breaking news

Mother distraught to learn daughter buried in wrong grave

Prep football: Shawnee eager for test against ‘loaded’ Bellefontaine

The roller coaster that is the Shawnee Braves football season, as coach Rick Meeks calls it, is on the upswing.

The Braves were siting at 2-3 three weeks ago following a 7-6 loss to Northwestern on a fourth-quarter touchdown. Shawnee, behind its run-stopping defense, responded with consecutive wins against Urbana (34-7) and Kenton Ridge (21-3).

That pushed Shawnee to No. 9 in the Division IV, Region 16 playoff computer rankings. The Braves can go even higher with a win Friday.


»High School Football: Is your team in playoff contention?

»High School results for Oct. 10

»High School Football: Week 8 schedule

Shawnee (4-3 overall, 1-0 Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail) hosts Bellefontaine (6-1, 2-0 CBC) in a clash of the last two unbeaten teams in the Kenton Trail Division. And, not that the Braves are looking ahead, but after tonight Jonathan Alder (5-2, 1-1 CBC) is up next.

Shawnee is taking it one challenge at a time.

“(Bellefontaine is) loaded,” Meeks said. “They’re an extremely good team and well coached. It’s a tall order for us. We’re big underdogs going in this week. Our kids have a good attitude and hope to compete.”

Bellefontaine senior quarterback Dezmin Lyburtus enters fifth in the league in passing with 1,124 yards and third in the league in rushing with 993. He rolled up 228 yards passing and 121 rushing in a 19-6 win against Alder last week.

Last week against Kenton Ridge, Shawnee held dual-threat quarterback Dylan Lemen to 159 yards passing and minus-4 yards rushing on 12 carries. Lemen averages 106 yards per game rushing. As a team the Cougars finished with 35 yards rushing on 30 carries.

“We’ve played well defensively all year, even though the scores like Tipp (38-0) and Clinton-Massie (30-7) were skewed by the inability on offense at times and special teams,” Meeks said, noting 17 of the points scored by Clinton-Massie came against the Braves’ special teams. “We knew we’d be pretty good defensively.”

Senior lineman Billy Forbes, a starter on both lines, has helped lead the way.

“He’s been a stalwart and workaholic all year. He’s a great leader,” Meeks said. “Even during the down times he came to practice every day and got to work. He’s a grinder. He’s a good example for the guys.”

Jack McCrory leads the Braves with 46 tackles. Tanner VanVelzor (36), Aaron Schack (26), Cyres Cooper (23) and Billy Lord (22) round out the top five with Forbes next. They’ll be key if the Braves are to pull the upset against the Chieftains.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Meeks said. “We’re relishing the underdog role. The pressure is on them since they’re the ones supposed to win. We’re going to go compete, hopefully get some breaks and maybe we can steal one from them. It’s been a roller coaster season. Our kids have a good attitude and we’re trying to embrace that we control our own destiny.”

• It’s win and you’re in for the Springfield Wildcats, who are No. 9 in the Division I, Region 3 computer points. That’s easier said than done, though, with the juggernaut lineup the Wildcats face the final three games.

Springfield (5-2) hosts Beavercreek on Friday night. The Beavers are 5-2 overall and ranked No. 10 in Region 3.

Springfield closes out the regular season on the road at Wayne (5-2, No. 6 Region 3) and at Fairmont (6-1, No. 4 Region 3).

Last week Northmont held Springfield to 81 yards rushing on 30 attempts as a team, limiting Tavion Smoot to 26 yards on 12 carries and Leonard Taylor to 34 yards on 11 attempts. The Wildcats will need the running game in high gear against the Beavers, who rank among the GWOC’s best, allowing 106 yards per game.

• Twelve teams reside in the Ohio Heritage Conference. Half of them are still in contention for the playoffs.

West Jefferson has the best shot sitting No. 5 in D-V, Region 20. Greeneview and Mechanicsburg hold No. 6 spots in D-V, Region 20 and D-VI, Region 24 respectively. West Liberty-Salem is No. 8 in D-VI, Region 24. The Tigers can improve their position with a win tonight against Fairbanks and next week against West Jefferson.

Catholic Central is No. 9 in D-VII, Region 28 and Fairbanks is No. 10 in D-VI, Region 23.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Hartsock Podcast: Interview with Reds’ Marty Brennaman
Hartsock Podcast: Interview with Reds’ Marty Brennaman

WHIO-TV Sports Director Mike Hartsock spoke at length with Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman for the latest episode of his “Stay Right There” podcast. Get the latest on the Reds from one of broadcasting’s greats. Catch the latest episodes of Mike Hartsock’s “Stay Right There&rdquo...
Here’s how the NFL will define a catch next year (hopefully)
Here’s how the NFL will define a catch next year (hopefully)

Remember how the catch rules in the NFL have been a disaster the last few years?  Apparently that might not be the case anymore.  I hesitate to be too quick to rubberstamp the announcement made by NFL director of officiating Al Riveron, but I would say it’s OK to be optimistic things will be better next season.  If the NFL competition...
Changes are coming to the NFL draft broadcasts
Changes are coming to the NFL draft broadcasts

The NFL has announced new ways fans can watch the draft in April, including one that could be intriguing to college football fans in particular.  NFL Network and ESPN will continue broadcasting the annual talent distribution festival, and Fox is jumping in as well via a partnership with the league’s channel.  For the first time ever...
Trotwood still smarting from last season’s state semifinal loss
Trotwood still smarting from last season’s state semifinal loss

Trotwood-Madison has had a boys basketball season full of great memories. But that doesn’t mean the Rams are over their most bitter disappointment. That would be a stunning last-second loss to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in last season’s Division II state semifinals. The Rams had beaten the Irish by 39 points in the regular season. &ldquo...
Parking lot practices propelled the career of newest Bengals LB
Parking lot practices propelled the career of newest Bengals LB

Preston Brown’s path to the NFL – and ultimately to his hometown Cincinnati Bengals after signing a free-agent contract last week – was fueled by numerous pit stops at Burger King. But rather than burgers and fries, the visits centered around traffic cones and beanbags as Brown’s father, Mike, would help his son, a starter at...
More Stories