Independence loses in rain to Ravenwood

by Zachary HarmuthWilliamson County Football

The Ravenwood Raptors might have played ugly and won ugly against the Independence Eagles Friday night, 30- 14, but afterwards when they caught  their grassy, muddy, monsoon-covered reflection in the locker room mirror, they no doubt liked what they saw.

Which were winners, perfect so far at 4-0 (1-0 in AAA District 11) with six games left in the season. Sitting nicely atop District 11 and ranked seventh out of the 56 Class 6A schools in Tenn.

Independence were losers of two straight, and their 3-2 (1-1 in AAA District 11) heads hung low as they filed off the field toward a long, dark ride home aboard a cramped, wet bus. Fortunes turn so fast in football games, but at least one Indy fan must still be sitting in the rain in their car in the deserted RHS parking lot without the slightest understanding of what, exactly, just happened.

For most the second half a field goal would have given either team the lead, and it stayed close but sloppy almost to the end, with rain getting worse every quarter, and dragging down all football aesthetics with it.

By halftime it was 16-7, RHS, which had 2 scores, a field goal and a missed extra point.

On the  first snap of the third Caleb Hollis found Matthew Bunch for a 63-yard touchdown that cut the Raptor lead to two, 16-14. With the next 11:48 of the third, both teams combined for more turnovers (4) than points (0).  On five consecutive possessions, they lost a fumble and INT each, with a punt in the mix.  Penalties also plagued especially Indy, which  8 penalties for 59 yards. RHS drew 3 flags for 26 yards.

Indy missed a field goal a minute into the fourth giving RHS the ball at its 20 with 11:08 left in the game. The Raptors spent the next seven minutes winning the game, as they marched 80 yards with 14 plays and a 15-yard defensive penalty. The first 13 were runs. The 14th, and last, was a 3-yard pass from Avery Jankowski to Nick Barton for a TD. Raptors over Indy,  23-14

Hollis threw a pick after the kick. RHS scored again, quick and easy, leaving a minute on the clock.

At 30-14 the game became formality, and as time expired Raptor students, perhaps inspired by the weather, stormed the field.