“We had a good five yards before we would get touched,” Schaefer said. “You’ve just got to keep the legs moving and get those tough yards.”
Defensively, the Cardinals earned a shutout against a Redskins squad that entered the game having scored 34 or more points in its last six victories.
“I’m just super proud of our kids’ effort,” Schmidt said. “I can’t remember a week like this as a player or a coach where it was just frigid every day and they came out to practice every day with good focus and battled through it. … I’m just happy for our kids. They do things the right way, they prepare the right way. They’re humble and they treat each other the right way and they treat their opponents the right way. I’m super proud of them and happy to see them have some success.”
After stopping Fort Loramie on its opening drive, Schaefer scored on a 2-yard run to give the Cardinals an early 7-0 lead. The snow, and cold, swirling winds made it difficult for both teams to throw the football, Schmidt said.
“It was big to get an early lead there and play with the lead, especially in conditions like this,” he said.
New Bremen forced the Redskins to punt again and took a 14-0 lead after a 45-yard touchdown run by Schaefer with 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
New Bremen sophomore Grant Dicke intercepted a pass midway through the second quarter, setting up a 13-play drive that resulted in a 21-yard field goal by Schaefer to give the Cardinals a 17-0 halftime lead.
On its opening possession of the second half, New Bremen scored on a 4-yard run by Homan to give the Cardinals a 24-0 lead they would never relinquish.
Redskins senior quarterback Caleb Maurer threw for 93 yards and rushed for 59 yards for Fort Loramie, which ended its season 11-3. The Redskins were seeking their first regional championship since 2018.
“(New Bremen is) a very good football team obviously,” said Fort Loramie coach Spencer Wells. “Our guys fought their tails off. Credit to New Bremen. They really played well tonight and they earned it.”
In 2020, New Bremen beat Lima Central Catholic 28-26 in a state semifinal game on its road to claiming the school’s first-ever state championship.
The Cardinals, however, aren’t looking too far ahead, Homan said.
“We just take it one day at a time,” he said.
Marion Local rolls
In the Division VI, Region 24 title game, top-ranked Marion Local routed Harrod Allen East 55-0 on Saturday to advance to the state semifinals.
The Flyers (14-0) will face Columbus Grove (12-2) in the state semifinals on Saturday at Lima’s Spartan Stadium.
Marion Local won the Division VII state championship last year, it’s state-record setting 12th title.