The Shawnee High School football team knew exactly what was coming in its playoff game against Clinton-Massie — a smashmouth running game.
The young Braves, however, couldn’t stop it.
Clinton-Massie’s Brendan Lamb rushed for 80 yards and four touchdowns and Jake Vaughn added 151 yards and a TD as the Falcons cruised to a 46-0 victory over Shawnee in a Division IV, Region 16 quarterfinal game on Saturday night.
Shawnee finished its season 6-5, advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
“We were just physically overmatched,” said Braves coach Rick Meeks.
The Falcons (10-2) advanced to play London (10-1) in a Region 16 semifinal game next Saturday night. The Red Raiders — who will join the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division next season — beat host Taft 37-21.
Clinton-Massie wracked up 381 rushing yards and punted just twice.
Meanwhile, the Braves struggled offensively, gaining 77 yards and turning the ball over three times.
Lamb scored on runs of 3, 6 and 4 yards to give the Falcons a 19-0 first quarter lead.
Vaughn, Lamb and Corey Stulz each had rushing TDs in the second quarter to give the Falcons a 39-0 halftime lead, requiring the running clock in the second half.
The Braves allowed just one touchdown in the final 24 minutes and drove the ball into Falcons territory but were unable to score. It was the first time they were shutout this season.
“Our kids continued to fight,” Meeks said. “The effort was there.”
After starting the season 4-1, the Braves dropped three straight to Tecumseh, Urbana and Kenton Ridge. Back-to-back victories against Bellefontaine and Jonathan Alder lifted the Braves into the playoffs a year earlier than they likely expected to be there.
Shawnee began the season with 11 new starters on defense and 10 new starters on offense.
“If you would’ve told me we were going to be in this situation and that we were going to be a playoff team, I would’ve told you you were crazy,” Meeks said. “I’m real proud of that. We would’ve liked to have played them tougher, but with so many young kids, freshman and sophomores, against seniors … we were in over our heads.”
The playoff game was a learning experience for Shawnee, who should return all but four players next season. The Braves will graduate four seniors — Pete Mueller, Nick Humphreys, Devin Harris and Cam White.
“Our goal is to get back to the playoffs and be doing this to people instead of it being done to us,” Meeks said. “The future is bright. We’ve got a good eighth grade class coming in.”
Northwestern trailed 34-0 at the half. The Warriors finished 7-4.
Nick Clevenger scored on a 6-yard run with 9:46 remaining to take a 28-21 lead.
The 10-1 Rams will play Wheelersburg (10-1) in a Region 20 semifinal next week at a site to be determined. The Pirates beat Portsmouth West 52-7.