RAVENSWOOD - Coach Mick Price’s Ravenswood Red Devils, now 5-3 on the season, spotted the visiting Clay County a 7-0 lead and then went off, using a series of big scoring plays to pound the Panthers, 42-21, and claim the 2013 Class AA LKC championship at the same time.
It was huge night for senior Devon Crews who ran for 222 yards on just five carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 85, 65, 61 and 36 yards.
Clay County struck first to stun the Ravenswood crowd, converting a fumble recovery by Austin Dobbins into a touchdown drive. Jordan Lucas capped the eight-play, 46-yard march with a four-yard run into the end zone. Zach White booted the PAT and Clay led 7-0 with 6:32 left in the opening quarter.
Ravenswood answered quickly, scoring in less than one minute. Junior tight end Isaac Crow hauled in an over the shoulder Heath Burgess pass and paced 52 yard to the end zone to cap a lightning bolt two-play, 60-yard scoring match. Nathan Cunningham’s PAT attempt was blocked and Clay still led 7-6 with 5:49 left in the first quarter.
Four minutes later, Crews electrified Flinn Field with a 85-yard touchdown run down the home sideline to cap another lightning bolt scoring march of two plays and 90 yards. Burgess hit Thomas Sturm with the two-point conversion pass in the back corner of the end zone and Ravenswood had the lead for good at 14-7 with 1:15 left in the opening quarter.
Junior Rhys Jelich provided the next lightning bolt on a twisting, tackle-breaking 65-yard screen pass and run for a touchdown to cap a three-play, 63-yard march. Cunningham booted the PAT and Ravenswood led 21-7 with 9:25 left in the second quarter.
One minute, 22 seconds later, Crews lit up the scoreboard again with a 61-yard touchdown gallop to close out a two-play drive. Cunningham’s PAT boot made it 28-7 with 8:02 left in the first half.
Senior quarterback Heath Burgess scored next, breaking loose on a keeper for 63 yards and a TD to cap another two-play scoring bolt. Cunningham toed the PAT and Ravenswood led 35-7 with 4:56 left in the half. That 28-point advantage held at the break.
Clay County scored the first points of the second half when Stephen Cole hauled in a jump ball on a pass from William Stewart and raced 85 yards for a touchdown with 5:53 left in the third quarter. The three-play, 95-yard drive was set up when Stewart stopped a Red Devil scoring threat with an interception in the end zone. The PAT kick was wide right and Ravenswood led 35-13.
Crews scored Ravenswood’s final TD of the night on a 36-yard run to cap a four-play, 56-yard scoring march with 3:57 left in the third quarter. Cunningham’s PAT kick made the score 42-13.
Page 2 of 3 - With both teams substituting heavily, Clay County scored the final points of the night to cap a 17-play, 65-yard drive with just 24.5 seconds left in the game on a one-yard run by Austin Dobbins. Tyler Quinn ran for the two-point conversion to make the final score 42-21.
Crews’ 222 yards on five carries ( three TDs) led the Ravenswood ground attack. Heath Burgess added two carries for 62 yards (TD); Rhys Jelich, five carries for 43 yards; Ben Johnson, five carries for 13 yards; Jordan Saunders, four carries for a net minus one yard; Preston Humphreys, one carry for minus five yards; and Jon Crow, one carry for minus one yard. As a team, the Red Devils totaled 23 carries for 332 yards with four TDs.
Burgess completed five of 12 passes for 136 yards with two TDs and one interception. Jon Crow tried one pass that was intercepted. Rhys Jelich had two catches for 87 yards and a TD; Isaac Crow, one catch for 52 yards and a TD; and Devon Crews, two catches for a net minus three yards.
Ravenswood totaled 468 offensive yards with 10 first downs (seven via rush and three via pass) and drew five flags for 32 yards.
Jordan Lucas paced the Panthers with 20 carries for 103 yards and a TD. William Stewart added 10 carries for 52 yards; and Tyler Quinn, nine carries for 44 yards. Clay County rushed 51 times for 240 yards.
Stewart completed eight of 18 passes for 167 yards with one TD and an interception. Stephen Cole had six catches for 158 yards and a TD.
Clay County totaled 407 offensive yards with 16 first downs (10 via rush, five via pass and one via penalty) and drew six flags for 59 yards.
Isaac Crow punted twice with a 34-yard average. Burgess had one punt return for no gain.
Cunningham kicked off seven times with a 52.57-yard average. Nathan Withers had one kickoff return for 32 yards; Matt Peery, one for nine yards; Ben Johnson, one for seven yards; and Thomas Sturm one for no yards on an onside kick recovery.
On defense, Matt Peery and Rhys Jelich led the Devils with 10 tackles each. Roy Bush (sack) added seven, Matt Starcher (TFL) five, Corey Chenoweth and Nathan Withers four each, Heath Burgess, Ben Johnson and Preston Humphreys three each, Isaac Crow (TFL), Nathan Cunningham, Dylan Radabaugh, Jordan Saunders, Connor Jelich and Jon Crow two each; Damien Caldwell (interception and fumble recovery), Kyle Hickman, Hayden Mandrake, Aaron Parsons and Alex Casto, one each; and Thomas Sturm and Alex Casto, one pass breakup each.
Ravenswood (5-3) faces a stern test Friday night when Class A No. 1, unbeaten St. Marys invades Flinn Field for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
(CC) Jordan Lucas, four-yard run (Zach White kick); 6:32 first quarter.
(R) Isaac Crow, 52-yard pass from Heath Burgess (kick blocked); 5:49 first quarter.
Page 3 of 3 - (R) Devon Crews, 85-yard run (Thomas Sturm, pass from Burgess); 1:15 first quarter.
(R) Rhys Jelich, 65-yard pass from Burgess (Cunningham kick); 9:25 second quarter.
(R) Crews, 61-yard run (Cunningham kick); 8:03 second quarter.
(R) Burgess, 63-yard run (Cunningham kick); 4:56 second quarter.
(CC) Stephen Cole, 85-yard pass from William Stewart (kick failed); 5:52 third quarter.
(R) Crews, 36-yard run (Cunningham kick); 3:57 third quarter.
(CC) Austin Dobbins, one-yard run (Tyler Quinn run); 0:24.5 fourth quarter.
Clay County 7-0-6-8--21