It was a frustrating opening half for the Cane Ridge Ravens in their first round 6A playoff matchup with Franklin on Friday night. The Ravens moved the ball well to open up the game but continually ran into trouble once they got inside the Rebel 30 yard line. Cane Ridge turned the ball over on downs at the Rebel 15 yard line, missed a field goal, and had a long touchdown reception called back for a holding penalty before the halftime break. Their only score of the half came on a one yard touchdown pass from Korey Andrews to Theo Chisom after a great play action fake. Franklin also had trouble finding the endzone despite putting up decent offensive yardage. The Rebels found some good chunk yardage plays from quarterback Josh Nichols, running back Matt Gaca, and receiver Chancellor Bright but the Raven defense bowed up every time in the red zone. Franklin settled for an opening drive field goal as their only score before the break to put Cane Ridge on top 7-3 at halftime.
Franklin mounted an impressive drive to start the third quarter that lasted 5 and a half minutes but still couldn’t find the endzone. The Rebels were forced to settle for another field goal that narrowed the Cane Ridge lead to 7-6. The upset was still within the Rebels grasp but it would all fall apart for Franklin over the final quarter and a half. Raven running back Jacquez Norman got the ball rolling with an awesome 49 yard rushing touchdown to answer the Franklin field goal and put Cane Ridge up 14-6. Cane Ridge’s Devon Starling has been a star on offense this season but his playmaking ability from the safety position put this game out of reach. Starling had back to back interception returns for touchdowns on the next two Franklin possessions to explode the Cane Ridge lead to 28-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Starling and Norman added rushing touchdowns in a 4th quarter that went quickly by with the running clock rule in effect. The #1 seed Cane Ridge Ravens had prevailed over the #4 seed Franklin Rebels by a final score of 41-6. The end of the game was somewhat marred by an unfortunate personal foul along the Rebel sideline. Cane Ridge chose only to send Head Coach Eddie Woods out for the handshake after the game to diffuse the situation and avoid any ugly postgame altercations. Cooler heads prevailed in the end and the teams left without further incident. Cane Ridge will now play host to the Ravenwood Raptors in round two of the playoffs. Ravenwood received a first round bye due to the removal of Overton from the playoffs following their Week 11 brawl with Antioch.