In the first Southwestern 4A game for both teams, the Rocky River Ravens used big offensive plays and a stingy defense to defeat the Myers Park Mustangs 28-14 Friday at Rocky River.
The Ravens (4-2, 1-0) got touchdown runs of 67 and 81 yards from running back Elijah Jett and receiver Jaire Alexander respectively. Rocky River quarterback Naiil Ramadan threw two touchdown passes, one to Alexander for 60 yards, and a 17-yarder to Kendall Lewis.
“We practiced all week that when your time comes you have to step up and make the play,” said Ramadan. “We had some letdowns on offense and we should have made touchdowns, but we came back and converted when it counted.”
Alexander rushed for 92 yards on just carries and a touchdown, and also had eight grabs for 163 yards and a touchdown. Ramadan went 14 of 19 for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Jett had 113 yards on nine carries and a score. Offensively Mustangs wide Receiver Cooper Hearn paced Myers Park with five catches for 89 yards.
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Not to be overshadowed by the big-play offense was the stingy Ravens defense. After putting up 43 points last week in a win against North Meck, Myers Park (2-4, 0-1) was held to just 14 points Friday.
In the first half, the Mustangs had 73 yards of total offense and five first downs. The Mustangs got going a little bit in the second half, but finished with 216 total yards. Myers Park’s rushing game was almost nonexistent with 37 yards on 26 attempts.
“We’ve got some guys who can run on defense and that helps,” said Ravens coach Jason Fowler. “We’re not the biggest but we’re quick up front; we’ve got guys who can run in the secondary who can play man, and we’re able to apply some pressure. We rely on our defense, that’s what carries us.
After a scoreless first quarter, Rocky River’s passing game produced a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Alexander scored on a 60-yard catch-and-run touchdown, capping off a 75-yard drive in only five plays.
Two series later, Ramadan hooked up with Lewis who out-leaped a defender in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown grab, capping off a five-play drive.
The Mustangs finally got their offense going by taking the second-half kickoff and going 80 yards for a score. Myers Park quarterback Clay Norris connected with Luke Thalman for a 17-yard touchdown pass capping off an 11-play drive.