The absence of its head coach on the sideline hasn’t seemed to affect Ravenwood football in the slightest the last two weeks.
After a 70-point performance a week ago, the Raptors’ defense stifled Christ Presbyterian Academy Thursday night, holding the Lions to under 50 yards rushing in a 24-7 road victory.
“These guys, they know how to play and what’s expected of them,” Ravenwood interim coach Andrew Elrod said. “I hate they’ve gotten used to adversity, but they have, and they’ve overcome it pretty well.”
The win was the second straight for Ravenwood (6-1) without head coach Matt Daniels, who was suspended for two weeks by Williamson County Schools following a practice incident that left a player injured. The experience and resiliency of the Raptor upperclassmen allowed them to block out the outside distractions and take care of business on the field.
“We knew the offense would feel the absence of their coach more, because that’s also their coordinator,” Elrod said. “Those kids, they’re experienced. They’ve played a lot of games, and it showed tonight.”
Raptor quarterback Brian Garcia threw for three touchdowns, two of those to Ross Johnston. Tony Rice also had a TD catch for Ravenwood, and Luke Akers added a 45-yard field goal in the second half.
CPA’s only points came early on a 69-yard TD pass from Cade Law to Maverick Rodriguez in the second quarter. The Lions (2-6) were able to slow down the Raptor offense, then take advantage of a breakdown in the secondary.
“I think our kids competed well, so we’re proud of them,” CPA coach Ingle Martin said. “They’ve played a tough non-conference schedule, and every game counts from here on out. Our boys are fired up and ready to make this run.”
The Lions actually had the first two scoring chances of the game, but a Mac Seibert 44-yard FG attempt sailed wide at the 1:10 mark of the first quarter.
Ravenwood was able to pick up the tempo on offense, however, and answer CPA’s touchdown with its “Raptor fast” speed. After a shaky start, Garcia found Johnston for seven yards and a TD to tie things up at the 4:19 mark of the second.
“That’s not something we’ve really done throughout the year,” Elrod said. “That’s been a concerted effort by the offense, and they’ve really started to put it together.”
Ravenwood had a 75-yard TD pass called back on the second play of the third quarter, but the Raptors scored on their next possession with a 45-yard TD catch by Johnston.
With CPA’s run game largely ineffective, Akers’ 45-yard FG with 1:29 left in the third gave Ravenwood more than enough cushion. Rice’s two-yard TD with less than a minute to go just put the icing on another Raptor victory.
“I think we had a lot of seniors who had seen that adversity and battled through that before, and our kids were able to step up and overcome that,” Elrod said.