Something had to give when Marion County played Brantley in the class 1A title game Thursday, and it ended up being the Red Raiders that budged. Their offense came in averaging about 50 points per game, and the Bulldogs had nine shutouts in 2012 to their name. With steady offense and an aggressive, sound-tackling D, Brantley was able to notch shutout No. 10 en route to the state title, 33-0.
Here are the players that stood out because of their play.
2014 WR/DB O.J. Guice (6-foot-1, 165 lbs) – Lining up all over the field, Guice was a thorn in the Red Raiders’ side all afternoon. He got Brantley on the board early with an over-the-shoulder touchdown grab and duplicated the effort in the second quarter. In between, Guice was an active runner, nearly breaking a handful of runs before capping his night with a 21-yard touchdown after seemingly being tackled short of the 10-yard line. Guice finished the day with 146 yards and three scores on just 13 touches.
2014 RB Andrew Parker (5-foot-10, 180 lbs) – With a solid burst and nice slashing ability, Parker is the workhorse that makes the Bulldogs tick. He counters Guice’s grace and speed with some up-the-middle precision and the ability to break tackles in traffic. The grinder finished with 111 yards and a score on 22 carries and added a pair of catches for 18 yards. He was seldom stopped by the first defender his way, evident on his late touchdown in which he laid-out backwards to cross the plane.
2013 LB Adrian Howard (6-foot-1, 183 lbs) – Howard is a flat-out tackling machine. He goes sideline to sideline and everywhere in between with ease. He’s not big enough to play linebacker at the next level, but you can’t teach his natural ability to get to the ball and make a play. Howard paced everybody in this one with 14 tackles.
2013 DL/OL Taylor Driggers (6-foot-2, 265 lbs) – A bit undersized, but there’s no denying Driggers’ talent on either line. He has a high motor on defense and is more athletic than he looks. Offensively, he’s a relentless blocker that can make plays in space to spring runners. Driggers finished with eight tackles, including a pair for loss of yards.
2013 DB Terrence Bogen (6-foot-3, 180 lbs) – Bogen was a staple on one side of the field for the Bulldogs, who finished off their dominant season. The senior had a late interception to all but seal the game, but he played well all afternoon against the run as an edge defender and above-average tackler. Bogen was one of five Bulldogs to stop an opposing ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage.
2014 RB/DB Ready Swanigan (5-foot-10, 180 lbs) – A versatile runner, Swanigan is somewhat raw in his ability to ready blocks and make the cut in time, but when he’s given the ball inside on a quick-hitter – he can break the long one. He doubles as a defensive back, and had a great interception in the second-half coupled with a solid return that he nearly brought all the way back. Swanigan did all he could against the stingy Bulldogs, totaling 33 yards on eight carries offensively.
2013 RB/DB DeShawn Riebesehl (6-foot-2, 180 lbs) – With good length and speed, Riebesehl can stretch the field with the ball in his hands. He was bottled up in this one, getting tripped up on a 14-yard catch that seemed like it had a chance to go the distance.