The week one bout between Ravenwood and MBA featured a lot of firsts for both sides.
Ravenwood came into this game with the return of former head coach Will Hester. MBA had 9 new offensive starters on the field coming into this one.
Hester’s return was spoiled by the hosting Big Red as MBA ending up going on to the win by a score of 56-28. MBA was able to move the ball very well the whole game and had some help with the number of turnovers from the Raptors in their season opener.
“Turnovers were a big part of it, getting the ball on the plus side of the field,” said MBA head coach Marty Euverard. “That’s what we preached. We’ve got two ways we’re gonna get them off the field: turnovers and taking care of the ball.”
Friday's contest was moved last-minute to MBA after Ravenwood's new turf field wasn't quite ready for game day due to the week's rainy weather.
The game was very competitive early on as both teams scored within minutes of each other.
MBA got the scoring started first with a 17-yard Rhett Hayles rushing touchdown with 5 minutes gone in the first.
Ravenwood quickly answered with new quarterback Chris Parson’s first pass for a touchdown as a Raptor. Parson hurled the ball 54 yards to Matthew Williams to tie the game
The first quarter ended with another Big Red score to break the tie. QB Marcel Reed responded with a long touchdown pass of his own to Chase Barker for 35 yards.
The second quarter slowly started to get away from Ravenwood as they allowed two more touchdowns from MBA, one of them off of a turnover to increase the Big Red lead to 28-7 just three minutes in.
After a couple of drives where they were stopped offensively, Ravenwood answered with a 72-yard run for a score to decrease the MBA lead to 14 points with 7:30 minutes left before half.
However, the momentum didn’t last long as Reed marched the offense down the field one more time to score just before half. The QB ran it in on the keeper from just six yards out to make the score 35-14 at half.
“It’s tremendous what he brings,” said Euverard of Reed. “The first thing is the kind of person he is, and the respect that he has for his players. How hard he works is second to none. The players follow him, and he’s a tremendous athlete. He’s just got a lot of savvy.”
Ravenwood was outscored 21-14 in the second half, as they had more turnovers much like the first two quarters. MBA’s scorers didn’t change as Chase Barker and Rhett Hayles found the endzone once more in the second half.
“Really happy with how our offense controlled the ball and kept their high-powered offense off the field,” said Euverard. “I was proud of the defense as well for getting turnovers, giving us the ball on the plus side of the field. We wanted to limit our mistakes. We had nine new starters on offense playing, so I was really worried about that. We’ve got a lot of things to get better in, but really proud of our effort.”
Like many of the teams in Ravenwood’s district, the Raptors will look to move on from the loss and focus on their next game away from home against BGA, who defeated Nolensville Friday night.
MBA will move on to play Pearl-Cohn in a non-district game as well, but will be at home once again.
“We’ve played Pearl-Cohn every year that I’ve been here,” said Euverard. “They might be one of the best teams in the city. I’ve heard a lot of good things. They’re always physical, always fast. It’s gonna be a big challenge for us.”