SPENCER – Sophomore Rhys Jelich ran for 249 yards and two touchdowns Friday night at Roane County Stadium, and Ravenswood needed every yard before subduing the pesky Raiders, 42-24.
Cody May kept the Raiders in the game with two monster kickoff returns for TDs—one covering 95 yards and the other 82 yards.
The Raiders actually led late in the second quarter, 17-14, on a 29-yard field goal by Hunter Bradley, but Ravenswood answered with a 10-play, 64-yard scoring march capped by Devon Crews' eight-yard cutback touchdown with just 26.9 seconds left for a 21-17 lead at the half.
Ravenswood scored first with 5:30 left in the opening quarter on a 25-yard run by junior Devon Crews. Crews's scoring jaunt capped a six-play, 83-yard drive. Mason Carte booted the PAT and Coach Mic Price's Red Devils led 7-0.
Roane County answered quickly marching 71 yards in seven plays. John Nichols hauled in a 38-yard TD pass from Hunter Bradley for the touchdown. Bradley booted the PAT and the game was deadlocked at 7-7 with 4:00 left in the opening quarter.
The Red Devils returned the favor, driving 55 yards in seven plays. Sophomore Ben Johnson hauled in a nine-yard scoring strike from Heath Burgess for the TD. Cart4e's PAT kick was good and Ravenswood led 14-7 with 1:56 left.
That's when Cody May reeled off his first of two gigantic kickoff returns for the Raiders. May was hit inth4e middle and bounced outside and raced 95 yards for a touchdown. Bradley's PAT kick tied the game at 14-14 with 1:39 still left in the opening quarter.
Roane grabbed their only lead of the game with 4:10 left in the first half on a 29-yard Hunter Bradley field goal to cap a 13-play, 67-yard drive. Bradley's boot made it 17-14 in favor for the Raiders.
But the Red Devils answered with a 10-play, 64-yard scoring drive. Crews capped the march with an eight-yard cutback run into the end zone with just 26.9 seconds left in the half. Carte's PAT kick made it 21-17 at the half.
Rhys Jelcih got into the scoring act with 7:12 left in the third quarter, racing around left end for 10 yards and a TD. Jelich's TD capped a 10-play, 74-yard drive. Carte's PAT kick made it 28-17, but it lasted just 13 seconds.
May took the ensuing kickoff, bounced off tacklers in the middle again and raced 82 yards down the visiting sideline for a touchdown. Bradley's PAT cut Ravenswood's lead to 28-24 with 6:59 left in the third quarter.
Ravenswood's defense which had difficulty tackling through much of the game then came up big to thwart two Raider drives. Ben Johnson and Brad Titus made a clutch tackles on a fourth down runs to stop Roane drives—the final one at the Raider 44.
Then, Rhys Jelich plunged a dagger into the Raiders' rally heart with a backbreaking 44-yard touchdown gallop through several tackles with 7:32 left in the game. Carte's PAT kick made it 35-24.
Page 2 of 3 - The Red Devils then put the icing on the hard-fought victory with a time-consuming, 11-play, 74-yard scoring march. Dylan Radabaugh capped the drive by hauling in a 16-yard TD pass from Burgess with 1:18 left. Carte's sixth PAT made the final score 42-24.
In addition to Rhys Jelich's game-high 22 carries for 249 rushing yards and two TDs, Devon Crews carried 17 times for 83 yards and two TDs; Connor Jelich six times for 20 yards; Heath Burgess,; seven times for 16 yards; and Ben Johnson, one time for three yards. Ravenswood totaled 53 rushes for 371 yards with four touchdowns.
Burgess completed five of 11 passes for 89 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Dylan Radabaugh had three catches for 55 yards with one TD; Rhys Jelich one catch for 25 yards; and Ben Johnson one catch for nine yards and a TD.
Ravenswood totaled 460 offensive yards with 19 first downs (16 via rush and three via pass) and drew six flags for 45 yards in penalties.
Roane County totaled 45 rushes for 236 rushing yards and added 49 passing yards for a total of 285 offensive yards. The Raiders had 16 first downs (14 via rush and two via pass) and drew four flags for 35 yards in penalties.
John Ash led the Raiders in rushing with 20 carries for 100 yards. Hunter Bradley added 15 carries for 63 yards.
Bradley completed two of seven passes for 49 yards and one TD. John Nichols caught a 38-yard TD pass.
For Ravenswood, Nathan Cunningham kicked off seven times with a 40.57-yard average and punted twice with a 27.5-yard average.
Heath Burgess had one punt return for 22 yards.
Rhys Jelich had two kickoff returns for 33 yards; Ben Johnson, one for 13 yards; and Matt Peery and Drake McDowell, one each for no gainSenior middle linebacker Brad Titus (TFL) led the Devil defense with 11 tackles and a sack. Ben Johnson (TFL) added seven tackles; Devon Crews six tackles; Trey Hatcher and Heath Burgess, four tackles each; Dylan Radabaugh, Rhys Jelich, Matt Peery and Brett Stanley three tackles each; Billy Knicely (TFL), Thomas Sturm and Damien Caldwell two tackles each; and Nathan Cunningham, Nic Ballard, Donavyn Estep, Austin Roub and Roy Bush, one tackle each.
Ravenswood (2-0) hosts defending AA state champion and preseason No. 1 Wayne (3-0) in the home opener Friday night at Flinn Field.
POST-GAME NOTES: Ravenswood lost the services of senior tackle Billy Knicely to a dislocated knee in the fourth quarter. He was removed from the field on a gurney. The knee was relocated in an ambualce at the field before transport to Roane General Hospital. Knicely could be out of action for at least a couple of weeks.
Roane County 14-3-7-00—24
(R) Devon Crews, 25-yard run (Mason Carte kick); 5:30 first quarter
(RC) John Nichols, 38-yard pass from Hunter Bradley (Bradley kick); 4:00 first quarter
Page 3 of 3 - (R) Ben Johnson, nine-yard pass from Heath Burgess (Carte kick); 1:56 first quarter
(RC) Cody May, 95-yard kickoff return (Bradkey kick); 1:39 first quarter
(RC) Bradley, 29-yard field goal; 4:10 second quarter
(R) Crews, eight-yard run (Carte kick); 0:26.9 second quarter
(R) Rhys Jelich, 10-yard run (Carte kick); 7:12 third quarter
(RC) May, 82-yard kickoff return (Bradley kick); 6:59 third quarter
(R) Rhys Jelich, 44-yard run (Carte kick); 7:32 fourth quarter
(R) Dylan Radabaugh, 16-yard pass from Burgess (Carte kick); 1:18 fourth quarter