Written by BRAD BOURNIVAL
Saturday, 05 November 2011 01:31
RAVENNA, Ohio – Friday’s Division III, Region 9 quarterfinal between Ravenna and Southeast had more see-saws than a playground.By the time things finally fizzled out, the Ravens won their first playoff game in school history, 42-35 over the Pirates. But believe it when people tell you years from now, they sat on the edge of their seats at Gilchrest Field until the final snap.Every time it seemed Ravenna (9-2) was finally looking to put the nail in the proverbial coffin of Southeast (10-1), the Pirates pulled out another trick. It wasn’t over until Ravens strong safety Kyle Kornbau swatted away a pass intended for Trevor Norquest in the end zone, giving the Ravenna faithful a chance to breathe.
|Written by Colin Harris|
|Friday, 04 November 2011 23:59|
|Finally, the answer for what the difference between the Portage Trail Conference County Division’s best and one of the Metro Division’s elite has been answered.It’s a batted-down flee-flicker in the end zone.Ravenna survived an all-out war Friday night, defeating County Division champion Southeast 42-35 to move on in the Division III, Region 9 playoffs.“We were pretty helter-skelter out there at times tonight, and that’s something we’re really going to have to clean up going forward,” Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi said. “I think we talked about burying the hatchet from (Week 10’s loss to Kent Roosevelt), but I feel like that was still lingering for us.
“We spent a lot of energy last Friday night, and we played a great team tonight in Southeast,” Lunardi added. “I know Southeast puts a good product out there and I can’t say enough about them. They’re really resilient.”
The first playoff victory in the program’s history did not come easy for Ravenna (9-2), which had to withstand a furious rally by the Pirates (10-1) during the game’s final minutes.
Trailing 42-28 after a Ravenna senior D.J. Jones touchdown — his fifth of the night — with 5:15 remaining, Southeast took over at its own 28-yard line.
Pirates senior quarterback Noah Kainrad took control on the drive, carrying the ball four times for 23 yards and completing five passes for 66 yards —including a fourth-and-19 conversion to fellow senior Tylor Brokaw.
After bringing the ball down to the Ravenna 13, Kainrad found senior Bryant Lavigna, who shook off a tackler and ran in for a 13-yard score to cut Ravenna’s lead to 42-35 with 1:28 remaining in regulation.
Kainrad finished the night 13-of-21 for 178 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard scoring pass to junior Trevor Norquest in the first quarter. Kainrad also rushed the ball for 63 yards as he kept a number of Pirates drives alive.
“Our leadership has been in these battles before,” Southeast coach Steve Sigworth said. “We’ve been down at Mogadore and had adversity at Field. We just kept saying we’ll play hard every play and go until the game is over. That’s what leaders (like Kainrad) did for us tonight.”
Southeast recovered an improbable on-side kick attempt on the ensuing play as Lavigna rose up in the middle of a pile and snagged the Greg Miller kick.
Lavigna’s recovery gave Southeast one more shot at tying the game as it took over at the Ravenna 44. Kainrad again drove the Pirates into position before being faced with a 4th-and-5 at the Ravenna 29.
After taking the snap, Kainrad handed off to Brokaw, who pitched it back to Kainrad. From there, the senior quarterback looked deep and hurled a pass into the end zone that was barely knocked down by junior safety Kyle Kornbau to seal the win for Ravenna.
“I can’t say enough about (Kornbau),” Lunardi said. “If you got him out here to talk he’d say one or two words, but he’s a 4.0 student, a smart kid. That’s why we moved him back there to safety in the first place.”
As has been the case all year, Ravenna got a full day’s work from Jones at the running back spot. The speedy senior dodged, darted and pinballed his way through the Pirates line 35 times for 218 yards.
Up next for the Ravens is a neutral site date on Friday with Chagrin Falls, the top-seeded team in the region. The Tigers defeated Oberlin Firelands on Friday 66-14 to set up next Friday’s regional semifinal date with Ravenna.
“We see Chagrin Falls every year at Mount Union (football camp) and we compete with them during 7-on-7s,” Lunardi said. “They’re a great football team with a lot of tradition. They do everything right and very little wrong.”
Original can be found at: http://www.recordpub.com/news/sports_article/5119992
|Written by Colin Harris|
|Friday, 04 November 2011 11:26|
|It all comes down to this in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division as two of the division’s best teams meet up with major implications on the line.
