The Ravenwood Raptors traveled to Page High School on Friday night in a battle between two of Williamson County’s best teams. Page entered the evening undefeated with a record of 3-0 while Ravenwood’s record stood at 2-1. The Patriots are a strong 5A football team but were certainly taking a step up to compete against the 6A Raptors. A large crowd was on hand to witness these neighboring schools battle it out on the field.
Ravenwood received the opening kickoff and quickly moved the ball down the field. The Raptors are blessed with a bevy of talented skill position players and went to work getting them the ball in space. RB Anthony Holmes, WR Parker Nash, and WR Miller Powell all were featured in quick hitting passes to the outside that put them in one on one matchups with the defender. Holmes received one such pass in the flats on the first drive and raced by his defender for the 36 yard touchdown.
Page instantly rebounded from this early setback on the ensuing kickoff. Page’s WR Michael Burdick took the kickoff and burst through the wall of defenders in front of him and raced all the way down to the Ravenwood 37 yard line. Bruising Page RB Bubba Johnson powered his way into the endzone a few plays later to even the score at 7-7.
The Raptors continued their offensive success on their next two possessions. Ravenwood played two quarterbacks throughout the game with starter Brian Garcia rotating with rushing threat Nick Stallcup. Both players showed complete control of the offense and helped lead the Raptors deep into Patriot territory. Anthony Holmes finished off this drive as well as he took a pitch play around the corner for the 1 yard TD run. Ravenwood extended the lead even further with a third consecutive touchdown on their next offensive possession. This score came from change of pace running back Cameron Scherer on a 4 yard plunge up the middle. The PAT was blocked but still left Ravenwood with a 20-7 lead midway through the 2nd quarter.
At this point it seemed like the game might turn ugly but Page rebounded before the half. The Patriots got their first defensive stop on Ravenwood’s 4th possession and a poor punt left Page with a short field. The Patriots began the drive on the Ravenwood 38 yard line. WR Will Pierce ran a perfect 3rd down route to the sticks and received a well placed pass from QB Justin Van Landingham to move the ball into the redzone. Quincy Brock-Compton rushed in for an 8 yard score to complete the drive with just a few minutes left in the half. However, the Raptors were able to mount a late drive to tack on a field goal to put the halftime score at 23-14 in favor of Ravenwood.
The Patriots narrowed the gap just a few plays into the 2nd half. Jacob Van Landingham was forced from the pocket on a 3rd down play and forced to attempt to run for the first down. Van Landingham was met by two defenders at the first down marker but he managed to bounce off the attempted tackle and outrun the remaining defenders for the touchdown. This score brought Page back to within two points at 23-21. Unfortunately for the Patriots, this was as close as they would come to taking the lead away from Ravenwood.
The Raptors’ Seth Erickson stepped up to intercept a Van Landingham pass on the next Page drive to set up another Cameron Scherer touchdown run. Nick Stallcup and Jordan Smith would tack on late touchdown runs to add to the Raptor lead. Ravenwood ran out the rest of the clock to earn the road victory by a final tally of 46-21. The Raptors will hope to carry this momentum into a key Region 6-6A matchup at Brentwood next week. Meanwhile, the Patriots will be on the road as well in Week 5 when they travel to Antioch High School.
Quotes from the game:
Ravenwood RB Anthony Holmes on his big game: “The O-line was blocking well. I was just trying to hit the holes and not get hit too hard.”
Ravenwood DB Seth Erickson on run support from secondary: “You just have to know you have to come up (to the line). They have a very good running back in Bubba. We knew that coming into the game so playing safety you just have to come down real hard to make a play on him.”
Ravenwood OL Drew Harmon on Brentwood next week: “I just think we need to be mentally prepared. We know we can move the ball. We know we are fast. We just have to play physical because we know they have big boys over there. They have C.J. Grissom who’s a good middle linebacker. One of the best in the state I believe.”
Ravenwood head coach Matt Daniels on win over Page: “We felt like we could play with these guys. They were 3-0 and had a lot of momentum so we were fighting more than just the 11 guys on the football team. They had a great crowd tonight and it was a great atmosphere here. I’m just so proud of our team that we went into halftime in a very similar manner to our first three games, kind of in a tight game…I challenged our guys to finish the ballgame for once and they did just that.”