The Shawnee Braves honored their seniors and then ran through a banner reading, "The One Where They Were Seniors," a reference to the TV show "Friends," before a game against undefeated London on Friday.
» PHOTOS: London at Shawnee
Those seniors and all their friends in the other classes have a chance to do what no Shawnee team has done in eight years — something coach Rick Meeks brought up in his post-game speech — if they can win their last two games: win the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division.
The 2011 Braves, who finished 10-0 in the regular season and reached the state championship game, won the division with a 5-0 mark. The 2019 Braves improved to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the CBC after beating London 30-22 on Friday in the first meeting between the two programs since 1983. Entering the game, the Red Raiders, who fell to 7-1 and 2-1 in the CBC, were one of four undefeated teams remaining in Division III, Region 11.
» FEATURE: Ceiling high for Greenon kicker
Shawnee's seventh straight victory goes down as its biggest victory of the season — at least until next week when it plays another undefeated Kenton Trail Division team, Jonathan Alder (8-0, 3-0), which won 35-14 at Tecumseh.
"It's amazing," Shawnee senior quarterback Robie Glass said. "Our offensive line got after it. That's what we've been working on all week because their defensive line is really good and they get off the ball really well, and all week, we've been been working on our line getting off the ball, and they did great today."
Glass completed 13 of 18 passes for 178 yards and rushed 19 times for 122 yards. He played a part in Shawnee's final two touchdowns. His 5-yard pass to Jaden Hall with five seconds left in the first half gave Shawnee a 22-15 halftime lead, and his 10-yard run with 6:03 to play in the fourth quarter extended a 23-22 lead to 30-22.
The Shawnee defense did the rest, stopping London twice in the final minutes by forcing into passing situations. London gained 238 yards on the ground and none through the air, failing to complete a pass in seven attempts.
"I'm really proud of our kids," Meeks said. "They fought. And Robie Glass played really hard."
Shawnee played without its leading receiver, Drew Mitch, who fractured his collarbone in a 63-21 victory over Tecumseh in Week 7 and will miss at least six weeks.
Other players stepped up. Matt Guyer gained 106 yards on 15 carries. Evan Thomas caught four passes for 62 yards. Wes Schuler caught three passes for 45 yards.
In a back-and-forth first half, Shawnee had the early momentum, scoring in the opening minute on a 64-yard run by Guyer and then stretching its lead to 14-0 on a 1-yard run by Tyler Mercer on its second drive.
London didn’t trail for long, however. It cut the deficit to 14-8 on a 3-yard run by Caleb Sollars and then a conversion run by Sollars with 3:06 left in the first quarter. London took a 15-14 lead on a 70-yard run by Khaleb Comer with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.
"We came out and punched them in the mouth," Meeks said. "They're an undefeated team, a really good team. We knew they would have answer."
Shawnee regained the lead on a safety with 1:39 left in the half and then extended its lead on the pass from Glass to Hall, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone and got one foot down.
"It was unbelievable," Glass said. "He went up and made a play."
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