A gutsy fourth down call to put the game away and another standout performance by running back Carter Pace fueled an emotional 28-10 win for Ravenwood (3-2) over rival Brentwood (3-2) in the 2022 “Battle of the Woods”.

Pace scored four touchdowns - one in each quarter - the last one a 10-yard scamper into the end zone for the 28-10 lead. The score came after Raptors quarterback Chris Parson kept a fourth-down play call alive and found Ethan Smith for a 42-yard gain into the Bruins red zone.

“We are up two scores and if we get the first down, it’s probably game over. If we don’t get it (Brentwood) has to score twice in under three minutes,” Ravenwood coach Will Hester said. “I talked to our defensive coordinator, and he was good with it. And if we get it then it’s game over.”

Pace ended the game with 68 yards and four touchdowns in 20 carries.

“When you get a chance in the red zone, you just have to score when they give you an opportunity,” Pace said. “There was so much emotion in the first half and we made some mistakes, just got caught up in the emotion of the game, but we came through, and it feels great. Being the ‘real Wood’ every year is the goal.”

After Brentwood took a 3-0 lead on Issac Hayes’ 43-yard field goal, pace ended the first quarter with a touchdown run from nine yards out.

He also scored with less than a minute left in the second quarter, but Brentwood answered right back with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Matthew Manning to swing some momentum to the Bruins, cutting the Ravenwood lead to 14-10 at the break.

Ravenwood had a mission to show that their defense was on par with the Brentwood defense, which came into the game allowing less than eight points per game over its last three outings.

The Raptors did so by blocking a punt and not allowing an offensive touchdown all night.

“We played a little out of control in the first half,” Hester said. “Super proud of our defense. We held them out of the end zone. It's about getting stops, and the way offenses are so good it’s super difficult. Our defense heard all week about the (Brentwood) defense, and I think they played with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder.”

For their part, the Bruins (3-2) also had a ton of energy and emotion coming from its sideline at the start, but the wear and tear of the game did not allow them to keep enough in the tank said coach Clint Finch.

“You can spend yourself early in a game like this, and that may be very well what happened to us,” Finch said. “Our kids battled, but Chris (Parson) is a good quarterback, and we struggled to run the ball on offense. When we get like we had the deep ball, we could not connect on it.

"I felt like we were in it in the first half. Matthew Manning got us into it with the big kickoff return, and I felt good at the half, but we could not seal the deal. Our defense had to play too many snaps. If we could play less snaps and be less gassed, maybe we can make a play (on the crucial last fourth down) but it wasn’t. I have 100 percent confidence that we will bounce back.”

Ravenwood will host Hendersonville next week, while Brentwood head to Hillsboro.