The Raptors scored on Carter Nelson’s 3-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds to play and Mt. Juliet could only get across midfield as time expired in a 38-35 Golden Bear second-round playoff loss.
“All week long we talked about Ravenwood’s ability to win playoff games and the state championship last year and they got a lot of senior leadership that’s played in a lot of playoff games and they came out and played hard, it’s a credit to them,” Mt. Juliet coach Trey Perry said after his Bears finished a 9-3 season. “And our kids played hard. It was a really good football game.”
The teams almost matched each other score for score. Nelson ran for 187 yards and two touchdowns and caught another scoring pass from 10 yards out from Blake Van Landingham to cap the game’s first series. It was Van Landingham’s only pass as McCain Marrow the the other quarterbacking, hitting 12 of 19 for 229 yards and two touchdowns - an 80-yard bomb to Sean Spence and a 32-yarder to Nathan Freeman.
Mt. Juliet countered with the 1-2 punch of running back Aidan Raines and quarterback Mason Earls. Raines scored the Bears’ first four touchdowns on runs of 5, 17, 3 and 62 yards as he racked up 198 yards on 28 carries. Earls rushed for 159 yards on 24 carries, including a 7-yard bootleg to the pylon which put the home team in front 35-31 with 5:56 to play. Earls also passed for 100 yards on 7-of-14 as neither team committed a turnover.
Unlike the 12-7 Ravenwood win in Week 3, neither defense had much success in stopping the opposing offenses as Ravenwood racked up 485 yards, 20 more than Mt. Juliet.
“A lot of times you see this in rematches, it’s not a huge surprise,” Perry said. “Both coaching staffs do a great job. They find things from the first time and they make adjustments. We did and credit our offensive staff and they did and credit their offensive staff.”
After Ravenwood struck first on Van Landingham’s pass, Mt. Juliet countered with Raines’ 6-yard run for a 7-7 tie.
Jim Roebuck’s 30-yard field goal put the Raptors up 10-7 early in the second quarter.
Raines’ 17-yard midway through the period put Mt. Juliet in front for the first time 14-10, a lead which held as both teams missed long field-goal attempts in the closing moments of the first half.
Mt. Juliet drove 83 yards to open the second half to Raines’ 3-yard score for a 21-10 lead.
Marrow struck on the very next play with the 80-yard bomb. But Raines came right back with his 62-yard scoring sweep for a 28-17 lead.
But Ravenwood scored twice sandwiched around one of two Mt. Juliet punts to go back in front. Nelson scored on a 22-yard run to bring the Raptors within 28-24 going into the fourth quarter and Freeman took a Marrow bubble screen to the house to put the visitors up 31-28 early in the fourth.
“We took a step in the right direction this year,” Perry said while several of the Bears cried on the field. “Our senior class has nothing to hang their heads about, regional champions, and the biggest thing is we’re pushing forwards in the right direction and they’ve taught the younger guys what winning football is again and how to be good leaders off the field as well.”
Ravenwood will take a 7-5 record to the Memphis-suburb of Cordova for the quarterfinal round next Friday.
Ravenwood 38, Mt. Juliet 35
Ravenwood 7 3 14 14—38
Mt. Juliet 7 7 14 7—35
Ravenwood—Carter Nelson 10 pass from Blake Van Landingham (Jim Roebuck kick), 6:56.
Mt. Juliet—Aidan Raines 5 run (Jacob Bailey kick), 2:34.
Ravenwood—Roebuck 30 FG, 10:12.
Mt. Juliet—Raines 17 run (Bailey kick), 6:44.
Mt. Juliet—Raines 3 run (Bailey kick), 7:57.
Ravenwood—Sean Spence 80 pass from McCain Marrow (Roebuck kick), 7:43.
Mt. Juliet—Raines 62 run (Bailey kick), 6:09.
Ravenwood—Nelson 22 run (Roebuck kick), 2:36.
Ravenwood—Nathan Freeman 32 pass from Marrow (Roebuck kick), 9:34.
Mt. Juliet—Mason Earls 7 run (Bailey kick), 5:56.
Ravenwood—Nelson 3 run (Roebuck kick), :48.
Ravenwood Mt. Juliet
First downs 22 19
—Rushing 14 15
—Passing 8 3
—Penalty 0 1
Rushes-yards 38-246 56-365
Passing yards 239 100
—Comp.-Att.-Int. 13-20-0 7-14-0
Plays-yards 58-485 70-465
Penalties 6-50 3-20
Punts-avg. 1-16.0 2-15.5
Fumbles lost 0 0
RUSHING—Ravenwood: McCain Marrow 7-27, Patrick Leitten 1-19, Carter Nelson 28-187, Nathan Facer 2-13. Mt. Juliet: Lawson Rich 3-5, Aidan Raines 28-198, Marcello Walton 1-3, Mason Earls 24-159.
PASSING—Ravenwood: Blake Van Landingham 1-1-0—10. McCain Marrow 12-19-0—229. Mt. Juliet: Mason Earls 7-14-0—100.
RECEIVING—Ravenwood: Nathan Facer 2-9, Kyle Briggs 1-11, Nate Stoner 4-45, Carter Nelson 2-14, Nathan Freeman 2-63, Sean Spence 1-80, Blake Van Landingham 1-17. Mt. Juliet: Lawson Rich 1-20, Trey Pruitt 2-51, Aidan Raines 2-22, Connor Ruzek 1-5, Zac Whitaker 1-2.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Ravenwood: Jim Roebuck 52. Mt. Juliet: Jacob Bailey 53.