Week 6 Spotlight: Fort Loramie dominates in 32-6 victory

10/04/2011

WEST CARROLLTON — Facing an undefeated opponent was enough, but there were also plenty of playoff implications for the Fort Loramie High School football team on Friday night.

Not only was Dayton Christian 5-0, but the Warriors are a Division V program. That could help the Redskins in the state’s calculation that determines playoff participants, as the system rewards beating both bigger and winning teams (Fort Loramie is D-VI).

Fort Loramie’s 32-6 victory at West Carrollton Middle School was a huge boost in the Harbin system, but the players weren’t too concerned about that.

“Coach mentions it sometimes,” said Fort Loramie senior Cory Brandewie, who scored two touchdowns. “But we just want to play football.”

While the players focus on the field, the current situation in the Metro Buckeye Conference makes the playoff goal more difficult for both schools. With only five football-playing members, teams have to find six non-conference games. Many of those opponents have poor records.

That will change next year when the conference stops playing football, signaling the challenges of league alignment even at the high school level.

MBC football started with three schools, Dayton Christian, Troy Christian and Jefferson. Yellow Springs and Middletown Christian boosted it to five schools, and the league planned to add Emmanuel Christian when that school adopted football.

Then Fort Loramie started a varsity team six years ago, and Lehman Catholic needed a conference. That seemed to be plenty, with eight football members.

But then it fell apart. Emmanuel Christian delayed football, and Middletown Christian and Yellow Springs dropped the sport. Wanting more for their football teams, Lehman Catholic, Fort Loramie and Troy Christian agreed to join the Northwest Central Conference next season in football.

Dayton Christian will be independent next season before playing football in the Miami Valley Conference in 2013.

As the league around them shrunk, Fort Loramie (5-1) and Dayton Christian (5-1) improved. Fort Loramie advanced to the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, and Dayton Christian went from 2-8 to 3-6 to 6-4 in the previous three seasons.

Because they could only play four conference games, Fort Loramie and Dayton Christian were forced to look all over for non-conference games. For teams needing solid Harbin points for playoff hopes, it was a challenge. Last season, for instance, Fort Loramie played teams in Bronson, Mich., Zanesville and Toledo.

Finding point-providing opponents was also difficult this season. DC, which entered Friday No. 5 in the D-V, Region 20 points, will finish the season playing teams that were a combined 2-18 entering Friday night. Fort Loramie, No. 5 in D-VI, Region 24, will play teams that were 5-15.

That’s why Friday night was so important for each.

“We’re not used to being in this situation,” said Dayton Christian coach Rick Bostater. “You just have to look forward.”