Week one starts with a titanic matchup of high-powered offenses as Division II-AAA royalty and host Montgomery Bell Academy takes on 6A powerhouse Ravenwood on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Nashville.
“Every game on our schedule is a pretty big game for us,” said Ravenwood senior quarterback Chris Parson. “Our first game of the season is MBA. To me, that is the biggest game of our season because it is the next game that we have. Our goal is to take it week by week and play Ravenwood football.”
“Obviously MBA is one of the top teams in the state,” said Ravenwood head coach Will Hester. “It will be a great challenge for us as the first game of the year.”
This game features two potent offenses as Ravenwood averaged close to 34 points per game last season, while MBA averaged 26 points per game last year.
The Ravenwood Raptors are led by head coach Will Hester, whose team won a state championship in 2015 in his first stint at at the school (2013-2015). He returned from Alabama’s Florence High School last season and took Ravenwood to the state quarterfinals against Summit.
MBA head coach Marty Euvard has been with the Big Red since 2011. His team won a championship back in 2014. They were the state runner-up last year after losing in the state championship game to McCallie (Chattanooga).
Ravenwood will look to even the series after falling to MBA 56-28 last season.
The Raptors will return a dynamic playmaker at quarterback in senior Chris Parson. The Mississippi State commit had 42 total touchdowns last season and over 3,300 yards passing and rushing combined.
The Big Red returns their elite signal caller senior Marcel Reed. The Ole Miss commit had 1,513 passing yards and 12 touchdowns last year. On the ground, Reed had 593 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
Ravenwood’s offense can overwhelm an opponent in multiple ways. For example, the running back tandem of junior Carter Pace and senior Kartuah Chapman can create havoc in the backfield. Pace tallied 108 rushing yards per game for the Raptors and Chapman averaged 40 yards per game last season.
Ravenwood’s secondary will need to watch out for senior MBA wide receiver Claiborne Richards. Richards totaled 66.8 receiving yards per game for the Big Red in last year’s matchups.
One player that will help Ravenwood try to contain Reed is senior middle linebacker Drake Stollenwork. Stollenwork accumulated eight tackles per game for the Raptors in his junior season.
A jack of all trades on defense, senior Gabe Fisher who played defensive end, middle linebacker, and outside linebacker, led MBA last year with 10 sacks on the season. He will have the difficult task in stopping the do-it-all Parson.
This game could be a shootout, since both teams feature versatile quarterbacks that have powerful weapons on offense. There will be plenty of fireworks provided in the matchup as each team will look for a signature win to start their 2022 campaign.