RAVENSWOOD – Needing wins in at least one of its two final regular season contests, a gray cloud descended on Flinn Field-home of the Ravenswood Red Devils-and its first name was David.
Led by senior David Gray’s 136 yards and two rushing touchdowns No. 2 (Class A) ranked St. Marys held off No. 15 (Class AA) Ravenswood, 12-0, in a battle of the Little Kanawha Conference’s top two football programs.
“We just weren’t able to get the big play when we needed it,” Ravenswood head coach Mick Price said. “I thought about going for it on our first possession, but I thought it was important to come away with some points.
“We have a lot of faith in Nathan (Cunningham) and we thought that if we could jump out in front first it would change some of the things that they (St. Marys) like to do.”
Ravenswood, now 5-4 with the annual Hatchet game against Jackson County rival Ripley slated for next Friday night at the home of the Vikings, took the opening kickoff and marched down to the St. Marys 17 before having to settle for a 31-yard field goal attempt from Cunningham.
The kick, however, went wide left of the goal post giving the ball to the Blue Devils at their own 20 with 6:40 remaining in the opening quarter. That would be the only time the hosts would be in scoring position during the first 24 minutes as St. Marys took over at its own 20 and proceeded to march 80 yards in seven plays with Gray covering the final 29-yards for the game’s first score with 3:57 showing on the clock.
Garrett Furr’s attempt for the point after hit the right upright to keep the score at 6-0.
St. Marys’ defense continued to shutdown the red and black, giving the visitors possession of the football at the Ravenswood 43 to begin their third possession of the game with 8:20 left until the intermission.
Ten plays later Gray, who also hauled in a game-high four passes for 63 yards, took the counter pitch from quarterback Michael Stout and rambled 21-yards for his second score of the game and, what would prove to be, the final points of the game. Stout’s pass for the two-point conversion was broken up, but the Blue Devils had all the points they would need to improve to 9-0 on the season with a road game at Doddridge County slated for next Friday night.
The Red Devils got into St. Marys’ territory three more times before the fourth quarter, but the first ended in a Bret Fetty interception at the SM 16 while the final two ended on downs at the Blue Devils’ 32 and 40.
Nearly the entire fourth quarter was played in the Red Devils’ end of the field, but two strong goalline stands by the hosts kept the Blue Devils out of the end zone, but also placed the offense in the shadow of its own goal line.
In addition to Gray’s rushing, St. Marys received 112 yards passing as Stout completed 7-of-12 attempts. Ravenswood was led in rushing by Rhys Jelich, who had 51 yards on 12 carries, and passing by Heath Burgess (6-of-17, 83 yards).