ANTIOCH – Cane Ridge’s defense made enough plays to get in front of visiting Overton on Thursday evening, but the Ravens had to work for their region-clinching victory.
The Ravens turned two Overton interceptions into 14 second-quarter points as they held on through a scoreless second half for a 21-12 victory to seal the 6-6A top seed for the playoffs.
Reggie Goodloe rushed for 139 yards on 19 carries to lead the Ravens offensively.
“It was a tough win, but we pulled it off,” Goodloe said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. It was a good team win, though, overall.”
Jevon Edmondson scored both of Overton’s touchdowns in the first quarter – a 3-yarder to cap the opening possession and a 1-yard score on fourth-and-goal that gave the Bobcats a 12-7 lead. Overton (5-2, 2-1 Region 6-6A) had its first extra point attempt blocked and failed on a subsequent two-point conversion attempt.
However, those were the only points the Bobcats could muster despite going 7-of-9 on fourth down in the contest.
“I wasn’t trying to punt,” Overton head coach Arcentae Broome said. “I punted in two situations where we felt like we needed to.”
Cane Ridge (7-1, 5-0) responded on its opening possession, as a good kickoff return put the Ravens up near midfield to start the series, then a face mask helped set up a Mose Phillips III-to-Byron Davis connection on a reverse pass for a 20-yard touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, Overton had a chance to extend the lead, driving to the Cane Ridge 10-yard line before Hagan’s pass was intercepted by Isaac Bonds in the end zone to snuff out the threat.
The Ravens capitalized, going 80 yards in six plays, with Reggie Goodloe gaining 73 of those. The last of his five carries on the series resulted in a 21-yard touchdown that gave the Ravens a 14-12 lead with 5:13 remaining in the first half.
On the next series, Overton collected one first down before Hagan’s pass over the middle deflected up in the air before Ke’Darian Fletcher snagged it and went 34 yards to put the Ravens up 21-12.
“Two turnovers cost us 14 points and four opportunities in the red zone blown,” Broome said. “That’s the game right there.”
Cane Ridge won despite being held to 186 yards of total offense.
“Our defense balled out tonight,” Broome said. “I can honestly say they played a great game. I think we were on defense maybe 30-something plays.”
Overton had another scoring opportunity at the end of the first half after a 12-play drive with two fourth-down conversions and two Cane Ridge penalties that extended the series, but the Ravens sacked Ryder Hagan on an untimed down to keep the Bobcats out of the end zone.
From there, the defenses took over. Cane Ridge stopped the Bobcats on fourth-and-goal late in the third quarter to preserve the lead, ending a series that saw Overton extend the series three times on fourth-down plays – though one was via a pass interference call against Cane Ridge.
The Bobcats’ last real scoring chances went away after back-to-back poor snaps turned second-and-5 in Cane Ridge territory into fourth-and-26, which the Bobcats failed to convert.
“Our) defense has got to get off the field on big downs,” Goodloe said. “We kept telling (the defense) that they’ve just got to keep stopping them.”
Overton still has a solid opportunity to earn a home playoff game with region matchups against La Vergne, Antioch and Smyrna, with that Week 11 showdown against the Bulldogs likely settling the No. 2 seed.
“That’s what we’re working on,” Broome said. “All is not lost. We’ll regroup and come back.”
The Ravens, meanwhile, enjoy an open date next week before finishing with their region finale against Dickson County on Oct. 21 and a non-region date against Maplewood on Oct. 28.
“We could be a state team and make a deep run,” Goodloe said. “But it’s going to take hard work, dedication and playing for somebody, always serving. Our coaches always tell to serve and play for one another.