The score may have been lopsided in Shawnee’s 35-7 loss at Tippecanoe last Thursday, but Shawnee head coach Rick Meeks wasn’t disappointed. He saw plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the rest of the Braves’ season.
Shawnee (1-1) will try to bounce back on Friday night in a nonconference game at home against Clinton-Massie. Both squads are in the midst of rebuilding efforts. Shawnee lost half its starters from last season and the Falcons lost nine starters.
After spotting Tipp a 14-0 lead, the Braves had a chance to tie the game in the second quarter before the Red Devils forced a turnover on downs at their own 15-yard line. Although Tipp’s running game proved too difficult to stop, Meeks is happy with how the team has progressed since practice started and thinks the game highlighted areas they need to improve on before CBC play starts.
“We’re just inexperienced and too inconsistent right now,” Meeks said. “I like that we are physical. We get physical and are not afraid of contact. Our kids are flying around and they’re giving effort. We’re just making too many mistakes. I’m the coach and I get that responsibility; that’s my fault. We had at least six bad snaps and that’s nothing Tipp or anyone is doing to us. We can fix things like that.”
Meeks is especially happy with the play of Michael Guyer at quarterback. Guyer, a senior, started two games at QB last year but was mainly a running back. He’s rushed for 203 yards and thrown for 183 in the first two games.
“He’s head and shoulders above where he was last year,” Meeks said. “He’s still an athlete playing quarterback but he’s getting closer each week, a little more closer to being an actual quarterback. He’s a wonderful kid with a great attitude and comes to work.”
Clinton-Massie (1-1) won the Division IV state title in 2012 and 2013 and lost in regional final games the last two years. But the Falcons lost most of their offensive skill positions from last year and have had a few players sustain injuries. Though they have eight starters back on defense from last year, they’ve allowed an average of 28.5 points in their first two games.
The Falcons’ triple-option offense hasn’t struggled in either game, though. Clinton-Massie ran for 342 yards in a close loss to Turpin and 318 yards in a win over Blanchester.
“We’ve just got to minimize our mistakes, and we’ll be okay,” Meeks said.
• Kenton Ridge travels to West Liberty-Salem for a nonconference game a week after both teams lost to CBC Mad River opponents. Benjamin Logan beat the Tigers 28-14 and Indian Lake beat Kenton Ridge 35-3. West Liberty-Salem, who lost 39-34 to Valley View in Week 1, is 0-2 for the first time since 1999.
Both teams had costly turnovers. The Cougars had two passes picked off and a punt blocked and recovered for a touchdown, while West Liberty-Salem had an interception that set up a touchdown drive.
• Springfield has a long road trip for the third week in a row. The Wildcats (1-1) play at Lima Senior, who beat winless teams in Middletown and Marion Harding to start the season. Both of Lima Senior’s wins came by seven-point margins.
• Mechanicsburg senior quarterback Kaleb Romero is off to a fast start again. He’s rushed for 329 yards and five touchdowns in the Indians’ first two games and has thrown for 111 yards and two scores.
• Greenon may have the best chance this season to break its three-year losing streak tonight in a nonconference game at West Carrollton. The Pirates (0-2) have had similar struggles to Greenon. They have a 2-30 record since 2013 and lost every GWOC South game last season by an average of 46.6 points per game.
Greenon lost to London 20-14 last Friday, which is the closest game it’s played in the last three years. Knights’ head coach Kevin Ferguson is a West Carrollton graduate.