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Week 4

Football Preview: Ravenwood defense faces out-of-state challenge; Brentwood on long road trip

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Unbeaten Ravenwood (3-0, 2-0) has racked up 988 yards of total offense in its first three games this year, heading into Friday night’s clash with Pulaski Academy (1-0, 0-0) of Little Rock, Arkansas.

The visiting Bruins’ senior quarterback, Braden Bratcher, had 900 yards of total offense (764 passing, 134 rushing, 10 touchdowns) in his team’s only game so far, an 84-68 win over Har-Ber.

Bratcher hit 35-of-52 attempts in the win, throwing to 10 different receivers for nine scores and running nine times, adding another touchdown on the ground in the win.

The challenge for a very strong Raptor defense is real, and head coach Matt Daniels knows it.

“Our defense takes pride in thinking that people haven’t seen a defense like ours," he said. "They want a high-scoring game; we just need to control the tempo on both sides of the ball.”

The Raptor defense picked up confidence with a win at Blackman and a Region 6-6A 28-0 shutout against Franklin last week, according to Daniels.

The Pulaski Academy defense may be a bit suspect, giving up more than 600 yards in their first win, which could mean good things for both senior quarterback Brian Garcia, who has the ability to light up the scoreboard with his talented receiver corps, and running back Tony Rice, who has 296 yards and four touchdowns in just three games.

“Tony is going to have to be a workhorse for us,” Daniels said. “I think Tony is really underrated.”

Rice was named last week's Gateway Tire Male Athlete of the Week after turning three of his 11 of his carries into touchdowns in the 28-0 win over Franklin. 

Week 4's contest is also the featured TV game for MyTV30 and Homecoming for the Raptors.

Brentwood (3-0, 1-0) also steps out of region play for a long road trip to Henry County (1-2, 1-0). Cade Granzow will need another good leadership night for the Bruins as the Patriots return home hungry after two losing weeks on the road.

Independence (2-1, 1-0) will get the chance to see if their improvement since an opening loss to Summit has solidified when the Eagles host a bitter Blackman squad (1-2, 1-0). The Blaze had been ranked in the top 10 in the state despite losses to higher-ranked Alcoa and Ravenwood and took their anger out on Coffee County on the road last week, 65-0. Indy has bounced back with solid wins over Christ Presbyterian Academy and Centennial.

Centennial (1-2, 0-2) hopes to get back on the winning track with a run into Rutherford County to visit Seigel (0-3, 0-1). The Stars have seen all they want of Williamson County Schools teams, having already lost to Franklin and Page.

The Patriots (3-0, 1-0), coming off a huge 34-29 Region 5-5A overtime victory against Shelbyville last week in one of the strangest endings in a long time, will host traditional foe and Division II member Lipscomb Academy (2-1, 1-0), riding high under new head coach Trent Dilfer.

Fairview (2-1, 1-0) is also back on a roll as the Yellow Jackets have won two straight by a combined 83-6 score. This week the Jackets hit the road for a trip to long-time rival, but no longer region foe, Waverly (1-2, 1-0).

The undefeated Nolensville Knights (3-0, 1-0), off to the best start in school’s young history, will take the night off before hosting fellow Region 4-4A member Lawrence County next Friday night to tip a five-game homestand. 

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