Ramapo kicker Ross Krautman set the state record for consecutive extra points Friday night as the Raiders held off Northern Highlands' second-half rally for a 24-18 win.
Krautman, a senior and four-year starter, converted three PATs off Raider touchdowns for his 60th, 61st and 62nd consecutive boots. He takes the record from his older brother, Rick Krautman, who set the record as a Ramapo student in 2002.
"I'm feeling good," Krautman said after the game. "I never had it in my head," he said.
The kicker said he tried to approach the game like any other and just do his job. "I don't think about records."
Krautman doesn't see the milestone as an individual accomplishment. Instead, the record was made possible by the offensive lines, holders and snappers who he's played with in his varsity career, in which he's converted 104 for 105 PATs. His lone miss, as a sophomore, came on a blocked kick.
Krautman also got to set the record in a Ramapo win, although Northern Highlands did its best to try to steal the game from the Raiders. What was shaping up to be a laugher in the rain turned tight as the Highlanders scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to throw a scare into Ramapo.
Ramapo got moving in the second quarter after a quiet first quarter where the Raiders got on the board with a 33-yard Krautman field goal. The defense was the first to reach the end zone, after senior defensive end Tom Hayden picked up a Northern Highlands fumble and took the ball 31 yards for a touchdown. A Krautman PAT would put the Raiders ahead 10-0.
Northern Highlands next possession would end in a punt, and the Highlanders would then take over on downs after Ramapo failed to convert a fourth and 10 pass from quarterback Tyler Ward to wide receiver Tyler Speziale. The Highlanders would move the ball on the ensuing possession, converting at least two first downs , including on a fourth and two carry by running back Zak Ross-Nash. Northern Highlands were unable to capitalize, though, with Hayden driving back Nash on second down and fullback Zachary Riecker getting stuffed on third and four. An attempt to convert a fourth and two was foiled by Raiders defensive tackle Tim Kologrivov, who stopped the Highlanders' ball carrier to give Ramapo the ball back.
Ramapo's march was impeded by a false start, and the possession would end with a punt. However, the Highlanders lost the ball on a crushing tackle on the punt, and Ramapo came up with it. One play later, Ward found junior wide receiver Matt Bunting in the end zone to make it 16-0. A Krautman PAT would send the Raiders to the locker room with a 17-0 halftime lead.
The Raiders looked to put the game away in the third quarter when captain Jesse Devonshuk dodged and weaved his way for 42 yards for a touchdown, setting up Krautman's record-setting kick. However, the Highlanders weren't deterred by a 24-0 deficit. They would keep the ball on the ground on the next possession, which culminated in a touchdown by Riecker. An extra point try hit the crossbar to make it 24-6.
Ramapo would face a fourth and 5 on the next possession and would go for the first, but Ward was brought down for a loss, giving the ball back to Northern Highlands. The Highlanders would capitalize on the momentum shift with a run for a touchdown to close the score to 24-12 after a failed two-point conversion attempt, foiled by junior defensive back Jack Bandazian, who took down Highlanders quarterback Ryan Groat.
Northern Highlands would get the ball right back after a successful onside kick but weren't able to score. Raiders senior linebacker Mike Monte would throw Northern Highlands for a loss on third down, and Speziale made the tackle on Groat's fourth-and-22 pass to the sideline, allowing Ramapo to take over on downs.
The Highlanders would score again after a Ramapo punt, with a Groat pass to the end zone to narrow the score to 24-18. Again, their special teams failed them, as junior defensive back Chris Colaneri would block the extra point try. Time wasn't on Northern Highlands side as Ramapo was able to run out the clock to preserve the win.
Devonshuk's third-quarter touchdown gives him 13 on the season. He also ran for 212 yards.
Ramapo improves to 5-2 with the win, and Northern Highlands falls to 2-5.
Ramapo travels to Pascack Valley on Oct. 30 for a 7 p.m. start.