Guyer, Griffin lead Shawnee to victory against Kenton Ridge

Shawnee High School junior Zion Crowe is tackled by Kenton Ridge senior Zach Thaxton after catching a pass during their game on Friday night in Springfield. The Braves won 34-7. Photo by Michael Cooper
Caption
Shawnee High School junior Zion Crowe is tackled by Kenton Ridge senior Zach Thaxton after catching a pass during their game on Friday night in Springfield. The Braves won 34-7. Photo by Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Braves improve to 4-2, while KR falls to 3-3

After back-to-back losses to open the season, the Shawnee High School football team has won four straight games.

On Friday night in Springfield, they did it with a power run game and stout defense.

Braves junior running back Max Guyer rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns and junior quarterback R.J. Griffin rushed 127 yards and two TDs as the Braves beat rival Kenton Ridge 34-7 in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division opener at Shawnee.

“They were daring us to throw the ball, loading guys up inside with their big dudes trying to beat up our front,” said Shawnee coach Rick Meeks. “Our O-line rose to the occasion. They weren’t confused.”

Kenton Ridge senior Braden Holt scored on a 1-yard run for the Cougars, which fell to 3-3 and 0-1 in the Kenton Trail Division.

After a scoreless first quarter, Shawnee took a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard run by Griffin with about nine minutes remaining in the first half.

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Kenton Ridge countered with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that resulted in Holt’s TD run.

Shawnee’s David Hawk returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to the Kenton Ridge 34-yard line. Two plays later, Griffin scored on a 36-yard TD run to give the Braves a 14-7 lead.

With less than two minutes remaining, the Cougars weren’t able to get a punt off on fourth down, giving the Braves the ball back in Kenton Ridge territory.

“(Shawnee Defensive Coordinator Devin Spitzer) came up with a great defensive plan,” said Braves coach Rick Meeks. “We had basically two defenses going, juggling around based on their spread set and their power set.”

Griffin hit junior Zion Crowe on a 37-yard pass, setting up first-and-goal from the Cougars 1-yard line. Guyer scored on a 1-yard run on the next play to give the Braves a 21-7 lead before the half.

“You go into the half and it’s a one score game, you probably feel a little differently coming out for the second half,” said Kenton Ridge coach Jon Daniels. “Our kids played tough. They played hard all the way through.”

Caption
Kenton Ridge High School sophomore Caleb Obee runs the ball during their game against Shawnee on Friday night in Springfield. The Braves won 34-7. Photo by Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Kenton Ridge High School sophomore Caleb Obee runs the ball during their game against Shawnee on Friday night in Springfield. The Braves won 34-7. Photo by Michael Cooper
Caption
Kenton Ridge High School sophomore Caleb Obee runs the ball during their game against Shawnee on Friday night in Springfield. The Braves won 34-7. Photo by Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Daniels was impressed with his team’s effort in practice all week and was proud of the way they performed Friday. The Cougars host Jonathan Alder, which fell to London 34-7 in its Kenton Trail Division opener, next week.

“Culture-wise, we were really good all week,” Daniels said. “We played really tough tonight. It was one of our best continuous performances in a tough game since I’ve been here. Football doesn’t owe you anything. You make mistakes and some of those things come back and bite you in big ball games. That’s where we’re at now.”

In the second half, the Braves kept pounding the ball with Guyer, who played with a cast on his hand after missing last week’s game against Northwestern. He scored on runs of 13 and 14 yards in the second half to seal the victory for the Braves.

“He’s a beast,” Meeks said. “He ran hard tonight, punished guys. He lowers his shoulder a few times and guys don’t want to tackle him. He’ll wear you out.”

The Braves face another tough task next week at Bellefontaine, which beat Tecumseh 23-18.

“There are no easy weeks,” Meeks said.

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