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Tim Stevens, J. Mike Blake, Clay Best, Aaron Moody, and Elliott Warnock follow all the news for high school athletes from Wake, Orange, Durham, Chatham and Johnston Counties. 

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Ravenscroft-Cardinal Gibbons live game updates

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Game over: Crusaders 29, Ravens 15

Key play: Ravens running back Quentin Taylor scored a 2-yard touchdown late for Ravenscroft.

Key stat: Cardinal Gibbons held Ravenscroft to just two plays of 10 yards or more in the second half. Avery Edwards received the two-point pass from Quinn Billerman.

Third Quarter: Crusaders 26, Ravens 7

In football, the best trick plays come when the offense wears down the defense with a mundane, vanilla offense. Just when the defense gets comfortable with what the offense is doing, that’s when you pull out trickieration! After running back Tim Buckley had used his legs on most plays in the third quarter to get yards, Buckley threw the football to receiver Tim Nalesnik for 38 yards, the biggest gain of the game for the Crusaders.

That play led to Buckley’s 3-yard touchdown run that came two players later. Then, 8 seconds later, the Crusaders scored when the Ravens fumbled the football in the end zone. Linebacker Nick Geaslen recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Crusaders a comfortable 26-7 lead.

Key play: Cardinal Gibbons used their only trick play – a halfback pass – from Tim Buckley to receiver Tim Nalesnik for a 38-yard pass to set up Buckley’s second touchdown.

Key stat: The Crusaders fourth touchdown came off of the Ravens fourth turnover.

Second Quarter: Crusaders 13, Ravens 7

With this score it halftime it’s really easy to get an idea of what each coach is telling his team inside the locker room. If you’re coach Henry Trevathan for Cardinal Gibbons, you’re happy with the lead, but your disappointed in how the Crusaders ended the half. Throughout much of the half, the Crusaders dominated the time of possession and the line of scrimmage.

But the Ravens grabbed all the momentum late when a Quinn Billerman pass was tipped into the hands of receiver Garrett Bird, who scored a 42-yard touchdown with 2.5 seconds remaining.

So, if your Ravenscroft coach Ned Gonet, you’re only talking about turning Bird’s touchdown in to a come-from-behind win against a good Cardinal Gibbons team. We’ll have to see which halftime speech is most effective.

Key play: Ravens receiver Garrett Bird turns a tipped-catch into a 42-yard touchdown with 2.5 seconds left in the half, giving the Ravens life and momentum heading into the locker room.

Key stat: Of the seven possessions Cardinal Gibbons had in the half, six started in Ravenscroft territory.

First Quarter: Crusaders 6, Ravens 0

Before late, Cardinal Gibbons fans would have been worried about the Crusaders not taking advantage of early mistakes by Ravenscroft. First, the Ravens fumbled the ball inside their own territory. Then, on their next possession, the Ravens’ punt was block by the Crusaders.

Starting the drive on Ravenscroft’s 32-yard line, the Crusaders used to pass to scored a touchdown, the second being a 19-yard pass from quarterback Matt Koch to James Hickey (the PAT failed).  

Key play: Zack Smith’s block of Ravenscroft’s punt later in the quarter set up a Crusaders 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Koch to James Hickey.

Key Stat: Already, the Ravens had given up to turnovers to the Crusaders. 

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About the blogger

Nate Taylor joins the News & Observer as a sports reporter and sports editor for the North Raleigh News and the Midtown Raleigh News. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and his hometown newspaper, the Kansas City Star. He graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2010. He can be reached at 829-4538 or at nate.taylor@newsobserver.com.