The away stands at Ravenwood High School covers 60 yards. The Brentwood student section had filled half of it an hour before kickoff. This huge rivalry in Region 7, dubbed “The Battle of The Woods,” even had Titans mascot T-Rac in attendance pregame. With Brentwood leading the series by one game, Ravenwood was eager to even up the score on their home field. With the Brentwood defense only allowing an average of nine points a game, it was going to take a memorable performance from Quarterback Chris Parson and the Ravenwood offense. The dichotomy of this rivalry was apparent everywhere but was the most clear in the form of Ravenwood’s team and stands in full black-out across from a coordinated white-out on the Brentwood side. As the sun set over the hills in the backdrop of Ravenwood’s stadium, the ball was kicked off and the atmosphere was electric.
Ravenwood’s woes from last week against Oakland were showing themselves early as they gave up two 3rd and longs on Brentwood’s first drive. However, on the third 3rd and long the Raptor fans had the bleachers shaking and willed their defense to a huge stop, forcing a field goal. The kick made it 3-0 Brentwood. The Raptors would respond with a methodical drive establishing the run game and getting running back Carter Pace going early who would put the raptors up 7-3 with a short touchdown run. After another stand near the red zone by the Raptors and a missed field goal, the score would remain 7-3. It seemed the Raptor defense had learned from their mistakes against Oakland. They were going to have to step up again to preserve the lead after a Chris Parson fumble. Step up they did after an interception of Bruins Quarterback Grant Nelson. The offense took advantage of the turnover with another Carter Pace Touchdown run. That would make it 14-3 Ravenwood.
It looked like Ravenwood was about to run away with the game but nothing is ever that cut and dry with a rivalry like this. Brentwood wide receiver Matthew Manning received the ensuing kickoff at the 2-yard line and returned it 98 yards for a Brentwood touchdown making it 14-10 Ravenwood. Going into halftime, this one was far from over.
Ravenwood would receive the second half kickoff with The Bruins looking to get a stop from the strength of their team, the defense, and take the lead. Junior linebacker Jackson Lowe would deliver a crushing hit, flipping a Ravenwood ball carrier to force a fumble and gave his offense the chance they needed. They couldn’t capitalize as Ravenwood’s defense continued to get it done. Brentwood would go three and out and have to punt. The Raptors would block the punt giving their offense great field position near the 25-yard line, looking to extend the lead. They continued to run the ball well, chipping away with Carter Pace. Pace would eventually power his way in for his third touchdown of the night, making it 21-10 Raptors.
The Ravenwood defense continued their impressive response to the struggles of a week ago and forced two more Brentwood punts. The fourth quarter would begin with the score remaining at 21-10 Ravenwood.
After trading possessions with no score for most of the fourth quarter Ravenwood was faced with a 4th down. There was around five to six minutes left, so picking up this first down and scoring would finish the Bruins off. They sent out the punt team only to call them back and take a timeout. When the timeout was over Carter Pace, Chris Parson, and the Raptor offense was on the field. Coach Hester had decided to go for the kill shot. You can watch the play below:
Parson found wide receiver Ethan Smith down the seam to gain the first down and set up this next play:
Carter Pace with his fourth touchdown of the night sealed it for the Raptors. The student section started to celebrate and make their way to the field to listen to Coach Hester address Ravenwood.
Coach Hester said it best. The story of this game outside of Pace’s four touchdowns was this Ravenwood defense and their response after last week vs Oakland. Not only did they respond but they outplayed a very good and hyped-up Brentwood defense not allowing The Bruins into the end zone on offense.
This was a great team win by Ravenwood to even The Battle of The Woods Series and keep pace in their region.
Our MVP for the game is undoubtedly Ravenwood running back Carter Pace. Any time the Raptors were in the red zone they leaned on Pace, and he ended the night with four total touchdowns.
This is what Carter had to say about the rivalry, his defense, and the win:
On the rivalry win: “It’s an ego thing really, and we just proved we are better. We are the real wood…I feel amazing my team just executed and I made plays when they gave me the ball.”
On the defense: “I’m proud of them man. They executed, they knew what they did wrong, [last week] and they [didn’t] here.”