COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Ravenwood almost stunned the state football community last season, falling by a point to nationally-ranked Maryville in the Class 6A state title game.
A year later, and perhaps bigger underdogs, the Raptors pulled off the upset.
Ravenwood snapped Maryville’s 44-game winning streak — the fourth longest in the nation — and captured the Class 6A state title, defeating the Rebels 26-17 Saturday evening in the BlueCross Bowl at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
After falling down 17-10 in the second quarter, Ravenwood (14-1) shut down Maryville (14-1) the remainder of the game, including forcing three turnovers and limiting the Rebels to less than 100 yards of offense in the second half (most of that coming on the final drive).
Mr. Football winner Crews Holt hit four field goals for Ravenwood (14-1). His 23-yarder got the Raptors on the board first, but Maryville (14-1) came back to score the next 10 points. Blake Watson’s 11-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Hopkins and a 42-yard field goal by Matthew Cone early in the second quarter put the Rebels up 10-3.
Ravenwood tied things on its next possession when Chris Rowland hauled in a 63-yard scoring pass from Andrew Rappe to make it 10-10.
Maryville responded with a touchdown just a minute and a half later when Hopkins found Brian Tillery on a 12-yard scoring strike to go up 17-10.
Ravenwood’s defense took over from there. The Raptors picked off Hopkins three times, including once (Andrew Lutgens) near the goal line when Maryville was moving in for a go-ahead score in the third quarter.
Holt’s 27-yard field goal cut the lead to 17-13. Less than two minutes later the Raptors took the lead on Chris Rowland’s 5-yard pass to Carter Nelson, making the score 20-17.
Ravenwood’s defense continued to stymie Maryville in the fourth quarter and Holt added two more field goals (42, 33) to push the Raptor lead to 26-17.
Ravenwood sealed the win with less than two minutes remaining, as Nate Stoner picked off a Hopkins pass in the end zone. Entering the game Hopkins had thrown only two interceptions all season. He finished just 9-of-23 for 139 yards, two TDs and the three picks.
Rappe was 9-of-14 for 151 yards and a TD while Rowland had 117 yards receiving, 40 rushing and threw a touchdown pass.