For a team that endured two key injuries before the season had barely gotten underway, the Roane County Raiders used two backbreaking plays in the opening quarter to set the tone for a victory over Ravenswood last Friday night.
The Raiders opened the scoring with an 83-yard touchdown pass from Layne Epling to Ethan Collins and then added to its 7-0 lead with a 73-yard TD dash by Austin Hawkins. The early 13-0 lead gave the Raiders all the cushion they needed en route to a victory at County Stadium in Spencer.
The 32-0 victory sent Roane to 1-2 on the year while Ravenswood dropped to 0-3.
In Roane’s opener with Lincoln County, Raider junior quarterback Shadraq Greathouse, a returning starter, suffered a broken collarbone on the sixth play of the game. Before the quarter had ended, sophomore running back Briar Begler also broke his collarbone. Both players are gone for the season.
After its 33-14 loss to Lincoln County, Roane regrouped a week later and had a solid Clay County team on the ropes leading 14-0. The Panthers, though, mounted a comeback for a 16-14 victory.
Hawkins was one of two running backs for Roane to go over the century mark. Hawkins finished with 107 yards on 10 carries while Claude Bauer picked up 103 on 12.
Leading 13-0, Roane added another TD before the half when Epling found Skyler Delk in the end zone on a 24-yard pass play.
Bauer added two fourth quarter touchdowns, one on each side of the ball. He picked off a Ben Queen pass and returned it 22 yards for a score and then about three minutes later raced 50 yards for the score. Kelton Black added extra points on the first and last touchdowns of the game for RC.
Despite the loss, Ravenswood had its share of bright spots.
Queen was the game’s top rusher with 112 tough yards on 17 carries. Isaiah Casto had a nice night running the football by picking up 76 yards on 12 carries.
From the defensive side Shawn Banks had eight tackles and two interceptions.
Caleb Lane had seven tackles.
Other defensive contributors were: Jaden Sayre (5), Bryson Litton (5), Xavier Rodriguez (4), Joe Chambers (4), Zach Johnson (4), Ethan Lane (3), Wes Hill (2), Daniel Hunt (2), Brandon Bragg (2), Casto (1), Deondre Briggs (1) and Brett Parsons (1).
Banks, Sayre, Caleb Lane, Johnson and Ethan Lane all had a tackle for a loss.
Offensively, Banks carried twice for five yards with one 10-yard gain and one for -5. Litton carried 11 times for two yards.
Queen was 2-for-11 passing and had the one interception.
Banks had one catch for one yard. Litton snagged one that went for a two-yard loss.
Ravenswood was slated to play Sherman this Friday at home but the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues in Boone County. The Devils have picked up Summers County as a replacement inside Flinn Field at Spano-Taylor Stadium on the Ravenswood High campus.
DEVIL GAME NOTES – The Ravenswood-Roane matchup was televised live by Stadium (channel 125 on Suddenlink), a sister station to WCHS-TV/WVAH-TV in Charleston as part of the Par Mar Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week, Presented by Rally’s series…It marked Ravenswood’s second time on FNR. The first was in 2018 at home against Southern…Roane was playing an FNR game for the second time. The Raiders defeated Sissonville last year…The win was Roane’s third straight over Ravenswood, which is the most consecutive wins for the program in the series history…Ravenswood still has the overall edge, dating back to 1993, at 20-9.