SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — What a difference a week makes.
In last weeks’ season opening games St. Marys blasted Sidney 71-21 while Shawnee was getting blanked by Marion Local 47-0.
But that was last week and this was a new week and Shawnee knocked off St. Marys 34-20 in the Western Buckeye League opener for both schools. The game, played at Shawnee, began Friday night and was completed Saturday afternoon after being halted after three quarters due to lightening.
The Indians defense was stellar against the relentless running game favored by the Roughriders. The Shawnee defense limited St. Marys to 126 yards on the ground after the Roughriders had exploded for 744 rushing yards in their opener.
“Overall our defense played good, we limited their big running plays,” Shawnee coach Steve Owen said. ”We had a couple of big drives, especially one in the fourth quarter that ate up a lot of time. It feels good, we were down after last week but they responded well.”
The Shawnee (1-1, 1-0 Western Buckeye League) defensive effort was led by linemen Richard Duebler, Rakim Hawthorne, and Janson McCormick. Linebackers Zach Kaplan and Jordan Spencer provided excellent support in stopping the run.
St. Marys (1-1, 0-1 WBL) grabbed a 6-0 lead when Isaac Fitzgerald went in from 1-yard out late in the first quarter.
Shawnee answered and took the lead 7-6 on the strength of a 40-yard scoring run by quarterback Collin Rambin and a successful conversion kick by Ben Bryant.
The score stayed the same until Angelo Fox dashed 81 yards to pay-dirt late in the second period on his first carry of the contest and the Indians took a 14-6 lead to the half.
Rambin hit Grant Wheeler with a 15-yard scoring strike midway through the third period and Kaplan picked up a St. Marys fumble and rumbled 58-yards to the end zone to put Shawnee up 27-6.
St. Marys would close the gap to 27-13 when Fitzgerald scored on a 2-yard run late in the third period just before play was halted.
Shawnee controlled the ball for most of the fourth quarter and scored late to go up 34-13 on a Fox 2-yard run before St. Marys closed out the scoring with 12 seconds to play on a Dustin Howell to Quinn Zaerr 20-yard pass play.
“As well as we played last week, we played as bad this week and that blame falls on my shoulders,” St. Marys coach Doug Frye said. “Credit goes to Shawnee, they were a better team than us tonight.”