Throwback Thursday: how the Raptors shocked the state in 2005


Throwback Thursday: how the Raptors shocked the state in 2005

Ravenwood High School started making waves in football even as one of the newer secondary schools in Williamson County.

The school opened in 2002. The Raptors quickly won two state championships in football, and played in four.

The second win, of course, came last year against Maryville. But the first was much more unlikely.

Under second-year head coach Brian Rector, who now coaches for Father Ryan via Centennial, the Raptors beat Oak Ridge 14-7 on Dec. 3, 2005, to win a state championship in just their third season as a team.

Running back Dylan Williams and defensive back Daniel Becker led the Raptors in a defensive contest that had all combined 21 points scored in the first 9 minutes of the game.

The Raptors held Oak Ridge to just 183 total yards of offense, 93 rushing and 90 passing, while racking up 248 yards rushing and 281 total yards.

Becker led the Raptor defense, with 6 solo tackles, 9 total, and one for a one-yard loss. As a whole, the Ravenwood defense sacked Oak Ridge quarterback Connor Gulmire four times

Williams was ridiculous for the Raptors, with 170 yards rushing on 29 attempts; he also had all but 10 of the Raptors receiving yards, with 5 catches for 23 yards.

Ravenwood jumped out on the first drive.

Michael Ayers took the opening kick 48-yards back to the Raptors 49 yard line. From there, after two short T.C. Jennings rushes, Williams broke a 20-yard reception for the Raptors first first down.

Williams then ripped off an 8-yard rush, followed by an 11-yard Jennings run. That took it down to the Oak Ridge 16. Williams ran it down to the 9, then on the next play ran it in for a 9-yard score. Ravenwood led in the 2005 Blue Cross Bowl at Murfreesboro 7-0 just 9:44 into the game.

However, Oak Ridge came right back. Gulmire capped a quick drive with a 12-yard touchdown run in a three-play 56-yard drive that took just 47 seconds off the clock.

The teams traded quick possessions, and the Raptors got the ball back with 5:13 left in the opening quarter.

Jennings completed his second pass to Williams for five yards, as the Raptors took over off an Oak Ridge punt at the 50-yard line.

Then Jennings took off on a quarterback run for another 15 yards. At the 29 yard line, the Raptors handed off to Williams, who took it down to the Oak Ridge 7.

Jennings then took his turn. He ran it in for the Raptors second score of the first quarter, and what would be the final points of the championship game.

From there, what looked like a potential shootout turned into a defensive stalemate. It turned out that the team to score last, and first, won.

The Raptors, in just their third season as a team, were state champions. The next year they made it back to the championship game, in a surprise playoff run after a 6-4 season. But they lost to Smyrna 35-14.

It would be nine years before the Raptors made it back to another championship game, where they lost to Maryville. But the next year, last year, they got their vindication, beating Maryville for their second-ever state championship.

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