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Football Season Preview: Rocky River Ravens

By Andrew Stark

Opening Act

The Ravens are replacing dynamic playmakers on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense and along both lines. Offensively, the Ravens have their usual stash of skill guys, but must get their offensive line in order in a hurray to give them time and space to operate. Defensively there are a lot of holes to fill as all 12 of the team’s top tacklers have moved on, but lots of talent is on the roster to help offset the losses.

Offense

ITyshawn Carter returns to Rocky River after beginning last season as South Meck’s starting quarterback before breaking his collarbone. Carter is a dual-threat talent and has plenty of skills to lead the Raven offense. As a freshman, Carter guided Rocky River’s JV team to the conference title, so he’s had success in the system.

Elijah Henry got a taste of varsity last year, but gained more than 3,000 yards rushing on the JV team and is a special talent. He’s joined in the backfield by Justice Styron, who was the team’s second-leading rusher last year with 431 yards. Those two will be joined by Nygle Farmer and Bryson Adams and all will get plenty of touches in the Raven run game. […]

By |August 30th, 2015|Around Town, Arts, Featured Posts, Good deeds, History|0 Comments

Rocky River Game Week 2

FOOTBALL FRIDAY

Who: Rocky River (0-1) hosts Berry (1-0)

When: 7 p.m.

Last Meeting: Berry won, 49-0, in the team’s only other match-up on September 3, 2010

Key Players: Rocky River: quarterback Tyshawn Carter, running backs Elijah Henry, Justice Styron and Nygle Farmer, receiver/defensive back Kendall Lewis, receiver Johari Alexander, lineman Bryson Adams, defensive back Tyrell Robinson, linebacker Larry Blanton; Berry: quarterback/tight end Bryan Digsby, receiver/safety Mike Roberts, receiver Kusegi Cureton, receiver/defensive back Gary Williams, running back Malik Brown, defensive backs Josh Barrett and Cameron Porter and lineman Jovaughn Gwyn

The Keys: This is the battle of two teams that could possibly be beginning uncharacteristic seasons. Berry hasn’t won its first two games since 2011, which was the last time they had a winning record. The Ravens opened last year 0-2, but rebounded to finish 9-5, so another loss isn’t the end of the world but certainly not the way they want to start 2015.

Rocky River:  The troubling thing about the Ravens 34-7 loss to perennial power Richmond wasn’t just the score. Coach Jason Fowler always runs a balanced, attacking offense, but last week his patented running game struggled – a potentially cautious tale and definitely something to look for in Week 2. Running behind a nearly entirely rebuilt offensive line, the Ravens mustered just 28 yards on 37 carries and that’s worrisome.  […]

By |August 30th, 2015|Around Town, Featured Posts, Good deeds, Rocky River High School, Sports|0 Comments

Independence outlasts Rocky River in Mint Hill football showdown

The Independence Patriots and the Rocky River Ravens faced off on Friday for an important 4A Southwestern Conference game. The Patriots came into the game with an overall record of 7-1 and 4-0 in conference. The home-standing Ravens were 6-2 and 3-1. Both teams appear headed for the playoffs, and this game would play a part in future playoff match ups.

This game was a back and forth affair between two evenly matched teams.

Independence kicked off and the game was on. After a first down, Ravens senior quarterback Andre Rice attempted his first pass. The pass was promptly picked off by the Patriots’ sophomore defensive back Cordell McMurray who returned it to the Rocky River 33 yard line.

The Patriots wasted no time taking advantage of the sudden change of possession. On the first play senior quarterback Jason Connella connected with wide receiver Jamar Jenkins, only a sophomore, on a deep pass down the right sideline for a gain of 29 yards.

From four yards out, the Patriots were able to pound the ball into the end zone. Connella scored the touchdown on a quarterback sneak. The extra point was blocked but the Patriots led early 6-0. The teams exchanged punts until the Ravens offense exploded. After a first down, senior running back James House burst through a big hole on the left side and juked his way through the Patriots’ secondary for a 41 yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed and the game was tied 6-6.

The excitement in the first quarter was far from over. After the Ravens’ kickoff, Connella hit Patriots’ senior wide receiver Dequan Barnes on a 65-yard bomb. Barnes had gotten wide open behind the Ravens’ secondary and Connella hit him in stride for the score.

[…]