Raiders get a sloppy, scary win over Forrest

Senior wide receiver Kaden White racked up 102 receiving yards against Forrest and a touchdown. {Photo Credit: Emily Black for the Moore County Sports Network}

CHAPEL HILL — The Moore County Raiders walked away with a 35-14 win over the Forrest Rockets Friday night in Chapel Hill but at the end of four quarters the Raiders were less concerned with their win and more concerned for players from both teams after a scary hit.

With less than four minutes to play in the third quarter, the Raider recovered a fumble. On the next play, Raider quarterback Kyler Parker threw to Joshua Parks and he took a big, head-leading hit from Rocket defender Micah McClendon. After the play, McClendon remained on the ground unmoving and paramedics eventually transported him from the field and into an awaiting ambulance.

It was a scary several minutes for both Forrest and Moore County players, coaches, cheerleaders, parents, and fans who could only stand by hoping for the best.

According to his mother Laura McClendon’s social media posts, Micah underwent surgery Saturday for a injury to his spine and is recovering. Raider Joshua Parks also went to the hospital and luckily only suffered muscular injuries.

Sloppy first half with multiple turnovers

Things got off to a bumpy start for the Rockets from the very first play from the line of scrimmage. On first and ten, Forrest fumbled and Raider Hayden Carter recovered. Over the next three minutes, the Raiders worked an 11 play series that ended with Raider quarterback Kyler Parker running the QB draw into the end zone for six points. Chase Bradford’s PAT sailed through the uprights and the Raiders took an early 7-0 lead with less than eight minutes to play in the first quarter.

On the very next Forrest series, the ball popped out again to the waiting Carter. However, the Raiders couldn’t move the ball in four downs and handed the ball back to the Rockets on downs.

On their third possession of the game, the Forrest Rockets got their third turnover when Raider ball hawking safety Dawson White snagged an interception on third and nine. On first down, QB Parker threw a 48 yard bomb to Kaden White for six more Raider points. Bradford’s PAT was good and with 3:26 left in the first quarter, the Raiders led Forrest 14-0.

As the first quarter expired, the two teams exchanged punts. Then, on the next Rocket series Forrest running back Chris Davis rushed for six points. Rocket kicker Gavin Grissom’s PAT was good and with 10:47 to play in the second, Forrest pulled within seven — Moore County 14, Forrest 7.

Moore County answered. A Brayden Cashion return to the 45 yard line set up Moore County first and ten. Parker then completed quick passes to K. White and Dylan Scruggs and a handoff to Tyler Smith to get within striking distance. At the 15 yard line, Parker ran into the end zone for six more. Bradford’s PAT was good and the Moore County led 21-7.

Three series later, the Rockets suffered their fourth turnover of the first half when Donavin Pearson snagged an interception on a Forrest first down pass. But the Raiders could not convert the turnover into points.

On the next Rocket series, Carter recovered another Forrest fumble. And again the Raider failed to convert the turnover into Moore County points. Despite multiple opportunities, the Raiders settled for a 21-7 lead headed into the halftime locker room.

Long injury time out results in flat play

Moore County found success mostly through the air in the first half. In the second stanza, fans wondered if Coach White would work to establish the ground game. The answer was sort off.

Set to receive first in the third quarter, the Raider QB Parker meticulously mixed passes and hand offs for a 14 play series that clicked nearly five minutes off the clock and resulted in another quarterback draw for six points. Bradford’s PAT was good to give the Raiders a 28-7 lead with 8:39 remaining in the third.

On the next Rocket series, Forrest failed to move the ball and turned it over on downs to Moore County at their 33.

Things started to get chippy and sloppy at this point. Forrest and Moore County exchanged turnovers before the Parker to Parks pass that resulted in the game-stopping injury. After a long injury time out, both teams (and their fan bases) seemed flat with their minds more on the injured McClendon than the task at hand.

On the next Rider series D. White and Parker pieced together first downs before D. White got a clutch play on a tipped screen pass for six more Raider points. Bradford nailed another PAT to give Moore County a 35-7 lead with 18 seconds left on the third quarter clock.

In the fourth quarter, Forrest managed one more score by Rocket running back Davis. Forrest kicker Grissom’s kick was good to make the score 35-14 with less than a minute to go in the game. In the end, Moore County remained undefeated with a 4-0 record while Forrest moved to 2-2.

Offensively, QB Parker threw for two touchdown and rushed for two more. Tyler Smith ran 43 yards and score one touchdown. Kaden White caught 102 receiving yards and a touchdown and his brother Dawson White added another 80 yards and a score. Raider kicker Chase Bradford was five for five on the night.

Defensively junior Hayden Carter had a stand out night with two fumble recoveries, an interception, six tackles including three solo tackles. Dawson White led the defense with 12 tackles including 10 solo tackles. Kaden White and Tyler Smith managed 10 tackles each. Donavin Pearson had nine.

Next Friday, Moore County will travel for their third consecutive away game to Fayetteville to take on the 3-1 Tigers.

The game will kick off in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. For those who plan to travel, the GPS address is 1800 Wilson Parkway, Fayetteville, TN 37334. If you can’t travel to the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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