The Rocky River Ravens showed up on senior night at Independence High School with a chip on their shoulders and a determination to win their second football game in the schools history against their local rival.
The rivalry between the two schools has grown and emotions run high when the two teams meet. The Ravens won a close contest last season in the rain. However, they dominated the Patriots Monday night and especially in the fourth quarter.
Freshman kicker Alex Elzey connected on a 26 yard field goal to start the scoring for the Ravens on their first drive of the game. Indy could not put together a drive from their own 15 yard line after the kickoff. The Ravens junior QB Korey Hailey a former Patriot, would connect with WR speedster James Maye from their own 29 yard line for an apparent touchdown, however, due to an unnecessary block in the back the Ravens would settle for a first down from the Patriots 17. Then from the 7 yard line, Ravens running back Kalib Jennings would rumble into the end zone for the games first TD. The PAT was good giving the Ravens a 10-0 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter opened on a nice 28 yard pass reception from Patriot QB Luke McPhail to Shai Wheeler for a big gain. The two connected on the next play for 19 more yards giving the Patriots a first down on the 9 yard line. On a first and goal McPhail would connect with WR Brian Morgan for the TD putting the Patriots on the scoreboard.
Later in the quarter a punt was muffed by Independence and was recovered by Rocky River on the Patriots 11 yard line. After another apparent touchdown by the Ravens on first down was nullified by an illegal shift penalty, on third down from the 16 yard line the Ravens James Maye would split the seam of the defense and make an outstanding over the shoulder catch in the end zone for a 17-7 halftime lead.
The second half opened with a Patriot drive that would end in a missed field goal from the 27 yard line on a bad snap and the ball sailed just wide to the right. The Patriot defense held on 3 downs, the Ravens Narique Smith rocketed a high punt for 52 yards with no return, Smith would follow-up with a QB sack for a loss on first down. However, on the next play McPhail would connect with Trevor Bryan for a 55 yard pass reception to the one yard line. McPhail would then score on a QB keeper to make this a good ball game 17-14 midway through the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff the Ravens would begin from their own 25 yards line. The drive would stall. However, on their next possession running back Gabriel Linen would break free into the open field to scamper for a 56 yard touchdown giving the Ravens a 24-14 lead after three quarters.
This is still a ball game with the Patriots down by only 10 points going into the fourth quarter. The Patriots Omar Zazueta would break through the line and blocked a field goal attempt by Elzey to keep the deficit at 10 points with 8:55 remaining. However, with 4:58 remaining on the game clock WR Narique Smith would score on a 27 yard pass reception and run to pay-dirt to give the Ravens a commanding 31-14 lead. On the next possession McPhail would be intercepted when OLB Brian Grier would return the interception 27 yards for a 37-14 rout of the Patriots with only 1:59 remaining in the game.