MINT HILL, NC – It was opening night on the road for the Rocky River High School Ravens football season. All the pregame fanfare, marching band, cheerleaders, and school spirit was evident at the home teams stadium. On a beautiful, however, warm evening for the season opener that was dominated by the Pirates throughout the entire contest.
It was a rocky start for the Ravens to say it mildly. The Porter Ridge Pirates arrived on the field ready to compete. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball all night long. Although, the Ravens played better in the final quarter, but by this time the Pirates were substituting their starters as the game was out of reach.
The scoring for the Pirates began on a third down and long pass interception on the Ravens own 40-yard line during their first possession, as the Ravens quarterback under pressure Khalil Archie overthrew his intended receiver beyond the first down marker. The Pirates scored quickly three plays later to make it 7-0.
On the next possession Rocky River went three and out. However, on a short punt, the Pirates had great field position again from the Ravens 32 yard line. The Pirates quarterback Myles Carroll connected on an 11-yard pass reception, and again on a screen pass getting the ball down to the 11-yard line of the Ravens, a pick-up of 10 yards on a running play off-tackle, and a QB Keeper from the 1-yard line gave the Pirates a quick 14-0 lead with 4:54 remaining in the first quarter.
The Pirates would add to their lead late in the second quarter to take a 21-0 advantage at the half. Meanwhile, the Ravens could not move the ball with any consistency up to this point in the football game.
In the second half as the lights were turned on and the sun settled in the west, the Pirates surged ahead and put this game away in the third quarter. They added two more touchdowns, with only missing the PAT when the ball hit the left upright giving them a commanding 34-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates added a field goal to cap off the scoring. They missed a 34 yard attempt that had plenty of distance that just strayed off to the right. The kicking game all night long was solid for the Pirates Braeden McAlister who appears to have the capability to strike from 40 plus yards. His kicks were long, high, and impressive. He consistently had good hangtime on his kickoffs all night long forcing the Ravens to begin drives from their own 20-yard line.
The Ravens have some work this week to strengthen the offensive and defensive front before next Friday night. Too much pressure was placed on QB Khalil Archie, the running backs need more space to open up running lanes, and the defense must tighten up to prevent the secondary from making tackles 5 and 10 yards up field. The linebackers are active, and believe many of these adjustments will be made by the coaching staff.
The Rocky River Ravens will remain on the road next week 8/27/2021 when they take on the Olympic Trojans in a non-conference matchup with the kickoff scheduled for 7 pm.