.
It was 25-6 with just under 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter. When Dixie's drive stalled close to midfield they had a critical 4th and 4 play. Dixie went with the pass and Nick Miller found Steven Livingston open in the middle of the field. Livingston tucked the ball in, found another red jersey and followed his blocker all the way to the end zone for a 55 yard TD run. It was 25-12, but time was a factor - as was fatigue. Dixie tried to do a pooch kick where they sailed the ball over the first line of the Redskins, but the Redskins covered the kick off well and Dixie had no chance to recover. A tired defense took the field again and a lapse allowed Fort Loramie to score a final TD to seal the win. Dixie tried gamely to answer, but their last drive was stopped by an interception. One positive for Greyhound fans - the team battled to the end and although they went down, they went down with full sails and cannons smoking.
In his post game comments, coach Genslinger mentioned that although this was a first year varsity program, the Fort Loramie coach has been grooming this team for 3 years - Dixie knew not to take the team lightly. He mentioned that the “Defense shone at times, other times they gave up the big plays.” This week the defense will be getting extra work on their reads. The coach was disappointed after the game, but after watching the films saw where the team was very close - one misread or misstep and it causes a breakdown on either offense or defense. He was optimistic that reducing the mistakes will make the team explode. Coach Genslinger concurred that Bellbrook will be tough, Dixie will need to eliminate their mistakes and play a perfect game. Coach Genslinger made mention of the Dragon Slayer program that he has instituted at Dixie. It is a program that helps tie in Dixie football at all levels. This Friday night Dixie will indeed need to slay the Dragon.
Dixie stats: Rushing. Nick Miller 13-44yds; Tyler Wilson 14-44yds; Eddie Bellman 5-28yds. Passing. Nick Miller 13-27, 164 yds, 2TD 1int. Ben Spahr 0-1. Receiving. Ben Spahr 4-41; Steven Livingston 3-82, 1TD; Joey Blosser 3-31, 1TD; Tyler Wilson 1-6; Woody Earls 1-3; Eddie Bellman 1-1.