Ravenwood’s magical season came to a heartbreaking end, as Cane Ridge’s Jarard McCray scored a touchdown on a kickoff return with 2:03 left, the final points in a 21-18 Raven victory in the quarterfinals of the TSSAA Class 6A playoffs on Friday.
Ravenwood’s last gasp fell short as Cane Ridge’s Jahsun Bryant blocked kicker Sam French’s 49-yard field goal try with 28 seconds left.
The Raptors had just overcome an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead with a pair of touchdowns and a French field goal, taking an 18-14 lead.
That gave Ravenwood momentum.
Earlier, it hadn’t looked good. Cane Ridge Devon Starling scored a pair of third-quarter touchdowns to give the Ravens a 14-3 lead.
But Ravenwood was far from done.
Quarterback Brian Garcia hit tight end Jared McArthur with a 3-yard scoring toss with 9:10 to play. That cut the lead to 14-9, but Cane Ridge blocked French’s point after.
Ravenwood then capitalized on a roughing-the-passer penalty assessed on the kickoff, as French then recovered his own onside kick at the Cane Ridge 35.
Moments later, on a third-and-6 at the Cane Ridge 31, Garcia threw a lateral to Nick Stallcup around the Ravens’ 40. With two defenders converging, Stallcup heaved a prayer down the right sideline towards the front of the end zone.
Despite being well-covered by a Cane Ridge defender, receiver Miller Powell somehow hauled in a fantastic, one-handed grab for a touchdown and a 15-14 lead with 8:28 to play.
Ravenwood went for two, and and Garcia, rolling to his right, was tackled for a significant loss.
The Raptor defense then forced a three-and-out. Ravenwood kept the ball on the ground and ate up clock, then, French added his second 40-yard field goal of the evening with 2:15 to play.
But McCray ran the kickoff 73 yards for the go-ahead score. Eric Ramirez’s point-after put the Ravens up 21-18 with 2:03 left.
Ravenwood drove into Cane Ridge territory, setting up another try by French. But Bryant got a hand on the kick and it fell well short of the end zone.
The Raptors led 3-0 at the break after Garcia led the team into Cane Ridge territory, and French hit a 40-yard field goal on the half’s last play.