Shawnee rolls past Urbana in season opener

Shawnee High School football coach Rick Meeks wanted to make a statement on the opening drive against a young Urbana football team Friday night.

The Braves opened the game in a powerhouse backfield, pounding the ball down the field with running backs Max Guyer and Tyler Mercer.

“(Urbana) is young and inexperienced,” Meeks said. “The thought was let’s see what they’ve got and get physical with them. It was good to come out (and score).”

Guyer scored on an 1-yard touchdown run to give the Braves an early lead — and they never looked back.

Mercer had two touchdown runs as Shawnee rolled to a 40-3 victory over the Hillclimbers in a Central Buckeye Conference crossover game .

Drew Mitch and Jamon Miller also ran for TDs for the Braves (1-0). Miller had two other touchdowns called back due to penalties. They also had two turnovers.

“It was sloppy,” Meeks said. “We probably had 200 yards in penalties. Three touchdowns called back and two of them were long runs. It was an enormous amount of penalties. That can’t happen. I give credit to Urbana. They kept fighting. They’re young.”

After Guyer’s TD run, Shawnee’s Evan Thomas scooped up a fumble and returned it 42 yards for a defensive touchdown to make it 14-0 early in the first quarter.

On the next drive, Mitch scored on a 62-yard run. The senior quarterback hadn’t played in a real football game since Oct. 11 of last year. He broke his collarbone in the Braves’ Week 7 game against Tecumseh, missing five games, including the playoffs.

“We came out as a team and executed,” he said. “We had a few mistakes. We have to clean those up for next week.”

Miller, who went to Springfield last year, finally scored on a 20-yard run to make it 33-3 midway through the third quarter.

“He’s a very explosive athlete,” Meeks said. “We’ve got to get his assignments down, but it’s his first year in our system. He adds a different dimension. He’ll be one of the best athletes in the conference. He’s fast, he’s got moves and he can catch.”

Freshman Will Donahoe made a 34-yard field goal for the Hillclimbers (0-1), who travel to Northwestern next Friday.

Shawnee hosts Bellefontaine in Week 2 to open CBC Kenton Trail Division play. The Chieftains beat Indian Lake 20-0.

“It’s typically always a battle with those guys,” Meeks said. “We’ve got to get ourselves ready.”

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