Big Red defense turns over Ravenwood five times, Hayles finds end zone three times in opener triumph
NASHVILLE – Following his opening season game against Ravenwood, Montgomery Bell Academy head coach Marty Euverard was sporting something rarely seen during the regular season – a smile.
“We want to run the football,” Euverard said regarding his team’s performance. “We know we have a quarterback that can run and throw, but if we can establish the run … it makes us very hard to handle.“
The Big Red dominated in nearly every category against the visiting Raptors in a game that was slated to be a Ravenwood home game, but was moved to MBA due to delays in the turf installation at the Brentwood school.
Ravenwood’s generosity didn’t stop there. The Big Red forced three turnovers in plus territory, tackled the Ravenwood punter on a muffed punt snap, and received good field position following a kickoff penalty, all giving MBA drives starting in Raptor territory and all eventually ending in scores.
In fact, only three MBA drives did not result in touchdowns, two of which were kneel downs and one punt late in the game. Six of MBA’s eight scoring drives began inside Raptor territory.
“Turnovers were a difference,” Euverard said. “It gave us the ball at least twice, maybe three times in their territory for points, so that was a big thing. We wanted that clock rolling, with their high-powered offense … really proud of our defense for getting those turnovers.”
“We have a really good defense,” MBA quarterback Marcel Reed said. “We expect them to do that. It’s hard…when I come off the field I’ve got to be ready to go right back on. I’m always watching.”
The game was highly touted as a showdown of two highly recruited junior quarterbacks, Florida State commit Chris Parson of Ravenwood and Reed. And for a quarter, it appeared as though the game was going to be a shoot-out.
MBA took the opening kickoff on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that consumed over a third of the first quarter and culminated in a 14-yard run by Rhett Hayles, his first of three on the night. Hayles finished with 150 of MBA’s 252 total rushing yards.
The Raptors answered right back. On the second play from scrimmage Parson found Blake Irvin for his first of two touchdown catches, this one a 54-yard bomb down the right side of the field that was perfectly on target.
It was at that moment that MBA’s linemen took over. A six-play, 65-yard drive ending in Reed’s first of three TD passes on the night found Blake Ragsdale hauling in a pass down the right sideline for 32 yards. The Big Red took a seven-point lead that would hold up for the rest of the evening.
The Big Red scored three more times in the first half, a 12-yard pass to Jack Spellman and two short Reed runs, only interrupted by a 72-yard dash for Ravenwood’s Carter Pace that would see the scoreboard showing a 35-14 Big Red lead at the half.
“We want to run the ball a lot. We like to run it down their throats,” Reed said.” We have a really good O-line and we like to use the running backs … to open up the passing game. It makes it really balanced for us.”
The second half did not start kindly for the Raptors. A fumble at the Raptor 28 once again gave MBA a short field. Four plays later, Reed added six more yards to his 47 on the night, scrambling to the left corner of the end zone to put the Big Red up 42-14. An interception on the next drive led to a Hayles 24-yard run to start the mercy rule running clock as MBA ended the third quarter ended leading 49-14.
“We got behind a lit bit early and tried to press and you know obviously turnovers happen at that time,” Hester said regarding the turnovers. “We had a miscue on special teams that set them up with a short field … you know, mistakes you can’t make against a great football team. It a great first opponent to measure yourself against … Kudos to them. We learned a lot about ourselves tonight, we’ve got to take that and mold us into the team we want to be.”
Ravenwood showed signs of life in the fourth quarter as Parson found the end zone twice in the final frame, a 10-yard pass to Casey Edmondson and a 6-yard pass to Irvin with 20 seconds remaining.
Ravenwood (0-1) travels to Battle Ground Academy next week, while MBA (1-0) hosts Pearl-Cohn.
MBA 56, RAVENWOOD 28
|MBA (1-0), RHS (0-1)||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
MBA – Rhett Hayles 14 run, 7:18. Wren Jacobs kick.
RHS – Blake Irvin 54 pass from Chris Parson 6:55. Alec Delperdang kick.
MBA – Blake Ragsdale 32 pass from Marcel Reed, 3:38. Jacobs kick.
MBA – Jack Spellman 12 pass from Reed, 11:01. Jacobs kick good.
MBA – Marcel Reed 1 run. 8:56. Jacobs kick.
RHS – Carter Pace 72 run, 7:30. Delperdang kick.
MBA – Reed 6 run. 2:03. Jacobs kick.
MBA – Reed 6 run, 9:22. Jacobs kick.
MBA – Rhett Hayles 24 run, 2:57. Jacobs kick.
RHS – Cason Edmonson 10 pass from Parson, 11:13. Delperdang kick.
MBA – Hayles 5 run, 5:59. Jacobs kick.
RHS – Irvin 6 pass from Parson, 0:20. Delperdang kick.
Ravenwood: Carter Pace 10-122, JT Smitherman 3-17, Chris Parson 10-16, Brenden Dickins 1-(-13).
MBA: Rhett Hayles 22-150, Johnothan Moore 10-66, Marcel Reed 7-47.
Ravenwood: Parson 19-30-2 305.
MBA: Reed 6-11-0 94.
Ravenwood: Lee Mollette 10-193, Blake Irvin 3-61m Brenden Dickins 3-33m Casen Edmonson 2-15.
MBA: Claiborne Richa 2-31, Jack Spellman 2-21, Blake Ragsdale 1-32, Hutton Durrett 1-10.