Highs & Lows in Hard-Fought Game

From the pounds of the drums to the roar of the crowd, the intensity in the stadium was palpable to Quill correspondent Anneke Wagner.

Anneke Wagner, Contributor

Sunday, September 18th was week two of the NFL, with the Baltimore Ravens playing the Miami Dolphins. It was the Ravens’ home opener for the season. 

Coming off a high from their week one victory, the Ravens came out of the gates explosive. From the pounds of the drums to the roar of the crowd, the intensity in the stadium was palpable.

For the first time in franchise history, the Ravens returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Wide receiver Devin Duvernay took the ball 103 yards for the touchdown giving the Ravens the lead in the first 13 seconds of the game. 

The Ravens kept that intensity through the first quarter with an interception by safety Marcus Williams. But that energy was soon lost. 

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Ravens had the ball on Miami’s 1-yard line. They ran the ball in for their second touchdown of the day. 

But Miami challenged the call. After a lengthy discussion between the officials, the touchdown was overturned. Boos from the crowd shot through the stadium.

After a replay of 4th and 1, the Ravens lost the ball to a turnover on downs. Capitalizing on the momentum, Miami took the ball down for a touchdown. 

But the Ravens responded soon after. Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw the ball to wide receiver Rashod Bateman for a 75-yard touchdown.

The ferocity continued through the end of the first half with another interception by Marcus Williams and two more touchdowns by wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and tight end Mark Andrews.

The crowd was ecstatic. Cheers went on for minutes after the end of the half.

Following the halftime show by the historic Baltimore Ravens marching band, the Dolphins set the tone for the third quarter with a touchdown in the first minute. But Jackson took over the game with a 79-yard touchdown run. The third quarter ended with the Ravens up Dolphins 35-14. 

Miami opened the fourth quarter with a 4-minute drive resulting in a touchdown. The Ravens tried to respond, but Jackson failed to connect passes to his wide receivers. Baltimore lost the ball on Miami’s 48-yard line after another turnover on downs. 

Going into the middle of the fourth quarter, the Ravens’ secondary broke down entirely. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa converted multiple third downs and connected two long touchdown passes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill. 

But Ravens fans did not give up hope. They still cheered their voices dead, honoring the Ravens’ unofficial motto: “Every Decibel Counts.” 

Entering the game’s last three minutes, the score was tied 35-35. The Ravens’ offense gave it their all at a hopeful make-or-break drive, but Jackson failed again to connect with Bateman in the end zone. 

The Ravens had to settle for a 51-yard field goal from kicker Justin Tucker. The Dolphins got the ball on their 25-yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining. 

Miami won the hard-fought game 42-38, and Ravens fans left the stadium in a mass of anger and sighs.

But there was still hope for the Ravens, as multiple offensive penalties called on the Dolphins resulted in a 3rd and long. The Ravens’ famous Captain Dee-Fense, a dedicated fan who has devoted his career to being the Ravens’ defensive hype-man, popped up on the jumbotron to rile the crowd.

But the crowds’ hopes disappeared as the secondary disappointed again, allowing Tagovailoa to connect with Hill for another long pass, and getting the Dolphins to Baltimore’s 14-yard line. 

With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Miami scored another touchdown. With 20 seconds left, the Ravens’ offense saw their last opportunity.

But they were not successful. Miami won the hard-fought game 42-38, and Ravens fans left the stadium in a mass of anger and sighs.