Rocky River’s bid to tie Independence for second place in the Southwestern 4A conference standings just missed, as the Ravens’ last-second two-point conversion pass that would’ve won the game was ruled incomplete, allowing the Patriots to escape with a 34-33 victory on Oct. 12.
The Ravens came from behind on three different occasions to tie the score, but Andre Rice’s pass to junior Brandon Armstrong was ruled to have hit the ground with 5.7 seconds remaining.
Rice had been sensational down the stretch for the Ravens, and his touchdown late in the third quarter gave Rocky River its first lead of the game, 27-20. Independence had seemingly put the game away with a touchdown with just over 34 seconds to play, but defensive back Sidney Lawson’s kick return set up a drive that culminated with a Rice touchdown pass that led to the controversial ending.
Ravens coach Jason Fowler said he thought Armstrong caught the ball, but he refused to make excuses for the loss.
“We played to the very end, and that’s all that you can ask of the kids,” Fowler said. “I don’t think any of our kids walked off the field with an ounce of anything left in them. We could’ve hung our heads and been out of it, but with one timeout we went right down the field on them.”
Now, the Ravens must prepare to close the season against Ardrey Kell and Myers Park with hopes of earning their first playoff berth in school history.
“We have two good football teams left to play, and if we go in (emotionally) down, we could lose either one of them,” Fowler said. “We want to finish 8-2 and get a good seed in the playoffs – that’s our goal the rest of the way. We have to get over this one in a hurry.”