Raptors suffer first loss in overtime
By Doug Dyer, for the Williamson Herald
Trailing by one with his team’s undefeated record on the line Friday night against Overton, Will Hester never hesitated.
The Ravenwood coach opted to try for two and the victory after his Raptors scored in overtime, but Avery Jankowski’s pass intended for Van Jefferson was batted away by the Bobcats’ Ugo Amadi to give the Raptors their first loss, 34-33.
“I would make the same call again,” Hester said. “That’s just how we need to play it on the road. I think we made the right call, we just didn’t execute.”
Ravenwood (4-1) trailed 27-24 with just :27 left when Jankowski and Jefferson connected on a 50-yard throw and catch down to the Overton 8-yard line, setting up Ethan White’s 25-yard field goal to tie the game at the end of regulation.
“Our kids never quit,” Hester said. “They fought through adversity, and I’m proud of them for that.”
Overton (5-0) scored in two plays during its overtime possession, with Justin Martin’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone, his third rushing TD of the game. Ravenwood answered on third down with a 4-yard TD pass to Jefferson, but the two-point attempt failed.
“I still believe we should have won that game,” junior receiver Austin Percy said. “But we couldn’t give up that many points to a tough offense.”
After the Bobcats had controlled the line of scrimmage in the first half, Ravenwood was able to shut them down on three straight possessions to start the second half. That allowed the offense to rally after trailing 20-10 at the break.
“Our kids stepped up and played better in the second half,” Hester said.
Overton made its living with the running game, as the tandem of Martin (143 yards) and Kimlee North (92 yards) took turns gashing the Ravenwood defense for chunks of yardage and helping Overton amass 278 yards rushing.
The Bobcats had a 13-7 lead at the end of the first, and the Raptors were looking for answers on defense.
White converted a 32-yard field goal to make it 13-10, then the Bobcats responded with an 11-play drive that ate up more than five minutes and resulted in a Martin 3-yard TD run to make it 20-10 with 3:23 left in the second.
The two teams traded punts to start the third quarter before Ravenwood drove 59 yards in just five plays, scoring on a Jankowski-to-Cole Brown 33-yard TD pass to make it 20-17 at the 5:09 mark of the third.
Ravenwood’s defense forced two more Overton punts, and the offense capitalized again, scoring in seven plays on a Seth Rowland 4-yard run to give the Raptors a 24-20 lead with 5:53 left in the fourth.
Overton’s offense came to life on its next drive, driving 65 yards in 13 plays, with the key play coming on fourth-and-8 at Ravenwood’s 25. Quarterback Julius King found Max Crow along the sideline for 11 yards and a first down to keep the drive alive.
The Bobcats scored to take the lead with :34 left on Martin’s 2-yard TD run, setting up the Raptors for their heroics to tie the game.
After a false start on its first play, Chris Rowland picked up six yards on a screen pass, then Jankowski found Jefferson on a crossing route at the Overton 25. The junior receiver, who finished with eight catches for 92 yards and a TD, spun to avoid a defender and stayed on his feet to pick up yardage down to the 8-yard line with five seconds left, putting White in great position for the tying field goal.
“We practice in a no-huddle, hurry up tempo situation all the time, because that’s what we are on offense, so there was nothing shocking for us,” Hester said. “I can’t say enough about our kids. They work their tails off.”
Ravenwood is on the road again this week, as it takes on District 11-AAA foe Centennial.
“We have to focus on the district now,” Percy said. “We have to get those district wins so we can make the playoffs.”
Posted on: 9/28/2013