The Ravenwood Raptors will host the state champion Oakland Patriots on the gridiron in a primetime showdown Friday night at 7p.m.

This is the first matchup between the two teams since 2012 when Oakland beat Ravenwood at the Raptors' field 27-15.

Ravenwood comes into this game with a 2-1 record, including wins over Franklin and Battle Ground Academy and a loss to Montgomery Bell Academy. The Raptors are led by head coach Will Hester, who captured a state title for Ravenwood in 2015. This is his second stint with the Raptors (2013-2015) before returning in 2021.

The Patriots currently have a 3-0 record, with wins over Hendersonville, Madison Ridgeland Academy (Mississippi), and Stewarts Creek. They have won six titles in program history. Oakland is under the direction of head coach Kevin Creasy, who has secured two state championships in a row.

Ravenwood has a game-changer at the quarterback position in Mississippi State commit Chris Parson. Last week against Franklin, Parson had one passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns.

At quarterback for the Patriots is senior Kade Hewitt. Last week against Stewarts Creek, Hewitt had two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

The Raptors have a dynamic playmaker in junior running back Carter Pace. He has over six receiving and rushing combined touchdowns this season and is a matchup nightmare for any defense.

Ravenwood’s offense will need to block a talented middle linebacker for Oakland in senior Nathan Hepburn. Last Friday, Hepburn had eleven total tackles with four of them for losses against region rival Stewarts Creek.

The Raptors have several options at wide receiver in the passing game, but senior wide receiver Ethan Smith etched his name into the stat sheet last week, catching a 30-yard touchdown pass in the win over Franklin.

Oakland has a big threat in the passing game with senior wide receiver Quincy Jackson. He caught a 49-yard touchdown pass and a 28-yarder in the first half last Friday.

This will be a good measuring stick for each team as they try to grab some early momentum in the regular season. Both teams will look to seize a statement win and cement themselves as one of the favorites for a 6A title.