- By Michael Cooper Contributing Writer
One of the area’s best high school football rivalries will resume in Week 2.
Shawnee (1-0) travels to former Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division rival Tippecanoe (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Tipp City Park. The Braves and Red Devils last battled for a CBC title in 2015, but the rivalry has held strong over the past three seasons.
Shawnee beat Greenon 40-21 in Week 1; Tippecanoe fell 17-9 to Bellbrook.
“We want to keep our momentum going and they obviously want to get into the win column,” Meeks said.
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In the competitive CBC Kenton Trail, Tippecanoe won four titles between 2007-15; Shawnee won two. Each team in the division won at least a share of one conference championship during that period.
In 2016, Tippecanoe joined the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North. The Red Devils have won both games against the Braves, winning 38-0 last season.
Friday’s game is going to look similar to previous matchups, Meeks said. Both teams will run the same offense and defense it has for years, including Tippecanoe with its trademark wing-T.
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“They have very experienced kids,” he said. “Every year they have a bunch of seniors that are playing. It’s going to be experience against youth.”
With Brian Blevins taking over as offensive coordinator at Greenon, Meeks knew the Week 1 matchup would be a dogfight, especially with a young team. The Braves trailed 21-19 at halftime but scored three times in the second half to win.
“They had a good scheme, good coaching, a good quarterback,” Meeks said. “We were able to tighten up a little bit in the second half.”
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Offensively, the Braves punted just one time. Junior quarterback Robie Glass eclipsed 100 yards rushing.
Week 1’s victory may be a good sign for the Braves. The last time Shawnee beat Tippecanoe – 35-28 in 2015 – it followed a Braves defeat of Greenon.
The Braves’ four seniors were freshmen the last time Shawnee beat Tipp.
“They understand it’s going to take a massive effort for us to do it,” Meeks said. “Football is a numbers game and they’ve got 30 more kids on the roster than we do. Our kids are going to play on both sides of the ball and they’re going to play special teams. They’re going to be Iron Men and play Iron Man football.”
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• Springfield High School is on the road for three straight weeks, traveling more than 580 miles round trip for matchups at Fairfield, Hudson and GWOC National East rival Centerville.
The Wildcats will make the 75-mile trip to Fairfield this week to face an Indians squad that beat Centerville 49-21 in Week 1. Indians running back JuTahn MClain scored a school-record seven touchdowns, including three rushing, three receiving and a 92-yard kickoff return. He finished with 437 all-purpose yards, including 184 rushing yards.
In Week 3, the Wildcats will travel more than 350 miles round trip to play Hudson at Summit County. The Explorers fell to Austintown-Fitch 20-9 in their season opener.
The Wildcats travel to Centerville in Week 4. They’ll return home to play Lebanon in Week 5.
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• Week 1 was an especially difficult one for the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River and the Ohio Heritage Conference South Divisions.
The CBC Mad River Division went 1-4. Northwestern earned the lone victory, beating Southeastern 49-7. In its other four losses, the rest of the division – Urbana, Graham, Benjamin Logan and Indian Lake – were outscored a combined 143-29.
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It was the same for the OHC South. Greeneview beat Arcanum 49-7, but the rest of the division – Southeastern, Catholic Central, Greenon, Madison Plains and Cedarville – went 0-5 and were outscored 207-46.