Wait, what? Southeast is in the County Division now? This is Week 11?
The matchup that probably no one predicted came true after the dust settled last Friday night as County Division champion Southeast will travel down the road to take on the host Ravenna Ravens tonight in what might be the most interesting Division III, Region 9 first-round playoff game.
“You know, we’re trying to just look at this game like it’s another opponent for us,” Southeast coach Steve Sigworth said. “But we realize that Ravenna is a backyard rival and that definitely adds another element to the game (for the students and community).”
Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi echoed Sigworth’s sentiment when it comes to preparing his team for a Week 11 home game.
“People can read into this game and playing Southeast all they want, but we need to just be ready for a great game,” Lunardi said. “You can say we’re in the Metro and they’re in the County, but what I know is that there are going to be two good teams out there Friday night and they’ll want to beat each other.”
As for the game itself, the two squads seem to be as similar, yet as different, as you can possibly be.
Both Ravenna and Southeast like to run the ball — the Ravens net 340 yards a game on the ground and Southeast averages about 294 yards.
Ravenna senior back D.J. Jones can really fly, totaling 2,132 yards and 28 touchdowns, while Southeast senior Tylor Brokaw is at 1,179 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Where the two teams differ is at the quarterback spot. Ravenna senior Brandon Holt is a fantastic runner, totaling 799 yards and 11 touchdowns. Much of what Ravenna does comes from keeping the defense afraid of handoffs to Jones or keepers to Holt.
Southeast senior quarterback Noah Kainrad can also run the ball, putting up 544 yards and 10 touchdowns. But Kainrad is more of a threat with his arm, throwing for 1,162 and 13 touchdowns to just two interceptions. [Brandon Holt threw for 1,003 yards and 9 touchdowns during the regular season but threw 6 interceptions, three of which occurred in week 10 against Kent.]
“I really like what Southeast does as a football team,” Lunardi said. “They’re really well-coached and they play with a lot of tenacity. We know that they’re going to throw the kitchen sink at us when we get out there (tonight).”
Sigworth said that the key for his team is to reflect that coaching and play disciplined football against Ravenna’s dynamic athletes.
“We can’t defend the broken play against Ravenna, we know that much,” Sigworth said. “So what we have to do is make them earn everything they get. Ravenna is the best team we’ve played all year — they’ll make plays (against Southeast), but we have to make sure we play good defense and make them work for what they get.”
Original article can be found at: http://recordpub.com/news/sports_article/5119379
|Written by By Don Dreger|
|Friday, 24 September 2010 19:00|
|The Ravenna Ravens took care of business Friday night at home after playing three straight games on the road, and defeated Southeast 41-7 in the Metro Division of the Portage Trail Conference.
The Ravens (3-2, 2-0 Metro) ran for 415 yards on the ground, with junior D.J. Jones going for 297 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. He has now rushed for 716 yards in the past three games alone.
Stephen Wilmington was no slouch himself, gaining 103 yards on seven carries and scoring three touchdowns.
Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi credited his offensive line with the big numbers on the ground.
“With Greydon Pavlik at center, Nick Winn and (Ricardo) Meija at the guards and Matt Benson and Auston Reaser at tackles, we have put some big numbers up the last three weeks,” said Lunardi. “It all starts with the line, and these guys do an outstanding job.” The Ravens defense was also solid, intercepting two passes and recovering one fumble.
“This was a meeting of two teams that have similar types of kids,” said Lunardi. “I told our players that, with Southeast moving over to the County Division next season, we might not play them for a long time. We had to make this game a memorable one.”
The game opened quickly in Ravenna’s favor with an interception, and the Ravens jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Southeast could have had the early lead if not for the hand of fate.
The Pirates (3-2, 1-1) received the opening kickoff. On the first play, quarterback Noah Kainrad found Nick DeJacimo open on a 15-yard hook play.
DeJacimo spun to the outside, broke a tackle and raced to the Ravenna 10-yard line.
A holding penalty moved the ball back to the 18. From there Kainrad tried another pass in the right flat, but the ball was tipped and Brandon Holt intercepted the pass. It was a big bullet that the Ravens dodged.
