Written by Colin Harris
Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:41
The Ravenna Ravens’ season came to an end Friday, falling 24-6 to Chagrin Falls in a Division III, Region 9 regional semifinal contest.Ravenna was held to a season-low 210 yards of total offense as a big and physical Chagrin Falls defensive line dictated the tempo.
“A lot of those creases closed really fast for us on offense,” Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi said. “Chagrin Falls is a physical team, and they did a great job across the defensive line.”
Ravenna senior running back D.J. Jones was held to under 100 yards for the first time this season, carrying the ball 23 times for 85 yards.
As Ravenna’s offense struggled, its defense stayed out too long, ultimately allowing 368 yards of total offense — with much of it coming during a first half that saw Chagrin Falls build a commanding lead.
The Tigers racked up 251 yards of total offense in the first half, but came away with just 17 points. Junior quarterback Tommy Iammarino hit on passes of 18, 20 and 32 yards, while the run game ripped off carries of 14, 15 and 35 during the first half as the Tigers’ versatility in the passing and option-run game caused headaches for the Ravens.
Iammarino was very efficient running the Tigers’ offense, finishing the night 10-of-14 for 123 yards and one touchdown through the air.
On the ground, the junior carried the ball nine times for 25 yards and another score.
Already up 3-0, the Tigers added to their first-quarter lead when they scored on a five-play drive that began at their own 31. After junior Bradley Munday carried the ball nine yards to the Chagrin 40, Iammarino hooked up with senior Anthony DeCamillo for a 32-yard pass to get down to the Ravenna 12-yard line.
After a holding call wiped out a touchdown run, the team got back into the end zone two plays later on an Iammarino TD pass from 10 yards out to put the Tigers up 10-0.
Ravenna put together its best drive of the half on its final possession of the first quarter, rushing the ball down to the Chagrin Falls 36 on a nine-play, all-rush drive that netted the team its only two first downs of the half. Jones carried the ball eight times — primarily out of the direct-snap formation — and earned his longest rush of the night on a 26-yard carry, but the drive eventually stalled. Rather than punt on fourth down, the Ravens called a pass for Holt.
The pass attempt sailed out of bounds, however, giving the Tigers the ball back with around 1:30 remaining in the half.
The Tigers took advantage, putting together a quick nine-play drive, culminating in an Immarino 1-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds remaining that put Chagrin Falls up 17-0 at halftime.
Holt, the Ravens’ senior signal-caller finished 8-of-21 for 101 yards and one touchdown.
Taking the ball to start the second half, Ravenna moved down to the Chagrin Falls’ 33 on nine plays. With Jones marked, Holt ripped off runs of 20 and nine yards to get the offense a pair of first downs.
The Ravens had a chance to score on second-and-7 from the Tigers’ 30 when Holt looked for receiver Jermaine Justice, who bobbled and dropped a diving catch in the end zone.
Ultimately, the drive stalled and the Tigers took over at their own 33-yard line. It only took one play for Chagrin Falls to close things out for the Ravens as junior Jack Campbell ripped off a 67-yard touchdown scamper to put the Tigers up, 27-0 with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter.
Ravenna got on the board with under a minute in regulation, capping off a drive that began at its own 13-yard line with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Holt to Jones.
The score was one that Lunardi said was a sign to the fight his team showed all season.
“I think it’s a testament to the way this team has rallied and fought that they didn’t give up until the final whistle,” Lunardi said. “This team has been a special group and they won us our first playoff game in team history. And when we got a touchdown at the end, we were able to go to the player who has been there for us all year,” the coach said in reference to Jones.
Original article can be read at: http://recordpub.com/news/sports_article/5123233