Defense turned out to be the theme as Cardinal Gibbons topped Ravenscroft 28-21.
“It was a win and we barely escaped,” was how Gibbons coach Steven Wright summed it up. “We’ve got a lot of work in front of us. Credit Ravenscroft. They are well-coached and fought their tail-ends off. They were so tough and had guys who never came off the field.”
The Ravens (1-2) lost 18 of 22 starters from a year ago, but the younger, inexperienced team came out and jumped to a 14-0 lead as Spencer Beller and Tyler Williams hooked up on a 43-yard touchdown pass and Cross Carpenter tossed a 3-yarder to Williams.
“We got off to the great start we wanted and got into a position to win,” Ravenscroft coach Ned Gonet said. “We had a lot of kids out there who haven’t been in this situation before, but I was proud of them. And the defense played great as a group.”
Gibbons got on the board with a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Logan Washle to Earl Gill and linebacker Christopher Karazin tied the score when he returned a fumble 18 yards. Gill’s 55-yard punt return set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Stephen Scott to give the Crusaders a 21-14 ledad at the end of the first quarter.
Gill added another score in the second quarter when he caught a pass from Washle and went 34 yards before he fumbled the ball into the endzone. He recovered for the score.
Ravenscroft, though, answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Beller to Crawford Sloan, which proved to be not only the final points of the first half, but also in the game.
Washle was making his first start after Wesley Wagner, who threw for 483 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first two game, missed the game with a broken collarbone.
“I broke it in the third quarter of the Cary game,” Wagner said. “Logan and I are good friends and we didn’t have to change the offense at all with him in there. He played well.”
Washle completed 11 of 17 passes for 122 yards.
“Logan was solid in his first varsit start,” Wright said. “Considering the wet conditions, the close game, and everything, he did a good job.”
For the Ravens, Gonet pointed to the outstanding play of several defenders; Will Byrd, Colby Muldrow, Samuel Landis, Garrett Hicks, Donald Fuller, and D. J. Washington.
For Gibbons, Karazin and Stephen Shank both came up with interceptions to stop Ravenscroft scoring drives in the second half.