BY JIM COX

Times Bulletin Correspondent

sports@timesbulletin.com

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP - It could hardly have been a tougher ending to Van Wert's football season Friday night. Facing the Western Buckeye League's best defense, arguably the WBL's second best offense, a strong wind, and rain for almost half of the game, the Cougars were dominated by Shawnee 47-6. Shawnee ends its regular season at 7-3 overall and 7-2 in the WBL. Van Wert finishes at 5-5 and 5-4.

As difficult as it may be for those who saw the game to imagine, nobody from Shawnee was talking playoffs afterwards. A lot of unlikely outcomes would be needed for the Indians to make it to Week 11.

Things went badly for the Cougars right out of the chute as Kishen Das ran the opening kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown. The PAT kick was skulled leaving the score at 6-0 with only seven seconds gone. Van Wert went three and out, and three plays later Jamiil Williams went 62 yards for another Shawnee score. Treg Brown booted the PAT to up the margin to 13-0 after only 2:26 had elapsed.

Van Wert got a first down on its next possession before punting. On the first play after that, the Indians' do-everything running back/punter/defensive lineman Isaiah Irons busted up the middle for 52 yards and another TD. Brown kicked the PAT - 20-0, Indians, after only five minutes.

Although the Cougar offense was going nowhere, the defense stiffened and the Indians failed to score on their next two possessions. The Van Wert offense even got as far as the Shawnee 36-yard-line on one occasion, thanks mostly to a 51-yard running punt by Donny Sites that changed the field position advantage to the Cougs. That, however, was the last time Van Wert would enter Shawnee territory until the fourth quarter, long after the outcome had been decided.

Shawnee scored again with 4:08 left in the half on a two-yard run by C. J. Sewell to make it 26-0, and the Indians were only three yards away from another score when time expired in the first half. The Indians scored twice in the third period - the first on an eight yard pass from Seth Rosenbauer to Trey Runneals and the second on a weird, if very generous play by Luke Morgan. After sweeping around the right side for a sure 14-yard TD run, instead of entering the end zone, Morgan lateralled the ball to freshman lineman Brandon Howell, who went the last yard for the score. It was 40-0 at the end of three.

After a 37-yard TD run by Irons upped the score to 47-0, the Van Wert offense started rolling, mainly via the arm of Fleming. An interception in the end zone stymied, temporarily, the Cougars' first score, but one possession later, Fleming faked out the Indians - and most of the crowd - with a 13-yard bootleg for the score.

Shawnee, using several very athletic running backs, but mainly Sewell and Irons, piled up 517 total yards, with Irons leading the way - 208 yards on 19 carries for two TD's. Van Wert had 192 total yards, 110 of which came in the fourth quarter. Connor Massillo was held to 32 yards on 10 carries. Fleming hit on 8 of 22 aerials for 135 yards. Shawnee out-first downed the Cougars 19 to 7.