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Ravenwood reclaims the Woods in a 22-21 thriller

For the second week in a row Ravenwood's Jeb Stewart (11) gets his hands on a last second kick to seal a victory for the Raptors.  Stewart blocked Brentwood's last second field goal attempt last night as Ravenwood defeated Brentwood 22-21. Photo by Becky Williams

Austin Percy (6) appears headed for pay dirt as Van Jefferson (2) shields Brentwood's Austin Crenshaw (4) from making a play in last night's 22-21 Ravenwood victory over the Bruins. Photos by Becky Williams
As expected, there was a packed house for the "Battle of Woods" at Ravenwood last night. And fans got their money's worth as a last second Brentwood field goal was blocked, preserving a 22-21 Ravenwood victory.

Ravenwood's Taylor Warren breaks free on a kick-off return, thanks in part to the lead blocking of  John Cockerham (23) and Austin Burt (3)
Brentwood kicker Trace Halpern’s 44 yard field goal attempt was blocked as time expired and Ravenwood (8-1) stole the “Battle of the Wood” trophy from the Bruins (3-6) with a 22-21 win. 
Ravenwood took the lead with 1:27 to go in the game trailing 21-16 when quarterback Avery Jankowski connected with Austin Percy in the back of the end zone from 5 yards out. Brentwood made one final effort to take the game back driving 50 yards in the final minute and a half before the field goal was blocked. 
“I don’t know how I’m surviving all (these close games),” Raptor coach Will Hester said after a second straight win by one point. “Luckily we have those AED machines on the sidelines so if I go down they can shock me back.”
Friday’s win also clinched the District 11-AAA championship for Ravenwood, who’s resume is filled with two overtime victories and a 3-point win at Centennial earlier in the season. The Raptor seniors have been through plenty in their time at Ravenwood as Hester is their third head coach. 
“Our kids are resilient, man,” Hester said. “They fight their tail off and they’ve fought adversity all year long. You know, I’m the third head coach they’ve had. They’ve learned a bunch of new schemes and things haven’t gone their way. I’m just happy things are going their way now.”
Adversity was present in this game as Brentwood took a 14-10 lead minutes into the 4th quarter when Aaron Maher hit Caleb Tyler for a 10 yard score. Ravenwood thought they took back the lead with a 75 yard touchdown pass from Jankowksi to Van Jefferson, but it was called back for holding. 
The Raptors ended up punting from their own end zone to give Brentwood the ball at its own 45 yard line. The next play Maher threw his third touchdown of the night with a bomb to Andy Schumpert going the whole 55 yards making the score 21-10.
46 game seconds later, Jankowski called his own number and ran it in for a 5 yard touchdown. A failed 2 point conversion made the score 21-16 before the game winning toss to Percy minutes later. 
“This kind of excises a little demon for these kids,” Hester said. “The last time they beat them was as freshmen in a 9th grade game. This means a lot more to them. Not only was it to win the district, basically, and probably to keep them from being in the playoffs. All these things are huge for these kids.”
Hester said the previous two meetings in the “Battle of the Woods” Brentwood beat Ravenwood by a combined score of 79-0. The first year Raptor head coach, and former Brentwood assistant, said the squad had been looking forward to this night for a while. 
“We’ve been preaching since January. We were coming in to workout at 5 o’clock in the morning. We were talking about Week 9 in January. We knew when this game was. It’s been circled on our calendar for a long time.”
Ravenwood ends its regular season next week at Summit (1-8) as Brentwood hosts the surging Independence Eagles (6-3) for Senior Night.

Brentwood quarterback Aaron Maher (1)  barely slips a missile past Ravenwood's Jeb Stewart (11)
during the Raptors' 22-21 win over the Bruins.

Posted on: 10/26/2013


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