Local Sports Journal

Ravenna coach David Smith will take an ugly win in nasty weather any day.

The Bulldogs showed grit and pulled out an 18-14 West Michigan Conference win on a nasty, rainy Friday night against the Montague Wildcats.

Montague led 8-6 at halftime, but Ravenna took care of business in the second half.

“You get in a game like this, raining, it’s miserable weather,” said Smith. “You can’t do what you want, it’s an even playing field. It’s a good win to come out with an ugly game like that.”

Trailing 14-12, Ravenna got the ball with 1:40 left on the clock at the Montague 39-yard line.

After working the clock, Ravenna had the ball on the Montague 12-yard line with 15 seconds left.

Quarterback Nick Castenholz then delivered a winning touchdown pass to Alex White to give the Bulldogs the 18-14 win in the final seconds.

“It’s a good win for our team. Anytime you start 3-0 is a good thing,” said Smith. “We got banged up and lost a couple big players for us on the line. That really hurt us a lot on the lines. The Montague kids played really hard. Their quarterback (Jacob Buchberger)  is a heck of a player, we were hitting him all night but he stepped in there.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Montague started off the scoring with a Buchberger 77-yard scamper for a touchdown. With a two-point conversion, the Wildcats were up 8-0.

Ravenna answered with a David Thompson 63-yard kickoff return to the Montague 15-yard line. On the ensuing drive, Justin Jones scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. However, the conversion failed and the Wildcats went into halftime leading 8-6.

Montague tried to catch the Bulldogs napping on the second-half kickoff with an onside attempt. Ravenna recovered and Jones later scored on a 35-yard touchdown run. Ravenna missed the conversion again and led 12-8.

At the 8:44 mark of the third quarter, Buchberger raced 19 yards for a TD to put the Wildcats ahead 14-12.

Jones had 25 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns to lead Ravenna offense while Tierstyn McBride led the Bulldog defense with 11 tackles, five of them for loss.