Ravenna, OH - The Ravenna Ravens hosted the Howland Tigers on Friday night after a tough week 1 loss to Lorain last Friday while Howland also dropped their opener at home vs McKinley.
It was an offensive struggle in the first quarter as both teams failed to score on their first quarter possessions. Howland picked up a first down on their first possession but faced a 4 & 3 inside Raven territory. The Tigers Nick Leasure ran for the first down but fumbled on the Ravens 30-yard line giving the ball to Ravenna.
Ravenna was able to move the ball near midfield on a 19-yard pass from M'Kell Williams to Maykai O'Neal and a 9-yard run by running back Pavel Henderson. The Tiger defense came up big as they stuffed Henderson for a 5-yard loss and forced in incomplete pass by Williams. which lead to a punt.
Howland looked they might get something going as QB John Perry hit Nicholas Leasure for a 25-yard pass play. But Ravenna's defense stepped up holding Tiger running back Marco Massucci to no gain and then two straight incomplete passes by Perry on 3rd and 4th downs turning the ball back over to the Ravens.
After a 3 and out highlighted by a big sack by Tiger DL Aiden Heisel resulting in a 10-yard loss, Howland was able to move the ball into the red zone aided by a 15-yard facemask penalty against Ravenna. But Ravenna's defense stepped up again holding Howland on a 4th and 13 turning the ball back over to the Ravens.
Ravenna was able to move the ball to midfield highlighted by a Williams 28-yard run. Then on the 4th play of the drive Williams connected with Henderson on a beautiful 50-yard throw and catch touchdown bomb. The PAT by Mike Myers was good and Ravenna took a 7-0 lead with 8:00 to play in the first half.
Ravenna's D then held Howland to a 3 and out forcing another punt. A big run by Raven junior Daniel Sanders for 40 yards got the Ravens inside the 5-yard line. Williams was able to score on a 3-yard QB keeper for their second touchdown in less than four minutes. Myers again converted the PAT and Ravenna lead 14-0 with 4:18 to play in the half.
A crucial interception thrown by Tiger QB John Perry gave the Ravens a chance to put more points on the board with 1:08 left in the half. Myers came up short on a 51-yard FG attempt and we went to halftime with the Ravens up 14-0.
Ravenna opened the 3rd quarter with a turnover as M'Kell Williams was sacked and fumbled the ball which was recovered by Tiger DL Anthony Fortier. But Howland could not capitalize as they went 3 and out and punted the ball back to Ravenna.
After a 3 and out by the Ravens, Howland finally broke through as Massucci took it in from 28-yards out for the Tigers first score of the game. Bobby Kopey converted the PAT and the Raven lead was cut to 14-7.
The Ravens gave Howland a golden opportunity after a high snap on a punt forced punter Mike Myers to fall on the ball at their own 43 yard line giving the Tigers good field position. But the Ravens defense held them on a 3 and out forcing another punt.
Howland again had a chance to score as they had the ball inside the Ravens 15 yard line to open the 4th quarter, They went for it on 4th and 6 from the 11 yard line but Ravens 340 pound defensive tackle Jawuen Garrett blew up a Tigers running play to force a turnover on downs on a crucial play.
Ravens RB/DB Pavel Henderson made some big plays on defense in the 4th quarter intercepting a Perry pass with just over five minutes to play and then coming up with a game clinching sack that pushed Howland back to their own 13-yard line with only 40 seconds to play.
It was a big win for the Ravens and also coach Joe Callihan who secured his first win as Ravens head coach and was treated to a soaking courtesy of his proud team. I had a chance to speak with coach Callihan after the big win.
For Ravenna M'Kell Williams had 2 touchdowns (1 pass, 1 rush), Pavel Henderson had 125 total yards and a touchdown and Daniel Sanders ran for 77 yards.
This recap is brought to you by Daystar Ford in Garrettsville!