Four plays later, Wilmington outraced the Southeast defense for a 75-yard touchdown, and Trevor Stankavich made the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
Ravenna then held the Pirates and forced a punt. Nine plays later, after Jones and Wilmington each broke off big gains, Deiondre Mack burst into the end zone from the 3. The kick failed, but the Ravens still led 13-0.
Ravenna and Southeast then traded punts twice. After the second punt by the Pirates, the Ravens return man fumbled the ball at the Ravenna 42 and Eric Stone recovered for Southeast.
It took 13 plays, including two pass completions for 21 yards, for the Pirates to get on the scoreboard as Sean Stone scored from the 1. Gregg Miller made the PAT to cut the lead to 13-7.
“That interception was a big play for the Ravens,” said Southeast coach Steve Sigworth. “The air went right out of our confidence. Yet I have to credit our kids with not quitting. We came back and scored.”
Following the Pirates score, the Ravens stayed on the ground on the ensuing drive, with Jones ripping off gains of 31, 15 and eight yards. Jones finally scored from the 5, then ran for the 2-point conversion to give Ravenna a 21-7 advantage.
The Ravens added two touchdowns in the third period to expand the lead to 35-7.
An alert play by Wilmington on the opening drive after halftime created the first score. Holt threw a pass to Wilmington in the right flat. It was low, and a Southeast defender tipped the ball. Wilmington caught it on the sideline and sprinted to the goal line, breaking four tackles on the way for a 41-yard tally.
Wilmington added another score on the next possession.
“They put a better product out on the field tonight,” said Sigworth. “They were bigger and they were able to run through tackles. They executed better and made fewer mistakes. When you do that, it’s generally going to be a long night for the other team.”
In the final period, Jones made a spectacular 75-yard run to the 5 before Southeast defender Ravonne Lawrence made up five yards and brought him down from behind.
“That was a typical effort by our kids, proving that they never quit,” said Sigworth.
Original article can be found at: http://recordpub.com/news/sports_article/4900950
|Written by Don Dreger|
|Saturday, 20 September 2008 05:31|
|The Southeast Pirates threw everything but the kitchen sink at host Ravenna on Friday, but the Ravens pulled away for a wild 52-34 victory.
The difference was Ravenna’s outstanding senior running back, Blayre Davis. All Davis did was run for 300 yards in 20 carries and score a school-record seven touchdowns ” on runs of 4, 38, 2, 57, 13, 25 and 63 yards.
Davis broke the Ravenna records for touchdowns scored in a game, previously held by Marcus Sanders (6 against Brush in 1998), and rushing touchdowns scored in a single game, held by Bob Loftin (5 against Kent Roosevelt in 1949).
Davis scored in every quarter, including two in the final period, when Ravenna iced the game. He became only the 12th player in Ohio high school football history to score seven or more rushing touchdowns in a single game.
“We had no answer for Davis,” said Southeast coach Rick Reynolds.
Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi praised the work of Davis, and the men who made the holes for his star back.
“You don’t make the yardage we did without the guys up front doing a great job,” said Lunardi, whose Ravens rushed for 435 yards. “Left to right the linemen are Jake Bell, Chris Hudson, Josh Boettler, Dan McCoy and Chad Groves. Greydon Pavlik also saw a lot of time in there.”
The first minute of the game was all Ravenna (4-1, 2-0 Portage Trail Conference Metro Division).
Defensive back Zack Thomas intercepted an Anthony Pennington pass on the second play of the game and returned the ball to the Southeast 12. Two plays later, Davis burst in from the 4.
But Southeast (1-4, 0-2) scored the next two touchdowns, as Pennington found wide open receivers all over the field. Nick Hopkins scored first on a 12-yard pass, then it was Taylor Simyak gathering in a 28-yard toss.
“I’m very proud of our kids and the way they took the battle to Ravenna,” said Reynolds. “Our gameplan was to keep Ravenna off the field, and we did that in the first half.”
Ravenna then punted, and the Pirates marched down to the Raven 12.
Southeast tried to punch it in, but the runner fumbled on the goal line and an alert Simyak recovered in the end zone for the third Pirate score. Doug Frances made all the PATs for a 21-7 lead.
“We let them score 21 unanswered points,” said Lunardi. “They only scored 13 more the rest of the game. We were inconsistent on defense.”
