HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER GAME OF THE WEEK
By SAM McGAW | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
Even on a night with a steady mist and a sloppy field, the Ravenwood Raptors proved they’ve found their footing.
Led by Sam French’s two field goals and a dominant defensive performance, Ravenwood improved to 2-1 on the season with a 13-10 victory at home against Region 6-6A rival Franklin on Friday.
“I told our players I’m proud we stuck together and trusted each other,” Ravenwood first-year head coach Matt Daniels said. “This is the first game all year you could tell everyone on offense and defense, had trust. The offense knew every time the defense went out there, they were going to make a stop.”
The win is Ravenwood’s second straight after it lost the season-opener against Centennial. Franklin fell to 0-3, including 0-2 in region play.
French connected on a 37-yard field goal for the go-ahead score with 5:10 remaining.
“It is a head coach’s dream to have a weapon like that,” Daniels said. “Obviously, he made a couple of big field goals, but it was huge for him to take away the return game on a sloppy night like this. I think when it comes to special teams and managing mistakes, we came out on top. That’s what resulted in the win.”
After allowing 685 rushing yards through the first two weeks of the season, the Raptors held Franklin to just 74 yards on the ground and 13 through the air. Franklin struggled to find a rhythm on offense, as bad snaps and fumbles plagued them throughout the evening.
“They played in the same conditions as us, so the weather had nothing to do with it,” Franklin head coach Donnie Webb said about his offense’s performance. “Two teams were playing and one (let the weather) affect them, and the other didn’t.”
The rain influenced Ravenwood’s first touchdown of the game.
On the game-opening drive, Ravenwood quarterback Brian Garcia threw an interception on third-and-4 at Franklin’s 5-yard line. However, after establishing possession of the ball, the interceptor let it slip through his hands and Ravenwood recovered it for a fresh set of downs.
Running back Cameron Scherer capitalized on the opportunity with a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:35 left in the first quarter.
A muffed punt by Franklin at its own 15 led to a 29-yard field goal by French to extend Ravenwood’s lead to 10-0 four minutes into the second frame.
After a fumble by Scherer, Franklin running back Matt Gaca cut his team’s deficit to three with a 15-yard touchdown run with 4:20 left in the half.
Franklin kicker Christopher Miller-Hill tied the game with a 32-yard field goal against the wind a minute into the fourth quarter.
Nick Stallcup led the Raptors with 40 rushing yards on eight carries, while Anthony Holmes had 16 carries for 38 yards.
Stallcup, who’s been used in a variety of different roles after starting at quarterback in Week 1, shouldered the load for the Raptors near the end.
“It feels great to get leaned on and looked at as a leader,” Stallcup. “I’m happy to get the chance to make plays for my team. However, he wouldn’t be able to win this without our defense.”
Ravenwood will battle Page on Friday, while Franklin will host McGavock.
Sam McGaw is the sports editor for Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page and Spring Hill Home Page. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGaw_.