HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER GAME OF THE WEEK
Last year’s 41-10 loss against Brentwood never escaped the minds of the Ravenwood Raptors.
On Friday, they enacted their revenge against their crosstown rival with a 31-23 win on the road.
“That’s a top team in the state,” Ravenwood head coach Matt Daniels said about Brentwood. “I think we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves right now in how we matchup against anyone. Any given Friday night, we feel we can go toe-to-toe with people.”
Trailing 24-23 with 3:45 left in the game, Brentwood kicker Matthew Phillips had his potential game-winning 45-yard field goal blocked and returned 72 yards for a touchdown by Darius Harper.
In the ensuing drive, the Bruins pushed 74 yards to Ravenwood’s 6-yard line. That’s as far as they got, though, as quarterback Carson Shacklett’s incomplete pass to Kaden Dreier in the end zone on fourth-and-5 sealed the win for the Raptors.
“I told Ramez (Ibrahim) to just block the ball with everything he had, and that’s what he did,” Harper said about his touchdown return. “Luckily, the ball was able to bounce in the air and I was able to catch it on the run.”
Not only did Brentwood (4-1, 2-1) outgain the Raptors 436-263, but Ravenwood (4-1, 2-1) was penalized 12 times for 112 yards.
“We felt like our backs were against the wall,” Daniels said. “We felt like some calls didn’t go our way early and as we got more frustrated, it continued to not go our way. We just preached to our guys to stick their head down and keep on going.
“We dug ourselves in a hole, but we made plays when it mattered.”
Ravenwood tied the game at 10 just before halftime with a six-plus minute drive that was capped off with a 12-yard touchdown pass on a jump ball from quarterback Brian Garcia to wide receiver Parker Nash.
The score at the break brought flashbacks of last year’s Battle of the Woods for the Raptors.
“We had plenty of motivation from last year when it was 10-10 at the half,” Ravenwood quarterback Nick Stallcup said. “We let up the next day of that game last year, and we didn’t want that to happen again. We just kept pushing the pedal to the metal.”
Shacklett was picked off by Cole Carteaux and Harper in Brentwood’s first two drives of the second half. The Raptors turned both of those takeaways into a 24-10 lead, as Garcia hit Connor Patton for a 38-yard touchdown and Stallcup for a 13-yard score.
Brentwood ended Ravenwood’s 24-point run with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Shacklett with 11:07 left in the game.
He added another quarterback sneak for a touchdown less than three minutes later. However, the ensuing extra point attempt was blocked to keep Brentwood’s deficit at one.
“We overcame some adversity, but we can’t overcome that many mistakes,” Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford said.
“Apparently, I’m not doing a good job with our team of taking care of the smaller details. The head coach will go back and analyze himself to see what he can do better to help our kids and help our staff prepare better and to play our best. I don’t want to take anything away from their players or their coaches, because they did a fine job tonight.”
Ravenwood fumbled on its game-opening drive and Brentwood capitalized with a 23-yard field goal by Phillips with 6:34 left in the first quarter.
The Bruins extended their lead to 10 a little over a minute later with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Shacklett to Chayce Bishop. Bishop set up the score with a 47-yard reception on the previous play.
Ravenwood kicker Sam French opened his team’s 24-point rally with a 26-yard field goal with 2:51 left in the first quarter.
Shacklett finished with a team-high 314 passing yards and 55 rushing yards. Dreier caught four passes for 113 yards, while Bishop had two catches for 73 yards.
Garcia led Ravenwood with 175 passing yards.