Bulldogs defeat Rocky River in defensive battle 16-0

Ravens Captains #59 Jerimaya Chester, #18 Stacey Brown, #51 Abrion Pearson, #8 Brent Jones.
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The Rocky River Ravens from Mint Hill lost a tough defensive battle against the powerful Butler Bulldogs.  Don’t let the final score impede what a competitive game this was between two teams where the defense dominated the contest.

Team Captains Meeting at midfield prior to game.

The Bulldogs scored on their first possession on a nice 75 yard drive.  However, there were two key plays in the drive that were the difference maker.  Ironically, the two plays came in third down situations.  The first big play of the drive was on a third and 6, Butler quarterback Christian Peters connected on a 42 yard pass to wide receiver T.J. Cusick who made a great adjustment to the ball to make the catch.  The second key play was on a third and goal from the five yard line with 7:50 seconds on the clock in the first quarter, running back Jamal Worthy took the handoff and rumbled into the end zone for a quick 7-0 Bulldog lead.

The Coin Toss.

However, that would be all the scoring until the fourth quarter with 6:50 seconds remaining in the game.  The last eight minutes of the game all came down to field position.  Butler owned field position during this critical time and took advantage of the opportunity.  Starting in good field position and connecting on a few pass plays along with a solid run from scrimmage bringing the ball down to the two yard line for the Bulldogs.

Big guys upfront for the Ravens.

On an apparent defensive stop by the Ravens gang tackling defensive unit on a fourth and goal from the two, one official signaled Butler was short, the Ravens defense was celebrating, but the officials huddled and brought out the chains.  The spot was questionable, as this writer was on the sidelines it looked like the Bulldogs were short.  However, the measurement gave Butler a first down by the nose of the football setting up a first and goal from the one.  After a penalty setting the offense back five yards to the six yard line the first play was stuffed by the Ravens aggressive defense led by linebacker Jaylon Sharpe.  On the next play Nijere Peoples scampered around the right side on two excellent blocks running into the end zone standing up giving Butler a 13-0 lead. The PAT was blocked by the Ravens.

Nijere Peoples breaking tackle for touchdown. (Lisa Law)

The Rocky River offense took over on their own 30 yard line.  On a fourth and 4 the Ravens came up short on the 39 yard line and turned the ball back over to Butler.  The Bulldogs drove the ball down to the 20 yard line where the drive stalled.  Butler’s field goal kicker Alex Harrell on fourth down knocked the ball just inside the right upright for 3 points giving Butler a 16-0 lead with 4:13 remaining in the contest.

Bulldogs Nijere Peoples stopped by Ravens defense. (Lisa Law)

The Ravens next game will be on Thursday September 28th kickoff 7:00 PM vs. Myers Park at home.

JROTC Honor Guard from Butler High School.
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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.