The Shawnee High School football team needed to just two plays to get on the scoreboard against one of its biggest rivals — a lead the Braves would never relinquish.
Sophomore quarterback Robie Glass scored on a 20-yard keeper on the Braves’ second offensive play as Shawnee beat rival Kenton Ridge 21-3 on Friday night.
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Glass passed for 97 yards and a score and rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown for Shawnee.
“It was definitely not a clean game, but our effort was there,” Shawnee High School football coach Rick Meeks said. “You always have a chance if you have effort.”
The Braves set one goal for Friday’s game — keep Cougars sophomore quarterback Dylan Lemen from finding open space.
Lemen came into the game averaging nearly 300 yards of total offense per game. The Braves held the Cougars to just 35 yards rushing. Lemen threw for 187 yards, but the Braves picked off three passes.
“We didn’t want to let him run,” Meeks said. “We were going to make somebody else beat us. We kind of loaded up our scheme a little bit to stop him and make him give it (to the running back) on the option reads. Defensively, we did a great job.”
In the second quarter, Kenton Ridge’s Alex Nester hit a 32-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
The Braves extended their lead to 14-3 with 46 seconds remaining in the first half when Glass found Dominic Finch from 30 yards out.
Jaden Hall’s 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Braves.
“That more or less kind of did it at that point,” Meeks said. “They were struggling moving the ball. Us going up 21-3, it was going to be a tall order the way our defense was playing.”
The Cougars shuffled around its personnel on the offensive line due to injuries, which saw several bad shotgun snaps and disrupted the timing of its offense, Cougars coach Joel Marratta said.
Kenton Ridge moved the ball between the 30-yard lines, but wasn’t able to find its way into the end zone. It also had 10 penalties for 75 yards that lead to several long third-down conversion attempts. It also missed a field goal in the first half.
“We moved the ball all night long, we just couldn’t convert when we needed to,” Marratta said. “We were always behind the chains.”
Shawnee improved to 4-3 and 1-0 in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division. The victory means the Braves control its own destiny in both the division and the Division IV, Region 16 playoff race, Meeks said.
“I’m proud of our kids for playing hard tonight,” Meeks said. “We knew Kenton Ridge was a really good team. We struggled and faced some adversity at times, but the kids fought. They made some mistakes, but there wasn’t a lack of effort. I’m really proud of them.”
The Braves host Bellefontaine (6-1, 2-0 CBC Kenton Trail Division) in a crucial division game Friday. The Chieftains improved to 6-1 and 2-0 in the conference, beating Jonathan Alder 19-6.
“It’s a tall order,” Meeks said. “It’s one of those where we’re a big underdog in this game when they come in here, but we’re going to get ourselves ready. We’re going to relish in that role.”
Kenton Ridge lost its second straight game, falling to 4-3 and 0-2 in the division. The Cougars host Northwestern (3-4, 0-2 CBC Mad River Division) in Week 8.
“There’s nobody on our schedule you can overlook,” Marratta said. “We have to make sure we stay positive and believe in what we’re doing.”
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