“I’m proud of our guys for the way they came back and fought in the overtime,” Meeks said, “but we made a lot of mistakes.”
Shawnee senior quarterback Drew Mitch rushed for 117 yards as the Braves improved to 2-0 and 1-0 in the Kenton Trail Division.
Braves junior Tyler Mercer scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter to give them a 6-0 lead at the half.
With 7:25 remaining in the third quarter, Bellefontaine’s Ethan Moore found Jaeden Campbell for a 71-yard TD pass, but the extra point was blocked by the Braves, tying the score at 6-6.
The Braves moved into Bellefontaine territory multiple times in the second half, but were never able to punch the ball into the end zone.
The defense, however, wouldn’t budge. Mercer sacked Bellefontaine’s Ethan Moore to give the Braves the ball back with 4:40 remaining in regulation.
“(Mercer) goes hard all the time,” Meeks said. “He goes hard in practice. He’s a player.”
Shawnee drove the ball to the Chieftains’ 11-yard line, but Mitch fumbled and Bellefontaine’s Ty Leeper recovered.
“If we don’t have turnovers or penalties, we’re able to run the ball,” Meeks said. “It was very frustrating.”
The Chieftains drove to Shawnee’s 26, but turned the ball over on downs with :50 seconds remaining, setting up overtime.
Shawnee got the ball first to start the OT. On 3rd-and-7 from the 17, Mitch found senior wide receiver Jamon Miller for a 12-yard completion to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Guyer scampered into the end zone to give Shawnee the lead.
Bellefontaine had a chance to tie the game, but the Braves defense held on 4th-and-2 to seal the victory.
The Shawnee-Bellefontaine rivalry has been strong for years, said Chieftains coach Jason Brown. Last season, Shawnee beat Bellefontaine 36-29 in a back-and-forth thriller that saw six touchdowns scored in the fourth quarter.
“It’s been that way since back when we played in high school,” he said.. “It’s been an intense rivalry between these two schools. I think there’s great competitive spirit between Coach Meeks’ staff and our staff. We know each other well.”
Bellefontaine fell to 1-1 and 0-1. The Chieftains host Jonathan Alder (2-0, 1-0) next week.
Shawnee travels to Tecumseh (1-1, 0-1) next week.
“We’ve got plenty to work on (before next week),” Meeks said. “We’ve got to work on us.”