RAVENSWOOD-In more than 100 years of playing football at Ravenswood High School, there have been some outstanding teams. None, however, has won more than this year's senior class thanks to the Red Devils' 35-6 win over Clay County Friday night at Flinn Field.
The victory, Ravenswood's sixth in eight games in 2011, gives this year's senior class 37 wins during their four seasons at the Jackson County school and vaults them ahead of the 2001-04 class that finished with 36 wins.
"It is a tribute to them and to our program as well as those who came before them that set the standard," explained Ravenswood head coach Dick Sturm.
Ravenswood will go after its seventh win of the season next Friday night at Flinn Field when St. Marys visits on the Red Devils' senior night.
"It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it," continued Sturm. "It's tremendous to get their confidence back."
The Red Devils (6-2) were coming off of back-to-back losses to Braxton County (51-13) and Point Pleasant (37-0) and had dropped from No. 2 in the Class AA rankings to No. 12.
Senior Jeremy Lawrence wasted little time in making sure the red and black would not lose three-in-a-row as the speedy running back took a pitch from senior quarterback Dustin Derito on the game's second play from scrimmage and raced 60 yards for the game's first score with only 33 seconds off of the game clock. Senior Brandon Cunningham converted on the PAT and Ravenswood had the lead for good, 7-0.
Those would not be the only points by the hosts in the first half, however.
Ravenswood would need six plays on its next possession to light up the scoreboard as Derito, who completed 15-of-26 attempts for 180 yards, dropped back and found senior tight end Kyle Griffith all alone in the end zone for a 20-yard scoring pass. Cunningham again converted on the kick after to double the Red Devils' lead to 14-0 with 5:30 left in the opening quarter.
A pair of 1-yard runs-one by Lawrence and the other by Derito-and two more Cunningham PATs pushed the margin to 28-0 with 8:42 left until intermission. Clay County, which dropped to 2-6 on the season with a home game against Tyler Consolidated at 7 p.m. next Friday, finally got on the board when it elected to go with a fake punt on a fourth-and-12 from the Panthers' 35.
Senior punter/running back Jordan Lucas dropped back in punt formation, but pulled the ball down and sprinted down the left sideline when Ravenswood's defensive unit failed to rush the punter.
That would be the Panthers' only highlight, however, as Lawrence, who finished with 113 yards three touchdowns on 18 carries, closed out the scoring with a 1-yard plunge with 5:23 left in the game.