In a rivalry that guarantees to spice up week 5 play, the “Battle of the Woods” between the Brentwood Bruins and Ravenwood Raptors football teams will take place at Ravenwood High School at 7p.m. Friday night.
Tensions will be high and passions heated as this region game tests the mettle of both programs. Ravenwood won the matchup 21-16 in last year’s contest.
“Battle of the Woods is a big time game,” said Ravenwood senior quarterback Chris Parson. “Everyone in Williamson County and the Brentwood area knows what this game means, especially to the Ravenwood community. I am looking forward to it. I am sure they are going to come out and play their hardest game.”
“I just want us to continue to get better,” said Ravenwood head coach Will Hester after last week’s game. “It is going to be about us continuing to improve and getting better each and every time out.”
The Raptors currently have a record of 2-2 (1-0) with wins over Battle Ground Academy and Franklin and losses to Montgomery Bell Academy and back-to-back 6A state champion Oakland.
Hester won a state championship in his first stint with the Raptors from 2013-2015 and came back from Florence High School in Alabama last season to lead the program again.
The Bruins currently have a record of 3-1 (1-0) with wins over Henry County, Blackman, and Summit. Their only loss of the season is to Father Ryan.
Brentwood head coach Clint Finch, who was a longtime assistant under previous head coach Ron Crawford, enters his second year of being the leader of the team.
Parson has been a thorn in the side of many defenses this season. The Mississippi State commit had 214 passing yards and 133 rushing yards with two touchdowns on the ground last week against Oakland.
Brentwood has their own senior signal caller in Grant Nelson, who had a strong aerial attack against Henry County last week passing for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Another name that has brought plenty of fireworks to the Ravenwood offense is junior running back Carter Pace. Last Friday, Pace had two rushing touchdowns and has a combined eight total touchdowns rushing and receiving on the year.
The Raptors defense will need to keep an eye on junior wide receiver Matt Manning and his ability to get open in the Bruins offense. Manning currently leads the team in catches with 22 and had four receptions for 38 yards last Friday.
The Battle of the Woods has the reputation for close contests, so Ravenwood may need to call on their junior kicker Ansel Anderson to try to seal the deal late. Anderson made a 38-yard field goal last week for the Raptors.
Brentwood has a young budding star to go with their talented group of wide receivers, sophomore Mason Ball, who caught the game-winning touchdown against Henry County from 23 yards out last Friday.
A win in the Battle of the Woods will be important for both teams to keep pace near the top two of the region standings in a competitive 6A division.