Mogadore, Kent Roosevelt, Aurora and Streetsboro will host Regional Quarterfinal games next weekend, while Ravenna and Woodridge will open playoff action on the road.
The Wildcats (10-0) earned the top spot in Division VI, Region 21, and likely locked up their sixth Associated Press State Poll championship after defeating East Canton 33-12 on Friday to finish the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record. The Cats also captured AP poll crowns in 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985 and 2001.
KENT: The Big R Trophy is returning to Kent on the legs of Tra’Von Chapman.
Chapman ran for 162 yards and four touchdowns, two of them in overtime, as Kent Roosevelt took down rival Ravenna 26-20 in double overtime Friday night.
“It was a heart-racer,” said Chapman, who also passed for 82 yards. “My whole family is here and I think I gave them a couple of spooks. It was a great team win.”
After trailing 13-3 entering the fourth quarter, Ravenna (6-4, 5-2) fought back and forced overtime in the Portage Trail Conference Metro game on junior kicker Ben Morgan’s 24-yard field goal as time expired.
It’s appropriate that another game between Kent Roosevelt and Ravenna could not be resolved in regulation — or even after one overtime period.
It’s appropriate that seniors led the way for both of the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division’s historically power programs.
And it’s especially appropriate that, on the final play of the second overtime period, it was the most important senior on Roosevelt’s roster that clinched the victory.
I have been fortunate to have been on both sides of the Kent Roosevelt-Ravenna rivalry.
In 1994 and 1995, my first two years at the Record-Courier, my beat was Ravenna High School sports, covering the football Ravens under then-head coach John Keegan.
From 1996-2000, I was reassigned to covering sports at Kent Roosevelt High School, where I followed the football Rough Riders under first John Nemec and then Joe Vassalotti.
As an outsider and a newcomer to this game, I quickly learned that there was one common denominator to the rivalry between Ravenna and Kent Roosevelt: Whether you’re a Raven, or whether you’re a Rough Rider, this game is personal.
You have parents who attended Kent Roosevelt and now live in Ravenna, whose kids are Ravenna students or graduates. And vice versa.
You have students who attend Ravenna and have cousins — and in some cases siblings — who attend Kent Roosevelt. And vice versa.
There are even cases where a student starts out at Ravenna High School, then transfers to Kent Roosevelt. And vice versa.
And then there are students at Kent Roosevelt who have close friends who attend Ravenna. And vice versa.
This rivalry transcends league championships, playoff berths, even community bragging rights. It literally cuts right through families, crosses friendships and affects the residents of the Ravenna and Kent communities on a deeply personal level — and that’s what makes it special.
Questions have recently arose about the official start of the Kent Roosevelt-Ravenna football rivalry.
When was the first official game?
The answer to that question is known for sure: 1922.
That was the first year that Kent Roosevelt and Ravenna squared off on the gridiron under those specific high school names.
However, the rivalry dates further than that, likely all the way back to 1910, which is where some of the confusion enters the equation.
At that time, Kent’s high school was known as the Kent High School and was often referred to as the Kent Central High School, especially after the arrival of the Kent Normal School in 1917, which later became Kent State High School. The school adopted the name Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1922.
By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
For all of the big games that University of Mount Union coaching legend Larry Kehres has been a part of, there is one clash he’s always had to view at a distance.
As Kent Roosevelt and Ravenna prepare to lock horns this Friday, Kehres joined a collection of over 100 city leaders, school administrators, players, cheerleaders and band members of the two schools convened for the annual Captains Luncheon, which was hosted by NEOMED and co-sponsored by Robinson Memorial Hospital and Brimfield Insurance.
Now in its 14th year, the event showcased Friday’s meeting between the two schools, who enter Friday’s game with playoff seeding and league title implications riding on the game’s outcome.
Kehres’ resume speaks for itself: since taking over as head coach at the University of Mount Union in 1986, Kehres has posted a 324-24-3 record and captured 10 Division III national championships.
Last week, Kehres passed University of Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant for fourth place on the all-time win list in NCAA football.
But despite all of his success as a coach, he has never earned a victory — as a player or on the sidelines — in a game quite like Roosevelt vs. Ravenna.
“I grew up a little jealous of those Friday night lights,” Kehres, a graduate of Southeast High School, said. “Rivalries are cool — it’s the schools that don’t have rivalries that wish they did.
By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
When Kent Roosevelt and Ravenna meet for the 92nd time this Friday, no one in the stands at Roosevelt Stadium will have had a bigger impact on the historic rivalry than Tom Campana.
The legendary Roosevelt head coach is best-known for his tenure with the Rough Riders, where he helped build one of the state’s premier programs during his career that lasted from 1959 through 1970.
But all of the success Campana experienced against countless opposing coaches and teams could take a backseat to his memories — on both sidelines — of Portage County’s premier rivalry.
“This rivalry between Kent and Ravenna has always been a classic,” Campana said. “It’s intense and has always been a game that not only players, coaches and administrators enjoy, but both towns look forward to as well.
“The way the kids perform and approach the game — it’s just a classic.”
2012 High School Football Portage Trail Conference preview: Kent Roosevelt hopes to build around quarterback Tra’Von Chapman
Following a 10-win season and an undefeated record in the conference, Kent Roosevelt coach John Nemec is understandably excited about being able to deploy a quarterback with a commitment to a BCS program for an additional year.
