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Red Raiders make statement in shutout at Shawnee

Story by Michael Browning

Photos by Chris Whitacre


SPRINGFIELD — The London Red Raider Football Team secured a share of the CBC Kenton Trail Division title with a convincing 39-0 victory over the Springfield Shawnee Braves. The win, the seventh straight for the Red Raiders, improves their record to 7-2 and 4-0 in the CBC. With a Week 10 victory, the Red Raiders can secure an outright conference championship.


London started out moving the ball, but a fumble on the first possession gave Shawnee the glimmer of hope they were looking for. The Braves began to move the ball, only to be stood up by the strong Red Raider defense.


After a Shawnee punt, downed at the two-yard line, the Red Raider offense began to move the ball, but momentum took a backwards turn as penalties attempted to slow the offense for a second series. Instead, Senior Dylan Combs found a wide-open Ayden Cooper for a 71-yard TD pass and catch. The speedy Cooper made it look easy as he raced down the sideline to put the Red Raiders up 7-0, after the Ryan Fullmer PAT.


Another Shawnee punt to the two-yard line pinned the London offense, but they ran their way out of trouble and finished with an Antwaun Burns 12-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 14-0.


Defense was the name of this game, as London forced another punt before the offense marched down the field to the three-yard line. That is where Freshman Noah Sollars pounded his way into the endzone for a 20-0 lead.


The Braves did not have any answers offensively against the disciplined and aggressive London front line. The defensive unit put pressure on Shawnee and forced a late pick-six for Cooper to give London all the momentum and a 26-0 advantage.


But the Red Raiders, with less than two-minutes left in the half, forced a three-and-out and got the ball back with little time on the clock. To get into scoring position, Combs found fellow Senior Richard Dodson open down the right sideline where he was pushed out at the two-yard line. A half the distance for roughing penalty took it to the one and Burns walked in for his second score and a 32-0 halftime lead.


With a running clock in the second half, neither team had real scoring opportunities and the lone score was a Damian Roby 77-yard run in the final minute of the game.


The defensive shutout was well earned for the Red Raiders, as they have now held five opponents to a touchdown or less. The 86 points against is best in the Kenton Trail Division by 97 points overall. In looking at only conference games, London has given up 24 points in the four games.


London will face Bellefontaine next Friday. Bellefontaine, 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the CBC, will look to upset the Red Raiders and deny them the outright conference championship. London, and their stingy defense, will have other plans.