LIMA — Shawnee came on strong in the second half for a 20-13 win over Lima Central Catholic on Thursday night at Shawnee in a football rivalry that had been dormant for the last 35 years.
Tommy Spyker’s 25-yard run on Shawnee’s first possession of the second gave Shawnee a 20-13 lead and the defense held LCC scoreless in the final two quarters for the win.
This came after a first half when the Thunderbirds gained more than twice as many yards total offense as the Indians but Shawnee still managed to go to the locker room in a 13-13 tie.
“We thought at halftime we found a couple things. They were really slanting and attacking us really hard so we thought we would give them some double tights and run the ball right straight at them,” Shawnee coach Jerry Cooper said.
“There were lots of good things,” he said. “We did what we said we had to do at the beginning of the game defensively which was keep them in front of us. If we keep them in front of us they don’t get those big gashing plays.”
LCC’s last threat ended when Zach Noonan intercepted a pass with 1:23 left in the game.
The Indians struck first when their defense got the game’s first touchdown when Keegan Wilson picked up a fumble just 22 seconds into the game and sprinted 30 yards for a score that put Shawnee up 7-0.
LCC got the next two scores in the game, the first on a drive that began at Shawnee’s 33-yard line and the other that began on the Indians’ 35-yard line.
The 33-yard drive was set up when the Thunderbirds recovered a fumble at the Shawnee 33-yard line.
The two biggest plays in the drive were a double pass that had Carson Parker throwing a 15-yard pass to quarterback Evan Unruh and Quintel Peoples taking it to the endzone on an 11-yard run to cut the lead to 7-6 with 8:15 left in the second quarter.
LCC grabbed a 13-7 lead on a 9-yard touchdown run by Unruh with 3:33 left in the first half and an extra-point kick by Michael Taflinger.
Shawnee’s offense, which struggled much of the first half, got a boost when Chase Beery returned a kickoff to the Indians’ 41-yard line. Two plays later Tyler Windau connected with Keaton Cooper for a 42-yard pass play to LCC’s 15-yard line.
Two plays after that Windau ran 11 yards for a touchdown that tied the game 13-13 with 1:45 left in the first half.
LCC outgained Shawnee 154 yards to 62 yards total offense in the first half, a total which was affected by a 24-yard loss when a snap went over the quarterback’s head and Connor Gephart sacked Windau for a 10-yard loss.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.