Warriors hold Shawnee to 106 offensive yards and get historic shutout win over Braves.
SPRINGFIELD — Northwestern was looking for a marquee win and got it Friday night at Taylor Field. The Warriors beat Shawnee 21-0 to improve to 3-1 overall on the season. It was Northwestern’s first victory over Shawnee since 1991 and only their seventh all-time win over the Braves.
Northwestern scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and never looked back as Shawnee struggled to get anything going on offense in the game.
“It’s great for us to get a win over a program like Shawnee,” Northwestern head coach Seth Whiting said. “I know they’re down a few guys, but that’s fine… It’s a great win for the kids. We’ve been telling them all along to keep fighting, keep fighting, and keep fighting and good things will happen. It’s just taken three or four years here to get the kids going in the right direction.”
The Warriors’ defense shined in the game. Northwestern tackled Shawnee behind the line of scrimmage 15 times in the game and held the Braves to a season-low 106 total yards on offense. The Braves made it to the red zone only once in the game and didn’t make it past midfield much.
Most of Shawnee’s offense came through the air. Michael Guyer completed 7 of 17 passing attempts for 104 yards. Shawnee had two total rushing yards on 37 carries in the game.
Shawnee head coach Rick Meeks says the Braves are playing several normal J.V. players on varsity and had communication issues. Guyer, normally a running back, is Shawnee’s fourth starting quarterback this year. The previous three quarterbacks (Alec Bennett, Will Finch and Zach Avery) are all out with injuries.
“We have to remain so basic with what we do because those guys are so young we can’t do (much),” Meeks said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Northwestern. They played well. Coach Whiting’s done a great job since he’s been there…
“But we’ve just had so much trouble. They (Northwestern) were timing up our cadence on offense. We’ve got a running back at quarterback. We’re just trying to do the best we can.”
Northwestern’s offense didn’t produce many fireworks but did more than enough to earn the win. Quarterback Trevor Gebby ran for two short touchdowns, and Cole Baldwin scored the game’s first points on a 26-yard run. Baldwin led Northwestern with 54 rushing yards. Gebby threw for 82 yards and rushed for 17.
The Warriors had 216 yards on offense and controlled the clock for 27 minutes in the game.
Whiting said a big key on defense for Northwestern was neutralizing Shawnee receiver David Barnett. Barnett, a Division I prospect, was held to just one catch in the game for 15 yards and had -10 rushing yards on three carries.
“Our defense played excellent tonight,” Whiting said. “I know they’re down a few guys… We’re hoping they can get some guys back and do some damage on their side (of the CBC). They’re still a good football team. I hope their kids are still fighting and keeping their heads up because they’re going to get some wins.”
Northwestern pinned Shawnee deep after it scored its first touchdown. The Braves went three-and-out and punted. After the punt, the Warriors got the ball at Shawnee’s 19-yard line. They drove down and scored with six minutes left in the second on a one-yard keeper by Trevor Gebby. The touchdown gave the Warriors all the confidence they needed heading into the second half.
“I think it set the tone up front,” Whiting said of the drive. “Our kids knew that they could move the ball and control the line of scrimmage. Their linebackers are very aggressive playing downhill. We knew if we could stretch them side-to-side a little bit and move those ‘backers that we’d be able to hit them up the middle.”
Play of the Game
After struggling on offense in the first quarter, Northwestern came alive in the second. Cole Baldwin took a handoff up the middle 26 yards with 11:10 left in the second for the Warriors’ first touchdown. It was all the points the Warriors would need.
Northwestern quarterback Trevor Gebby on the keys to the win:
“Defense. We had to stop their offense for sure. We changed a couple of things up on offense and confused their defense. But overall our defense did a great job tonight.”
- Northwestern’s win over Shawnee was their first since a 10-8 win in 1991 according to Steve Fourman.
- Shawnee leads the all-time series between the schools 40-7. The average all-time score in the series is 32-8.
- Shawnee almost changed the complexion of the game. Receiver Todd King took a short pass 70 yards for a touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter. The score was negated by a blocking penalty, however. Shawnee ending up punting on the drive.
- Shawnee’s 0-4 start is its worst since starting 1-3 in 2003.
- Gebby has thrown for four touchdowns and rushed for four touchdowns this season.
- The game was the debut for a new scoreboard at Taylor Field.
Northwestern plays another CBC Kenton Trail team next week at Kenton Ridge. The Cougars (3-1) beat Northwestern 70-13 last year.
Shawnee finally gets relief on its schedule. Its first four opponents have a combined 10-6 record. The Braves return home next Friday to play Greenon (0-5). The Knights are struggling with a small roster; they lost 54-6 to Kenton Ridge on Friday. The Cougars led 47-0 at halftime.