By MADISON BROWDER
Emotions ran high in the first meeting on the gridiron between the Ravenwood Raptors and Fairview Yellow Jackets Friday.
With both teams seeking their seventh win of the season, Ravenwood managed to pull away late for a 42-27 road victory against the Class 3A program.
“I didn’t think it would get as chippy as it did,” Ravenwood head coach Matt Daniels said. “But these are two teams who love playing football and are very prideful and very proud of the years they have had. Both of us are coming off of a bye, so you could kind of see a little bit of rust and frustration from both sides.”
There were18 penalties called for a total of 173 yards between the two teams. Several of those came towards the end of the play.
Ravenwood was led by the quarterback duo of senior utility player Nick Stallcup and sophomore Brian Garcia.
Garcia got the job done through the air with 19 completions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Stallcup racked up 85 receiving yards, 71 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
“Nick is so deserving of everything that has happened to him this year,” Daniels said. “He’s worked so hard this year, and having to learn a new position and then having to learn a couple more new positions — I mean, he played safety last year. He’s played every offensive position this year. I’m just so proud of him.”
Stallcup passed the 1,000 total yards for the season during the game.
“It feels fun and great, but I wouldn’t really be able to do it without the offensive line,” he said. “I just love them. They’re my brothers.”
Ravenwood running back Jordan Smith rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Parker Nash added 64 receiving yards and Anthony McCarthy registered 12 tackles and one sack.
Ravenwood got on the board first with a touchdown run by Anthony Holmes in the first quarter.
Fairview answered quickly following a failed onside kick from the Raptors, as quarterback Kam Harris-Lusk rushed in from 11 yards out to tie the game at seven.
Kam’s brother, Khristian Harris-Lusk, picked off a Garcia pass. The takeaway eventually results in a 2-yard touchdown run by Darius James to put the Yellowjackets up 14-7.
Stallcup got on the board with a quick touchdown run early in the second quarter to tie the game.
Ravenwood’s Cole Carteaux intercepted a Harris-Lusk pass late in the first half. That led to a Raptor touchdown when Garcia went deep to Stallcup. The pass was caught, but Stallcup fumbled. Miller Powell picked up the loose ball in stride and took it to the house to put Ravenwood up 21-14 at halftime.
Fairview received the kickoff in the second half, their first play from scrimmage resulted in a touchdown run from Kam Harris-Lusk.
With a tied game, Smith found paydirt midway through the third quarter to put Ravenwood ahead 28-21.
James got into the end zone again for Fairview, blowing by the Raptor defense, however the extra point was no good and the Jackets were down by one.
Smith added a second touchdown run and Jared McArthur caught a touchdown pass to finalize the scoring with under two minutes to play.
The Raptors are in a four-way tie with Independence, Brentwood and Centennial with a 3-1 Region 6-AAA record. Ravenwood needs a win against Indy and a Brentwood victory against Centennial next week to win the title.
“We’ve got to take care of Independence, and we’ve got to support our rivals over there at Brentwood,” Daniels said. “They’ve got to take care of business at Centennial, because Centennial is still in the position to win the region, as well. We’ve thought a lot about Independence. We’re going to prepare for the best shot that Independence can give us.”