MINT HILL Rocky River junior quarterback Naiil Ramadan came into the game against Butler with five rushing touchdowns this season.
The one he scored in the fourth quarter Friday night may be the biggest touchdown in Ravens history.
Ramadan ran to the right, broke several tackles and sprinted 53 yards down the sideline to score what would be the game-winning touchdown in Rocky Rivers 28-21 home win over state-ranked and defending 4AA champion Butler.
Coach called my number, my line blocked well and we ran it the way we executed in practice all week, Ramadan said.
Butler took over with 3 minutes and 41 seconds left in the game. The Bulldogs made it to their 41-yard line before junior quarterback Anthony Ratliff threw four incomplete passes in a row and the team turned the ball over on downs.
Rocky River was able to run out the clock to seal the win.
Its a big milestone, Ramadan said. For the past couple of years there were some teams we wanted to knock off and this is one of them.
Butler (6-3, 3-1 Southwestern 4A) came into the game ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press state 4A poll and No. 3 in the Observer Sweet 16.
The win is Rocky Rivers eighth in a row after an opening-week loss to Richmond Senior, and it keeps the Ravens (8-1, 4-0) in first place in the conference. Its also the first time the program has beaten Butler.
Im so proud of our kids, Rocky River coach Jason Fowler said. I mean thats a great football team over there. I mean theyve been the ones you have to beat for the last couple of years.
And to come out here and get this one tonight, thats just a testament to our kids believing in the program, you know, believing what it takes to get there and just coming out here and playing their hearts out.
Rocky River jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter. The Ravens went 70 yards in four plays on their first drive and scored on a 3-yard run by Ramadan, who finished with four carries for 60 yards.
The Ravens then scored on field goals of 32 and 30 yards by sophomore Jonathon Phifer to take a 13-0 lead after the first quarter.
Butler got on the board with 4:34 left in the half on a 2-yard run by junior fullback Jalen Cousar. Rocky River led 13-7 at the half.
The Rocky River defense forced two Ratliff fumbles in the first half, including one late in the second quarter when Butler had the ball in the red zone.
Butler scored two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 21-13 lead. Ratliff (13-of-26 for 110 yards and a touchdown) connected with junior Alex Barrow on a 15-yard touchdown pass, and sophomore Clifton Duck recovered a fumble and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
The Ravens answered with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Ramadan to senior Devryn Galloway. Ramadan (6-of-7 for 83 yards) found junior Kaylan Love on the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21, setting up Ramadans touchdown run.
The two-point conversion down there, that was huge, Fowler said.
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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