Ravenscroft junior Daniel Lang (45) is one of several promising returners coming back next fall, said head coach Ned Gonet, who expects good things from the Ravens in 2010.
Ravens fall in playoffs, but outlook in 2010 looks promising
It wasn't a picturesque ending to the 2009 season for the Ravenscroft football team last week at Charlotte Christian.
The Knights piled on 38 first-half points en route to a convincing 45-22 victory in the NCISAA semifinals match-up, never really allowing the Ravens to get into the contest.
Charlotte set the tone early, converting two Ravenscroft turnovers into scores, and taking a 17-0 lead through the first quarter.
"It was important that we try and control the tempo of the game and unfortunately that was exactly what didn't happen," said Ravenscroft head coach Ned Gonet. "We were playing from behind early on, and that's exactly what you don't want to have to do down there."
PHOTO BY BRANDON STATON
Ravenscroft senior Chris Struthers (56) and Quinn Billerman talk on the sidelines during the Ravens' 14-7 win over Providence Day Friday night.
Ravens halt Chargers with
When the postseason rolls around games often are decided by which team has that one play left.
And with the ball sitting on the Ravens' 1-yard line and 27 seconds remaining in Friday night's NCISAA Division I first-round match-up, the Ravenscroft football team's season came down to that play.
Although Providence Day School trailed 14-7, only four feet separated the Chargers from a game-tying touchdown. And with junior Josh Convington in the backfield, the odds certainly were stacked against the Ravens' defensive front — the running back had already rushed for 133 yards in the contest.
But the longest yard proved to be the 134th for Covington and the Chargers. In fact, it never came.
The Raven's defense answered the call, stopping Covington at the goal line on fourth down to escape with the win and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
Hartland Jones hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of the Ravenscroft football team's 28-7 victory over Harrells Christian Academy last week. The victory
Ravens' early scoring spree fuels win
Ravenscroft clinches conference
title with victory Friday
As Ravenscroft head coach Ned Gonet explained, it was no coincidence quarterback Quinn Billerman launched 74- and 75-yard touchdown passes — almost back-to-back — in the first quarter in a 28-7 victory over Harrells Christian Academy Friday.
The coaching staff and the sophomore signal-caller were just following the Ravens' game plan.
"Harrells is a very good football team, and they are very diligent with what they do," Gonet said, alluding Crusaders' stout running attack. "Their whole game is about clock management. They are tough to play against, especially if you get behind. So we knew we'd have to get some quick scores, and we were able to do that and establish ourselves in the first half."
As result, the Ravens looked long on their first pass attempt, and Billerman nailed Hartland Jones 30 yards downfield, and the wide receiver raced another 40-plus for a touchdown.
in home finale
October 24, 2009
By Arash Arabasadi, NorthRaleighSports.com Correspondent
Many seniors dream of playing their last home game in grandiose style. They hope to beat their rivals, give the home crowd a performance worth cheering for and make a handful of lasting memories.
But, alas, the Ravenscroft football team's fairy tale ending wasn't meant to be Friday night, falling to Charlotte Christian 21-14.
While the Ravens' defense shined, limiting the Knights' opportunities, Ravenscroft's offense sputtered early and often.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Ravenscroft defense continued to flex its muscle early in the second. With the Knights driving, senior linebacker Alex Spears refused to give up any ground, and stuffed a pair of runs, keeping points off of the board.
But the Ravens couldn't put together anything offensively, and the ball went back into Charlotte Christian's hands.
Junior running back Connor Gonet (44) averaged nearly 10 yards a carry in the Ravens' 48-14 victory over North Raleigh Christian Academy Friday night.
Ravens' running game gashes North Raleigh Christian Academy
After rushing for 144 yards and two scores on just 15 carries Friday night against North Raleigh Christian Academy, Ravenscroft junior tailback Conner Gonet summed up what he thought about his offensive line in five short and simple words.
