Dylan Lemen wanted to send the Kenton Ridge High School football team’s senior class out in style against one of its biggest rivals.
The junior quarterback accounted for five touchdowns and 369 yards of total offense as the Cougars snapped a two-game losing streak, beating Shawnee 47-30 in Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division action on Thursday night at Richard L. Phillips Field.
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“We were very determined this whole week to come in here and make a statement,” Lemen said. “It was a great win for us on Thursday night, our homecoming game. We wanted to win this one for our seniors, their last home game.”
The Cougars (5-3, 1-2 CBC Kenton Trail) racked up 530 yards of offense, punting just one time in the game. Lemen rushed 20 times for 198 yards and three scores, while junior teammate Carson Jones added 116 yards and a TD on 17 carries in the victory.
Through the air, Lemen went 9-for-13 for 171 and two touchdowns, both to junior Drew Miller.
“We all played together,” Lemen said. “Everybody did their one job and opened everything up for us.”
Offensively, the Cougars wanted to possess the ball against Shawnee’s explosive offense, Cougars coach Joel Marratta said.
“(Shawnee) can score so fast,” he said. “Field position worked out well for us tonight. We were able to convert on third down and a couple of fourth downs.”
With so many weapons on the outside, including Jones, Miller, junior Calvin Dibert and senior Andrew Good, it opens up the rest of the field for Lemen, Marratta said. Jones and Miller recently returned to the team after missing time with injuries, he said.
“It spreads the field and opens it up more for him,” Marratta said. “Our guys up front did a great job for everybody. I’m proud of them.”
Lemen hit Miller on a 9-yard TD pass early in the first quarter, then scampered 70 yards for another TD to make it 14-0.
Shawnee’s Jaden Hall scored on a 3-yard run to make it 14-6 in the second quarter.
Another touchdown pass from Lemen to Miller, then an interception return TD by Good made it 27-6 with 3:22 remaining in the first half.
Shawnee’s Matt Guyer scored on a 1-yard TD run to cut the lead to 27-12 at the half. The Braves pulled to within nine points on Hall’s 1-yard TD run to open the second half, but couldn’t get any closer.
Shawnee dropped its third straight game, falling to 4-4 overall and 0-2 in the division. Junior QB Robie Glass passed for 202 yards and a TD and rushed for 142 yards and another score for Shawnee.
“Defensively, we’re just young and we’re getting overwhelmed,” Shawnee coach Rick Meeks said.
Marratta was happy his senior class could go out with a victory.
“In 25 years, it was my first chance (to play on Thursday),” He said. “I’m not going to see a second chance around here. I’m happy for the kids, happy for the seniors. It was their last home game.”