High School Football: Griffin leads Shawnee past Eaton

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

SPRINGFIELD — Rick Meeks knows his Shawnee High School football team has weapons all over the field.

However, one question remained for the Braves veteran coach: Can the offensive line control the line of scrimmage?

After last week’s 31-7 loss at Valley View, the Braves offensive line stepped up to the challenge against Eaton in Week 2.

Shawnee senior quarterback R.J. Griffin threw for two touchdown passes and rushed for two more touchdowns as the Braves beat the Eagles 34-12 on Thursday night.

“I was really worried coming in,” Meeks said. “Last week (against Valley View) we got beat up pretty good up front, especially offensively. (Eaton) had some big dudes up front and I was really worried. Our linemen responded. We challenged them and they responded. We’ve got good skill kids, but the line has been a work in progress. They came to play tonight.”

On the Braves first possession, Griffin hit junior wide receiver Ed Boehmer on a 30-yard TD pass to give Shawnee an early 7-0 lead. After an interception by junior Brady Bumgardner, Shawnee drove deep into Eagles territory, but were stopped on fourth down.

After stopping Eaton on its next possession, Griffin scampered 52 yards for a touchdown to give Shawnee a 13-0 lead.

“He threw the ball well and ran the ball well,” Meeks said. “He just had a great game.”

Eaton drove the ball into Shawnee territory, but junior Trinton Cordle intercepted a pass and returned it 77 yards to give the Braves a 20-0 lead.

The Eagles cut the deficit to 20-7 with about five minutes remaining in the first half when senior quarterback Brock Ebright found junior Leslie Orr for a 10-yard TD pass.

In the third quarter, Griffin scored on a 25-yard TD run to give the Braves a 27-6 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Griffin hit sophomore Caden Craig-White on a 32-yard TD pass to make it 34-6.

Defensively, the Braves caused three turnovers in the victory.

“Everybody on the team stepped up,” Griffin said. “After last week, we had to bounce back. Our line had a big game, had a lot of strength, gave a big push and showed what they could do. Our receivers made a lot of plays.”

The Eagles scored on a 22-yard pass from Ebright to junior Ian Ruebush to make it 34-12.

“We played really bad and we coached really bad,” Eaton coach Brad Davis. “That’s a good team. We gave them some extra chances and they took advantage of it. Hats off to them. They played harder than us and coached harder than us.”

Eaton (1-1) hosts Oxford Talawanda in Week 3.

Shawnee (1-1) will host Graham next Friday night. It’s the first meeting between the two schools on the football field since 2004.

“They’ve been solid the last few years,” Meeks said. “The new coach (Dave Taynor) has done a good job and has a good staff. It’s going to be a challenge. I haven’t had a chance to look at them much because we’ve been worried about (Eaton).”

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