“I love my offensive line," he said.
It was the blocking by the big five upfront that lead to the Ravens' dominating performance on the ground that accounted for a total of 345 yards, leading Ravenscroft to a 48-14 victory over the Knights.
With the victory, the Ravens improved to 6-3 this season.
Fullback Chase Douglas scored a three-yard touchdown in the Ravens' 57-20 win over Wake Christian Friday night. Ravenscroft hosts North Raleigh Christian next week.
For the second straight week, the Ravenscroft football team rode an offensive explosion to a victory, defeating Wake Christian 57-20 Friday night.
And just like last week — a 55-3 win over Fayetteville Christian — the Ravens were quick out of the gate, building a 41-6 halftime lead.
On Ravenscroft's first drive, Connor Gonet took a handoff, followed his blocking to the left, and then cut back to the right for a 37-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game.
Gonet’s 104 rushing yards led all running backs, and marked the second straight game he's eclipsed the century mark.
Junior RB Connor Gonet (44) rushed for 136 yards on just eight carries in Ravenscroft's 55-3 thumping of Fayetteville Christian Friday night.
Ravens roll over Warriors 55-3
With last week’s lopsided loss to Charlotte Country Day fresh in its mind, the Ravenscroft football team scored on its first eight possessions Friday night, en route to a dominating 55-3 victory over Fayetteville Christian.
“After last Friday we wanted to come back and revisit the fundamentals," said Ravens coach Ned Gonet. "We went back to the basic schemes, and tried to do the things that we do well. We don’t want to try to be somebody we’re not."
Fayetteville Christian didn’t generate much offense during the game, but the Warriors caught the Ravens off guard on the first play from scrimmage. Fayetteville's Brandon Johnson, lining up at wide receiver, took a reverse hand off and found tight end Mike Niedermayer for a 45-yard pass play.
The excitement was short-lived for Fayetteville, however, as the Ravens defense settled down and forced a punt.
Sophomore QB Quinn Billerman (12) hit Shane Bird on a 28-yard touchdown pass against Charlotte Country Day Friday, but the Ravens eventually fell 56-21.
Ravens dig hole, can't recover against Buccaneers
Ravenscroft football coach Ned Gonet had an honest explanation for why Friday's 56-21 loss at Charlotte Country Day should be easier to rebound from than the Ravens' two previous defeats.
It's because Ravenscroft never really threatened the Buccaneers, the coach reasoned.
"Those other two losses were tough to shake because we were within a touchdown in both those games," Gonet added. "For the most part, we were never in this ball game. This one will be easy to get through because the reality is, we just really weren't close."
Defensive end Chase Douglas (20) and the Ravenscroft defense sqarm a Forsyth Country Day running back during Thursday's 21-7 win. The victory improves the Ravens' record to 3-2.
Ravens rebound, foil the Furies
Following Thursday night's 21-7 victory over Forsyth Country Day, Ravenscroft football coach Ned Gonet sat on the aluminum bench facing the Ravens' empty field, and conceded the importance of the Ravens' victory.
Just six days after a crushing loss to rival Cardinal Gibbons, Ravenscroft was back on the field, and the longtime coach thought it was the best scenario for his young squad.
"That was an emotional, physical game last week, but we had a quick turnaround," he explained. "We didn't have a lot of time to worry about it."
Ravens fight Furies
The Ravenscroft football team improved to 3-2 with its 21-7 victory over Forsyth Country Day Sept. 17. For photos of the action, click on the photograph above.
Crusaders clip Ravens late
Despite an explosive first half and a never-give-up attitude, the Ravenscroft football team fell to rival Cardinal Gibbons 21-13 Friday night.
On the game's opening series, the Crusaders' offense called an audible on its first play, but Ravenscroft junior Dan Lang read it perfectly and caused a fumble. Although Cardinal Gibbons recovered the loose ball, two plays later the Crusaders wouldn't be as fortunate.