“It’s wonderful,” he said of Tra’Von Chapman, who has committed to play for the University of Pittsburgh next fall. “He’s just outstanding, he’s a captain and we’re excited for this season.”
|Written by ERIC CLUTTER|
|Saturday, 29 October 2011 07:31|
|For the first half Friday night at a sold-out Ravenna Stadium, the Ravens defense held one of the top-scoring offenses in the area to only seven points, putting steady pressure on Kent Roosevelt quarterback Tra Chapman and taking the ball over twice on downs.
But in the second half, Chapman — only 4-of-9 passing for 74 yards in the first half — lit up the chilly fall evening, hitting 15-of-17 passes for 196 yards and three scores to lead the Rough Riders to a scintillating 42-35 Portage Trail Conference Metro Division win over their Ravenna neighbors.
The victory gives Kent Roosevelt the 2011 PTC Metro title and a spot in the Division II playoffs. The Rough Riders (9-1, 7-0) will open postseason play in the quarterfinals next Friday at 7 p.m.
Though his arm did most of the damage on the night, it was a Chapman short 1-yard run with 1:59 left in the game that broke a 35-35 tie and gave the Rough Riders win.
“He can run, pass and is a good leader,” said Roosevelt coach John Nemec of his junior quarterback.
Chapman’s winning score was set up by a Shakeel Howard 6-yard run on a 4th-and-3 situation one play earlier.
The drama was far from over, however.
Operating without any timeouts, the Ravens offense — thanks in large part to a 37-yard pass from Brandon Holt to D.J. Jones — moved down to the Roosevelt 5-yard line with 24 seconds to go.
But the Ravens (8-2, 6-1) got no further, with three incomplete passes running out the clock, including the final one in the end zone as time expired.
“This was a special win,” said Nemec, after his squad notched the school’s 45th win in the series’ 90th meeting (45-43-2). “There are a lot of emotions we have gone through this year, and the kids have held it together. In a game like this, you have to be careful you don’t get too uptight. I was real proud. I thought they kept coming back. They played their hearts out. Now, so did Ravenna.
“It was a great high school football game.”
Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi echoed Nemec’s thoughts.
“It was a hard-fought battle and I think it could have went either way at the end, obviously,” he said. “The ball fell their way. There have been numerous times where it has fallen our way. It happens. I’m proud of our kids. They have done wonderful things. And (Roosevelt) has done wonderful things.
“It came down to (six-tenths of a second),” said Lunardi, whose squad had already clinched a playoff spot in Division III heading into Friday’s game. “We had a chance at the end and we didn’t get it. It happens.”
Though his team lost, Jones had another great night, rushing for 227 yards and four scores. He also surpassed 2,000 yards for the season.
Jones’ final TD came with 10 seconds left in the third quarter and put the Ravens on top 28-21.
Chapman answered by hitting Trei Thomas for a 30-yard strike to tie the game for the fourth time with 8:50 showing.
“The long ball. It was third-and-17 and we give up a touchdown,” said Lunardi. “That hurts. (Chapman) does a nice job of throwing the ball and finding open receivers. There were times where we would get pressure and didn’t get to him. Other times we did.”
Less than two minutes later, Rich Graves — who was on the receiving end of Chapman’s other two TD passes — picked off Holt in the left flat and returned it 29 yards to give Roosevelt its first lead of the night. It was Graves’ second pick of the game and Holt’s third of the night.
“I just followed (the quarterback’s) eyes and when he released it, I broke on the ball,” said Graves. “I caught it and raced to the end zone.”
Holt bounced right back and scampered 7 yards with 4:54 to go to once again knot the contest at 35-35.
The next time Roosevelt got the ball, Chapman hit Graves with successive 12-yard passes to ignite the winning drive.
“We knew we could do it and came out here and proved everybody that doubted us wrong,” said Graves. “It was a complete team victory, and I’m so glad we can call ourselves champs.”
Original article can be found at: http://recordpub.com/news/sports_article/5116596
|Written by PTC Staff|
|Friday, 28 October 2011 22:25|
|Kent wins coveted Big R Trophy
If you want the full game experience WATCH TV2 KSU Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm for a full broadcast of Friday’s game. You can watch the game on Time Warner Cable channel 2 or 16. Also, you can find the action on TV2KSU.com
FINAL SCORE | Kent: 42 Ravenna: 35
PTC Player of the game: Richard Graves
Graves had 8 receptions for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had a big defensive play when he returned an interception for a touchdown.
The Ravenna Ravens and the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders have simply cruised through all of their games this season and both expect to be significant contenders in the state playoffs but now it is time for the two to face off in the PTC Game of the Year. Just under a year ago, the Ravens were able to fend off the Rough Riders 28-14. Ravenna has won their last seven contests by 28 points or more and look to keep that going behind possible PTC player of the year, running back D.J. Jones. However, Kent has their own offensive firepower led by quarterback Tra’von Chapman who has accounted for 30 touchdowns this season. The buzz surrounding this game is buzz for a reason, and it could come down to who wants it more.
The Ravenna cheerleaders, student section, and band show their passion for the Kent Ravenna rivalry.
The Kent Roosevelt fans show how the Rough Rider Nation prepares for the Kent Ravenna game.