FORT LORAMIE — The memories will outlast the stinging defeat.
New Miami High School’s football team made history this season, earning its second playoff berth and first Miami Valley Conference championship since 1988. But the campaign ended with a thud Saturday night.
Sophomore quarterback Collin Moore threw for three touchdowns as top-seeded Fort Loramie overpowered the visiting Vikings 41-0 in a Division VII, Region 28 opener at Redskin Stadium.
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“I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of good memories, a bunch of lies to tell in 10, 15 years,” said Robby Hundley, a senior offensive guard for New Miami. “I’m proud of my boys. I haven’t gotten the chance to connect with some of them, but the ones I have, they’ve really stepped up and become young men. I’ve seen some grow from freshmen all the way up. I just wish we could’ve gone farther.
“The season is still too short. I’m glad we won the MVC championship, but I feel like we deserve to get farther than this. I feel like we worked hard enough trying to get everything going with this team that we deserve more.”
First-year Vikings coach Jessie Hubbard knew this contest had the possibility of going south in a hurry.
New Miami (6-5) got outgained 371-148 in yardage and trailed 28-0 at halftime. The eighth-seeded Vikings drove inside the Loramie 20-yard line twice after intermission, but couldn’t avoid their second shutout defeat of the year.
“That was rough. It was like a nightmare,” Hubbard said. “We were not winning the zone. They were coming off the ball a lot better than we were, and with our style of offense, that can’t happen. But they’re a well-coached team. They made a couple adjustments to our stuff, and we had no answer for it.”
The Redskins (10-1) scored on all four of their first-half possessions. Three of those touchdowns came from the arm of Moore, who connected with Nathan Raterman and Mark Seger (twice) for scores.
Nick Brandewie, Max Hoying and Damon Mescher added TD runs for Loramie.
“I thought it was a really solid performance by our guys,” Redskins coach Spencer Wells said. “Besides the one fumble, I thought we played clean football. We got to spread the ball around and got a lot of guys different touches, which is something we always try to do.”
Incredibly, Loramie hasn’t allowed a sack all season. Wells said that kind of offensive-line play has been critical in the development of his 10th-grade quarterback.
“That is a physical team up front and we were able to grind on them as the game went on, so credit to our offensive line,” Wells said.
Loramie collected 203 yards on the ground and did it in balanced fashion behind Nate Meyer (two carries, 46 yards), Hoying (four carries, 44 yards) and Devin Wehrman (four carries, 43 yards). Moore completed 11-of-16 passes for 168 yards.
“We were outmanned,” Hubbard said. “As deep as they were, when we got fatigued, it showed. The execution was really bad on our part in the first half.”
Ronnie Bowman recovered a fumble for the Vikings. Jordan Robinette (11 carries, 48 yards), David Cunningham (13 carries, 46 yards) and Dalton Garrett (nine carries, 41 yards) did the bulk of their running. Trey Robinette converted two passes for 5 yards.
“I thought our defense did a really good job,” Wells said. “When they got some momentum on some drives and started getting 6- and 7-yard gains, they calmed down and they got stops. They’ve done that throughout the year.
“That’s a good team,” he added of New Miami. “I think the coaches do a big-time job over there with those guys. Meeting with them pregame, (Hubbard) does a lot for his kids off the field. I give him a lot of credit.”
Hubbard said he’s proud of New Miami’s 2018 accomplishments and grateful for the buy-in from the seniors.
“I love all those kids. They’ll always mean something to me,” he said. “That’s the conversation we had on the way up here, two hours on a yellow bus. When a team is successful and it’s not supposed to be successful, a family atmosphere kind of surfaces. That’s what happened this year.
“Winning is contagious. Once you get a taste of it, you want to get back here. We’ll get ’em in the weight room and get ’em stronger.”
Hundley said he wouldn’t be surprised if Fort Loramie wins the state title. The Redskins will face Sidney Lehman Catholic in a regional semifinal next weekend.
Nicknamed “Tin Man,” Hundley said he wants to remain close to the Vikings’ football program after he graduates. He mentioned helping out with the chain gang.
“This is my family,” Hundley said. “Even the seniors who were here in my freshman and sophomore years, I’ve grown close to them. They kind of took me under their wing, so I’ve tried to do what I can for the guys on this team.”
New Miami 0-0-0-0—0
Fort Loramie 14-14-7-6—41
F: Nathan Raterman 9 pass from Collin Moore (Beltran Dorado Lafarga kick)
F: Mark Seger 13 pass from Moore (Lafarga kick)
F: Seger 60 pass from Moore (Lafarga kick)
F: Nick Brandewie 7 run (Lafarga kick)
F: Max Hoying 5 run (Lafarga kick)
F: Damon Mescher 9 run (Kick failed)