NOLENSVILLE – When all nine Williamson County teams gathered in Franklin last Wednesday for the first-ever girls’ flag football media day, nobody really had an idea of what to expect.
Ravenwood made quite the opening statement on Sunday, however.
Through a combination of quick-strike offensive firepower and sound defense, the Raptors rolled to a 2-0 start in the new league, winning 48-0 over host Nolensville and 40-6 over rival Brentwood.
Kaylen Thomas and Sarah Kate Rath did most of the damage for Ravenwood, as Thomas totaled four touchdowns in the two wins, including a 66-yarder on the first play of the opening game.
Rath, who started at quarterback for the Raptors, ran for three scores, threw for another and caught one from Kennedy Riggs, who also saw time at quarterback.
“It’s been awesome,” Rath said. “We started out with such a small team, like five to eight players, and then we just grew our team because everyone saw how much fun it was and how good we were. We just went out there and had fun.”
Riggs threw two touchdown passes and ran for another for the day. Abbie Cullen caught a pair of touchdown passes and Kendall Curran added a touchdown reception of her own.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Ravenwood coach Will Hester said. “We’re blessed to have a bunch of super-competitive girls and they like coming out and playing. What a fun day for them.”
Ally Brown snagged two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown for a stout Ravenwood defense that didn’t allow a point until Brooke Brummitt found the end zone late for Brentwood’s lone score against the Raptors.
“We didn’t come out aggressive,” Brummitt said. “(Ravenwood) came out really aggressive. I threw a bunch of interceptions, which doesn’t normally happen. I guess it was just nerves and I was just doing a lot of things that shouldn’t have been done.”
Hester expressed some surprise at how dominant his team was on Sunday – simply because of the lack of information anybody had on other teams.
“No one knew,” Hester said. “It’s not like we have any scrimmage film or anything like that. No one had a clue what we were going to see. I knew we had some really competitive, athletic girls and I’m glad that got to have fun today.”
Brentwood’s late rally stuns Nolensville
Brentwood didn’t leave Nolensville empty-handed, however – thanks to freshman Macie Morrison, who snagged a Brooke Brummitt pass in heavy traffic and found the end zone as time expired, and sophomore Rylan Harris, who raced around right end for the game-winning conversion as the Bruins defeated Nolensville 27-26.
“We were down two scores with a couple of minutes left,” Brentwood coach Gabe Evans said. “We kept on fighting and came back and that’s a much better job than what you saw in the first game. The girls had more intensity and kind of saw how it went. We knew it was a possibility no matter who it was against, having some jitters and not really knowing how the game’s going to flow.”
Brentwood (1-1) erased a 13-point deficit in the final four minutes. After Courtney Williams put Nolensville up 26-13 with a long touchdown run, Brummitt found Morrison with a deep pass on the next play to cut the gap to six points. Brentwood attempted an onside kick (which, in flag football, is a 4th-and-15 play that allows the offense to keep possession if they convert), but it failed.
Nolensville got inside the Brentwood 5-yard line, but the drive ended on fourth down after a mishandled snap resulted in a fumble – which ends the play in flag football – and a turnover on downs with 54 seconds left in regulation.
“It was a heartbreaking way to end it right there at the end,” Nolensville coach Pat Curran said. “Sometimes the other team just makes more plays than you do.”
Brummitt helped move the Bruins down the field both with her arm and her legs, converting a key first down and getting out of bounds to stop the clock with enough time for one more play, finding Morrison for the game-tying touchdown before Harris’ game-ending conversion.
“I just told my wide receivers ‘go deep,’” Brummitt said. “Coach just wanted me to chuck it up. I saw Macie was open, so I threw it to her and luckily she was aggressive and caught it.”
Curran noted that the late-game situations will be something teams will be looking to improve upon after the first week.
“I think it’ll be really important (working on) the onside-kick situation, two-point conversion and one-point conversions,” Curran said. “Having the players understand situational football is going to be very important going forward.”
Freshman Audrey Pennartz scored two touchdowns for Nolensville (0-2), and Sara Kulkarni also found the end zone for the Knights.
Girls’ Flag Football Week 1 Scores
- At Nolensville
- Ravenwood 48, Nolensville 0
- Ravenwood 40, Brentwood 6
- Brentwood 27, Nolensville 26
- At Fairview
- Fairview 19, Independence 6
- Independence 7, Summit 6 (OT)
- Fairview 6, Summit 0
- At Franklin
- Franklin 13, Centennial 7
- Page 19, Centennial 14
- Franklin 18, Page 6
Williamson County Girls’ Flag Football Standings
- 2-0: Ravenwood, Fairview, Franklin
- 1-1: Page, Independence, Brentwood
- 0-2: Summit, Centennial, Nolensville
Next week’s games
Home team is listed first.
- At Centennial
- 2:00 – Centennial vs. Brentwood
- 3:00 – Brentwood vs. Fairview
- 4:00 – Centennial vs. Fairview
- At Ravenwood
- 2:00 – Ravenwood vs. Independence
- 3:00 – Independence vs. Franklin
- 4:00 – Ravenwood vs. Franklin
- At Page
- 2:00 – Page vs. Summit
- 3:00 – Summit vs. Nolensville
- 4:00 – Page vs. Nolensville