Again the Ravens jarred the ball free and Brandon Park recovered.
Although Ravenscroft’s first offensive series stalled, a fumble on the ensuing Crusaders’ possession placed the ball back in the Ravens' hands.
Ravens jump out
early, defeat Rams
The Ravenscroft football team was all business in its 34-21 victory over the visiting Franklinton Friday. It was a clear night in north Raleigh, and the Ravens played as crisp as the cool September air.
Ravenscroft jumped out early, scoring less than four minutes after the opening kickoff. Junior running back Connor Gonet torched the defense on a 27-yard TD run, and kicker Storm Baker added the extra point, giving the Ravens an early 7-0 advantage.
On the ensuing Red Rams’ possession, the Ravens’ defense blew-up consecutive plays in the backfield. Ravenscroft junior Temple Sloan punctuated the defensive stand, sacking the Franklinton QB Jamen Allen and forcing a punt.
Weather was a significant factor in the Ravenscroft football team's 24-17 loss at Louisburg Friday night. The skies opened up well before kickoff, and the relentless downpour soaked the equipment, players and field.
The Ravens' ball security issues began soon thereafter as the squad bobbled the opening kickoff, but regained possession. Ravenscroft relied heavily on junior running back Connor Gonet, who racked-up a series of sensational first-down runs during the contest. But the Birds’ first drive stalled nonetheless, and their ball-control problems continued.
Ravens football ready to roll
Recent game film for Ravenscroft football team's next opponent — Louisburg High — is mighty hard to come by.
In fact, no such tape even exists.
The Warriors didn't play last week, making Friday's match-up their season opener.
Ravenscroft head coach Ned Gonet said there are advantages and disadvantages to being Louisburg's first game — it all depends on your perspective.
Ravens soar over Vikings, 40-6
Although Friday was opening night for Ravenscroft and Northern Vance football teams, the Ravens appeared in mid-season form, recording a 33-point first quarter en route to a convincing 40-6 victory.
Not surprisingly, Ravenscroft assistant coach Preston Machock said he was pleased with the young Ravens' first performance.
“We played well. I can't complain about a 40-6 score," Machock laughed. "Although I do feel that many of the aspects of tonight's game could have been avoided — some points in our game were weak."
However, Ravens' sophomore quarterback Ouinn Billerman — making his first career varsity start — wasn't one of those points which needs work.
Ravenscroft head football coach Ned Gonet (center, with hat) believes his Ravens made great strides in their final scrimmage last week. The Ravens host Northern Vance Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Ravens maturing with every snap
Ravenscroft head football coach Ned Gonet expected his young Ravens would take their lumps in their first scrimmage against South Granville last week.
"South Granville is a good team — very physical. And they sort of exploited some of our weaknesses that we knew we had," the coach explained.
With only two days to prepare for their next scrimmage, the Ravenscroft Jamboree, the Ravens didn't have a lot of time to recover. But the coaching staff shifted around some personnel, tinkered with schemes and sent the squad back out.
And the young Ravens — after initially looking overwhelmed — began to show what they are capable of.
While other Ravens might grab bigger headlines with this year, Ravenscroft lineman Monroe Brown will play a pivotal role in any success the squad achieves this season.
Ravens 'revamp' for 2009
There's no denying the success of last year's Ravenscroft football team: a 10-3 record, a spot in the NCISAA state championship playoffs and a handful of Ravens heading off to college programs.
The 2008 Ravens decimated opponents with current Naval Academy player Hayden Maples leading a multi-dimensional offense, scoring more than scoring 39 points or more six times. The defense wasn't too shabby either, holding opponents under 14 points eight times.
Ravenscroft head football coach Ned Gonet knows the group was special.
Ravens' standouts set sights high
Ravenscroft seniors Shane Bird and Alex Spears believe a stellar off-season should pay dividends this fall.
Click here to see what the duo said.