RAVENSWOOD – Emotions ran high at Flinn Field Friday night for Homecoming with a pregame balloon launch in memory of Pat Peery (mother of Red Devil junior Matt Peery, who died suddenly Tuesday night). Players wore a red and black “Pat” sticker on their helmets, and signs at the field read “We Love You, #15 (Matt Perry’s number).” Despite his grief, Peery played for his team and the Coach Mick Price’s Red Devils rode the inspiration of the moment to their most complete game of the season for a 43-21 walloping of AA No. 8-ranked Ritchie County.
Senior Devon Crews stepped up big with 124 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns, and senior Nathan Cunningham booted a 43-yard field goal and recovered a pair of fumbles to set up Ravenswood touchdown drives.
Crews put his team up quickly, racing 53 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game to cap a lightning quick three-play, 63 yard drive. Cummingham booted the PAT and Ravenswood led 7-0 with 10:45 left in the opening quarter of play.
Ritchie County answered with a lightning strike of their own, as speedster Dylan Frye hauled in a short pass and raced 57 yards down the visiting sideline to score from 57 yards out to cap a four-play, 88-yard drive with 9:45 left in the opening quarter. Orlando Burgy booted the PAT and the game was deadlocked at 7-7.
Senior quarterback Heath Burgess broke that deadlock as the second quarter began, knifing into the end zone from 11 yards out to cap a short three-play, 35-yard drive with 10:33 left in the first half. Cunningham’s PAT kick was wide left and Ravenswood led 13-7.
The Rebels answered just five minutes later as Lipscomb hit Tyler Reed with a 18-yard TD pass to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive with 5:36 left in the half. Burgy’s PAT kick was wide right and the game was again deadlocked at 13-13.
But Ravenswood then took control for good by scoring the final 10 points of the first half. Crews scored his second TD of the night with 1:56 left on a nine-yard run to cap a seven-play, 46-yard march set up Nathan Cunninhgham’s fumble recovery. Cunningham’s PAT kick was true an d the Red Devils led 20-13.
Ravenswood scored again after the Rebels went thee and out on their subsequent possession. Cunningham booted a 43-yards field goal with just 14.9 seconds left in the half to send the Devils to the locker room ahead 23-13.
After a stalemate for much fo the third quarter (although Crews had a 60-plue yard score off a screen pass nullified on a holding call), junior Rhys Jelich found the end zone from one yard out to cap a seven-play, 39-yard march set up by Cunningham’s second fumble recovery of the game. The PAT kick was wide left and Ravenswood led 29-13 with 2:56 left in the third quarter.
Page 2 of 3 - Damien Caldwell recovered a Ritchie County fumble on the ensuming kickoff to set up another Devil scoring march. Junior Isaac Crow hauled in a TD pass from Heath Burgess to cap a six-play, 36-yard scoring march with 11:55 left in the fourth quarter. Cunningham booted the PAT and Ravenswood was in full control 36-13.
The Rebels scored their only touchdown of the second half with 8:48 left in the game. Reed hauled in a 39-yard scoring pass from Lipscomb to cap an 11-play, 67-yard drive. Cory Farley hauled in the two-point conversion pass and Ravenswood led 36-21.
Junior Ben Johnson capped the game scoring with a three-yard TD run for the Red Devils to cap an 11-play, 52-yard scoring march . Cunningham booted the PAT to make the final score, 43-21.
Matt Peery was brought off the field in the late going to a standing ovation and hugs from Coach Mick Price, assistant Jason Jackson and his teammates in another poignant, emotion-charged moment.
Crews led the Ravenswood rushing attack with 13 carries for 124 yards and two TDS. Rhys Jelich added 15 carries for 80 yards and a TD; Heath Burgess, 12 carries for 24 yards and a TD; Ben Johnson, five carries for 39 yards and a TD; and Thomas Sturm, one carry for minus three yards. Ravenswood rushed 46 times for 264 net yards with five TDs.
Burgess completed seven of 12 passes for 63 yards with one TD. Isaac Crow had three catches for 37 yards and a TD; and Crews and Jelich, two catches each for 13 yards each.
Ravenswood totaled 327 offensive yards with 16 first downs (13 via rush, two via pass and one via penalty) and drew three flags for 25 yards.
Alex Lipscomb led the Rebels with 16 carries for 42 net yards. Dylan Frye had four carries for 23 yards; Tyler Reed, eigfht carries for 11 net yards; and Orlando Burgy, three carries for 14 yards. Ritchie County totaled 31 carries for 90 net yards.
Lipscomb completed 17 of 22 passes for 259 yards and three TDs. Frye had four catches for 73 yards and a TD; Reed, three catches for 68 yards and two TDs; and Jayden Allender, four catches for 66 yards.
Ritchie County totaled 349 offensive yards with 15 first downs (seven via rush and eight via pass) and drew five flags for 37 yards.
Isaac Crow punted two times with a 53.5-yard average. Jelcih had one punt return for 12 yards. Cunningam kicked off eight times with a 47.5-yard average. Crews had two kickoff returns for 15 yards; Peery, one for nine yards; and Crow, one for 11 yards.
Defensively, Nathan Cunningham (sack, two tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries), Matt Peery and Devon Crews led the way with six tackles each. Connor Jelich (two sacks and a PBU) added five; Jordan Saunders (TFL) and Willy Parsons, four each; Rhys Jelcih (PBU) and Heath Burgess, three each; Isaac Crow (TFL), Ben Johnson, Matt Starcher and Jace Buckland-Hickman, two each; and Damien Caldwell (fumble recovery), Thomas Sturm, and Dylan Radabaugh, one each.
Page 3 of 3 - Ravenswood (3-2) makes a long road trip to Sutton Friday for a battle with the Braxton County Eagles (1-5).
Ritchie County 7-06-0-08—21
(R) Devon Crews, 53-yard run (Nathan Cunningham kick); 10:45 first quarter.
(RC) Dylan Frye, 57-yard pass from Alec Lipscomb (Orlando Burgy kick); 9:45 first quarter.
(R) Heath Burgess, 11-yard run (kick failed); 10:33 second quarter.
(RC) Tyler Reed, 18-yard pass from Lipscomb (kick failed); 5:36 second quarter.
(R) Crews, nine-yard run (Cunningham kick); 1:56 second quarter.
(R) Cunningham, 43-yard field goal; 0:14.9 second quarter.
(R) Rhys Jelich, one-yard run (kick failed); 2:56 third quarter.
(R) Isaac Crow, 12-yard pass from Burgess (Cunningham kick); 11:55 fourth quarter.
(RC) Reed, 39-yard pass from Lipscomb (Cory Farley, pass from Lipscomb); 8:48 fourth quarter.
(R) Ben Johnson, three-yard run (Cunningham kick).