London steamrolls Shawnee to earn share of CBC Kenton Trail

Cutline: Shawnee High School sophomore TJ Meeks tackles London's Antwaun Burns during their game on Friday night in Springfield. The Red Raiders beat the Braves 39-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER
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Cutline: Shawnee High School sophomore TJ Meeks tackles London's Antwaun Burns during their game on Friday night in Springfield. The Red Raiders beat the Braves 39-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

SPRINGFIELD — With a share of the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division championship on the line, the Shawnee High School football team couldn’t find a way to stop London’s offensive attack.

Red Raiders senior running back Antwaun Burns rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns as London beat the Braves 39-0 on a rainy Friday night in Springfield. The Red Raiders wracked up more than 400 yards of title offense in the victory and clinched at least a share of its first CBC Kenton Trail championship since joining the league in 2019.

“They were the better football team,” said Braves coach Rick Meeks. “Physically, we just didn’t match up. Their boys had been in the weight room, you could tell up front. Hats off to them.”

Shawnee junior quarterback RJ Griffin rushed for 66 yards for the Braves, which fell to 6-3 and 3-1 in the CBC Kenton Trail.

“We just got out physicaled on both sides of the ball,” Meeks said. “They weren’t doing anything (different) defensively, we just couldn’t get them blocked. We were just completely out of sync it seemed like.”

Shawnee’s TJ Meeks recovered a fumble on London’s opening possession, but the Braves weren’t able to capitalize. Griffin pinned the Red Raiders on their own 2-yard line, but five plays later, London’s Dylan Combs hit Ayden Cooper on a 71-yard TD pass to give them an early 7-0 lead.

The Braves drove the ball into London territory, but were forced to punt again. Griffin again pinned the Red Raiders on their own 2, but London drove 98 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 12-yard run by Burns.

“We put them in some bad field position and to their credit, we couldn’t stop them,” Rick Meeks said.

Shawnee again drove to midfield, but the Red Raiders were able to hold on fourth down. On the ensuing possession, London drove 85 yards in 14 plays, scoring on a 3-yard run by freshman Noah Sollars to make it 20-0.

On the next play from scrimmage, Cooper intercepted Griffin’s pass and took it 35 yards for a touchdown to give London a 26-0 lead.

Burns scored on a 1-yard run with 57 seconds remaining to make it 32-0 at the half. In the fourth quarter, Roby scored on a 77-yard run to make it 39-0.

The Braves were missing four starters due to injuries and illness and lost senior offensive lineman Cain Gonzalez to a broken hand during the game.

“We’ve got to get healthy and regroup,” Meeks said.

Shawnee will need help to earn a share of its first CBC Kenton Trail Division title since 2011.

The Braves need to win at Jonathan Alder next week and hope Bellefontaine can upset London in the regular-season finale.

With a victory, the Braves could also earn a top-four seed in the Division 5, Region 20 playoffs. The top eight teams in each region will host first-round games as part of the new Ohio High School Athletic Association 16-team playoff format.

“That would put us in a really good position to play a lower seed at home,” Rick Meeks said. “That’s our motivation at this point.”

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