Could the East Meck Eagles take an emotional upset win over Butler last week and turn it into a two-game winning streak against the Rocky River Ravens Friday?
The answer was no.
Rocky River scored three times in the second half and shut out the Eagles in the final 24 minutes for a 28-7 Southwestern 4A win at East Meck. The Ravens defense held East Meck to only 68 yards in the second half and turned the only Eagles’ turnover into a 95-yard interception return by linebacker Kentrale Groom to put the game away in the final minute.
East Meck dominated the first half, but because of a late second-quarter score by Rocky River, the teams were tied 7-7 at the half.
What did Ravens coach Jason Fowler tell his team at halftime?
“We made a few adjustments, but the main thing was we knew we had to match their intensity,” Fowler said. “They had a huge win last week versus Butler, and they had a lot of swagger coming out.
“We told the kids that we are going to have to just want it more than they do, and our kids really stepped it up in the second half.”
Rocky River capitalized on three big plays in the contest. A big one occurred with six minutes to go in the game and the Ravens leading just 14-7. Ravens’ quarterback Phillip Clay launched a ball 50 yards from his own end zone that was hauled in by Kendall Lewis, who competed a 97-yard touchdown. Lewis had only two catches but they went for touchdowns of 31 and 97 yards.
“We practice that every day, work hard and come together as a family,” Lewis said. “It’s all about coming together and communication. Once we come together the sky’s the limit for us.”
Clay went 10 for 13 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Clay also rushed for a TD.
WORTH MENTIONING: East Meck took the lead 7-0 in the second quarter on a 21-play, 87 yard drive that took over nine minutes. Eagles quarterback Khalil Gilliam capped the drive with a one-yard plunge.
QUOTE: “Hales (Butler coach Brian) does a great job over there, and they’ve had such a great program for so long. We’re going to have a great week of practice. They’re coming to us, so we’ve got a little home field. It’s going to be a good, hard-fought ball game, and we’re looking forward to it.” Rocky River coach Jason Fowler on next Friday’s game with the Butler Bulldogs.
RECORDS: Rocky River (3-5, 2-1 Southwestern 4A), East Meck (3-5, 1-2 )
WHAT’S NEXT: Rocky River will host Butler next Friday night; East Meck is off until October 23 when it plays at Garinger