By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Ravenwood beat Centennial last night 38-35 in a game by which all future meetings will be measured.
|Ravenwood's sophomore kicker Crews Holt (#17-right) points his 33-yard game winner through the uprights as holder Grayson Linde (#43 left) looks on. Raptor head coach Will Hester (background) holds his hands on his head waiting for an official's signal. The kick gave Ravenwood a key 38-35 District 12-AAA victory over Centennial. Photo by Becky Williams
|Centennial's Emanuel Hall (84) slips past Ravenwood's Nick Barton for a score in the Raptors 38-35 victory last night at Centennial. Photo by Joe Hicks
“I’m sure that was very enjoyable for the fans,” said Cougar head coach Brian Rector when it was finished, “but as coaches we were tearing our hair out to be honest with you.”
The game was a classic display of offense, where the last to score usually wins. After nearly 700 yards of offense, Crews Holt’s boot of 99-feet made the final difference.
Ravenwood (6-1, 2-0 District 11-AAA) came out firing early, with senior quarterback Avery Jankowski hitting a streaking Austin Percy for a 59-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. After holding the Cougars (4-3, 2-1 District 11-AAA) defensively, the Raptors blocked the punt attempt, opening the door for another Jankowski-to-Percy scoring hook-up from five yards out. The Raptors opened the second quarter with Seth Rowland rambling in from the 14 to put Ravenwood up 21-0 less than 13-minutes into the contest.
Centennial put together a near seven-minute drive, getting from their 12 to the Ravenwood 7 before Jeb Stewart stepped in front of an Owen Roth pass at the four to stop the Cougars first serious threat.
Four plays later momentum swung to Centennial when the Raptor punt was shanked, giving the Cougars the ball at the Ravenwood 16. Deon Sanders bulled his way across the goal line with 1:10 left in the first half send the teams to the locker room with a Ravenwood leading 21-7.
“I told our guys at halftime that 21-7 was not enough,” said Ravenwood head coach Will Hester. “I told them we needed at least 21 more.”
He was right. On the first play of the second half, Roth took the snap, one step, then turned left and fired to Emanuel Hall who took off for 66 yards, leading the way to Sanders second score of the night.
On the ensuing kick-off, Nick Madonia booted a perfect on-side kick, recovering it himself at the Ravenwood 49.
“Coach Rector is the master of the on-side kick. I told our guys they were going to that,” said Hester, “and they still got the football.”
Bailey Wisniowski broke free up the middle on the first play of the series to tie the game at 21 at the 9:29 mark of the third quarter. Centennial was looking for its first lead of the night after forcing the Raptors into a three-and-out, lining up for a 33-yard field goal. The Cougars faked the kick only to see the ball fall through a receiver’s hands in the end zone.
|Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin visited both the Ravenwood and Centennial sidelines during the game. Photo by Becky Williams
|Ravenwood's Avery Jankowski (#7) was a media favorite after his performance in the Raptors' 38-35 District 11-AAA in at Centennial. The senior quarterback accounted for 172 yards of offense. Photo by Becky Williams
Five minutes later, Wisniowski found Hall for a 38-yard strike that put Centennial up 28-21, but Jankowski hit Van Jefferson for a seven yard score less than three minutes later to even the tally.
Jankowski and Roth added short runs in the fourth to keep things knotted before Holt hit the game winner.
Centennial appeared to be driving for a chance to tie, but Hall fumbled with three minutes to play. The Cougar defense held, forcing Ravenwood into a fourth-and-five with two minutes on the clock, using time outs to get the ball back. But Centennial jumped before the snap and the five yard penalty gave Ravenwood a first down and the ability to run the clock out.
Jankowski accounted for 172 of Ravenwood’s 257-yards of offense and four out of five touchdowns, hitting 9-of-15 attempts through the air for 135 yards and three touchdowns while running for 37 more yards and a score. Despite his efforts, Jankowski lays his success at the feet of his coaches and teammates.
“That’s my coaches calling the right plays and my line and my receivers. It’s a team game. Making plays is not just me-it’s my team helping me out.”
Chris (10 carries, 42 yards) and Seth (5 carries, 21 yards) Rowland continued to pound out yardage for Ravenwood while Jefferson had a game high six receptions for 60 yards.
For Centennial, Sanders had another 100-plus yard game, notching 103-yards on 24 carries while Roth threw for 165 yards.
Ravenwood will be looking for another district win when they host Dickson County next Friday night. Centennial has a short week before traveling to Independence Thursday night. Rector is hoping to use the loss to Ravenwood as a motivator.
“Hopefully this will focus us. We have a very tough Independence team to face in six days, so we’ve got to shake this one off quickly and have some fire in our bellies for four quarters.”
Posted on: 10/5/2013