To start the second half, Southeast kicked off to the Ravens. The Pirates pulled off a surprise onside kick and recovered the ball.
The strategy worked, as the Pirates quickly scored on a 35-yard halfback pass from Gary Allen to Dan Frances and then on an 8-yard Pennington strike to Simyak. Suddenly it was 34-21 Southeast.
The Pirate passing attack gained 236 yards on 15 completions, while Ravenna had a mere 50 yards passing. Southeast also gained 141 yards on the ground.
“We couldn’t get untracked,” said Lunardi. “It’s a problem we’ve had all year, inconsistent play.”
After the second score in the third period, it took Davis only one play to answer ” a 59-yard run up the middle from a direct snap. Then Davis added another tally near the end of the third period on a bruising 13-yard run off left tackle.
Ravenna took the lead for the first time since the opening minute 35-34 after Tyler Bennett’s fifth PAT.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Southeast tried the hook-and-ladder pass play, where the receiver laterals the ball to a trailing runner after a completion. However, Ravenna’s Xavier Jones got in the middle of the play and recovered the ball on the Southeast 19.
Bennett nailed a 28-yard field goal to move the lead out to 38-34.
On Ravenna’s next two possessions, it took only five plays to score twice, with Davis scampering 25 and 63 yards.
Original Article can be found at: http://www.recordpub.com/news/sports_article/4424982
|Written by Ben Wolford|
|Friday, 21 September 2007 19:00|
PALMYRA — A high-energy Ravenna Ravens football team wasn’t going to let penalties slow them down.
In fact, they’re taught not to slow down for anything.
They put their teaching into practice Friday, as they earned a Portage Trail Conference Metro Division win over the Southeast Pirates, 29-19
“I tell the kids all the time, every day you face adversity,” said Ravenna head coach Jim Lunardi. “There are things that will go your way and things that won’t go your way. You have to be mentally tough in those situations.”
The Ravens overcame 75 yards for penalties in crunch situations and kept fighting.
“Physically, you need to take over on the field,” Lundardi said. “I think Blayre Davis took over on the field.”
Davis, a junior, rushed for 179 yards on 31 carries, which does not include the production he provided receiving.
The versatile running back caught an important touchdown pass to end the first half.
Ravenna hit the Pirates’ defense hard with a diverse running game. They more than doubled Southeast’s rushing yards, totaling 313 on 47 tries.
“We made adjustments out front and shifted our linebackers a little bit,” said Southeast coach Rick Reynolds.
But the defensive changes couldn’t slow Ravenna’s momentum.
“Lunardi and his team did a real nice job,” Reynolds said.
After a scoreless first quarter, Ravenna was the first to score in the second on a 3-yard touchdown run by Blayre Davis after a 56-yard drive.
A penalty on the extra-point attempt went in favor of the Ravens and they decided to run Blayre Davis in for the two-point coversion.
Southeast came right back on their next possession and made significant progression through the passing game. Quarterback Alex Blake completed a high-lofting lob pass to a sliding Nick Mulhollen for 30 yards. They eventually got close enough for a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jon Oriakhi.
Blake threw for 116 yards on just four completions and Mulhollen was the target for 60 of those yards.
Ravenna began a drive with 1:32 left in the half, up two points thanks to a failed Pirates’ two-point conversion.
After throwing three incomplete passes from Southeast’s 31-yard line, just five seconds remained. On the next play, Blayre Davis broke loose for a 31-yard reception from Brandon Pesicek that changed the pace of the game.
Lunardi said his offensive line could be credited for much of Davis’ success. “I thought our offensive line kind of took over. They blocked well,” Lundardi said.
Southeast would score two more touchdowns, a one-yard run from Chad Eatinger and a two-yard run from Blake, but both had answers from the Ravens. A 50-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Davis in the fourth quarter put Ravenna up by an imposing 16 points.
“I really thought we came out and gave it everything we had,” said Reynolds. “Our kids have everything to be proud of themselves and if they continue to play like that, we’re going to be fine the rest of the season.”
Eatinger, the Pirates’ senior captain, led his team with 116 rushing yards on 19 carries.
“They run a class-act program here,” Lunardi said in reference to Reynolds’ Pirates. “We had our hands full.”
Original Story Published: http://www.recordpub.com/news/article/2592552