5 Keys to a Raider victory at Collinwood

Raiders versus Collinwood graphic
The Raiders travel to Collinwood on Friday for a battle of the Region 5A unbeatens. (GRAPHIC CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

By Tabitha Evans Moore | EDITOR & PUBLISHER

LOCAL SPORTS | The Raiders enjoyed a week off and will return to the playing field well rested for what is arguably their toughest game so far this season when Raider Nation heads to Collinwood on Friday for a battle of the Region 5A unbeatens.

To earn their perfect district record, Moore County beat Eagleville 45-20 on September 1 in Lynchburg and blanked the Wildcats in Wayne County 45-0 on September 8. They also beat Cornersville in Marshall County on September 22 by a final of 55-14. Collinwood handed Cornersville a 12-0 loss in Marshall County on September 1 and beat Eagleville at home on September 8 by a final of 38-13. Last week, they beat Richland in Giles County by a 20-13 margin to earn their third district win.

The Raiders and the Trojans currently sit tied for first place in Region 5A. Moore County enjoys a perfect 6-0 record and the Trojans sit at 5-1. Their single season blemish came in the form of a 45-29 season opening loss at Loretto.

After week seven of TSSAA high school football, the Associated Press ranks Moore County the third best Class 1A team in the state. South Pittsburg and Dresden are ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Collinwood is currently tied with Clay County for the #8 spot.

We watched a little Collinwood game film and here are some of the things we think Moore County needs to focus on this Friday to keep that win streak going:

1| Keep the high octane offense going. Moore County is averaging 41 points per game while Collinwood puts up just 26 points each Friday night. Moore County will need to score early and often to keep the Trojans at bay. Raider option QB Dawson White and running back Logan Hegwood had been productive this season for Moore County – combining for an impressive 250 yards per game.

2 | Keep that shut out mentality flowing. The Raiders blanked Wayne County 40-0 on September 8 and held Cascade to just five points. The tenacious Raider defense has also developed a habit of coming out strong after halftime. They shut out both Fayetteville and Cornersville in the second half of play. This season’s defensive stand outs Peyton Martin (57 total tackles), Eli Brown (43 total tackles), Landon Smith (39 total tackles), Wes Clifton (36 total tackles), and the rest of the Raider defense need to keep that trend going down the stretch.

3 | Win the battle in the trenches. The Raider offensive and defensive lines are key. As any student of the game at any level will tell you, if your win in the trenches, you win the game. Moore County will need both sets of linemen to bring their A games against the Trojans.

4 | Stay healthy. The Raiders play hard-nosed, physical football this season. That grit will help them down the stretch and as the post season approaches. But it can also lead to injuries. Luckily, the Raiders enjoy depth this season, but smart play making and taking care of each other in the trenches might help the Raiders avoid needing it. The offensive line also needs to protect the Raider QB Dawson White, who seems to go into every game with a target on his back.

5| Take care of the football. Collinwood boasts a couple of corners that extend near six feet tall. At the height, ball-hawking becomes a bit easier. Raider QB Dawson White and his receiving corps including Will Parker, Alex Copeland and Keller Morey will need to make smart passes and catches to avoid disastrous interceptions.

The Moore County versus Collinwood game will take place at Collinwood. Kickoff happens at 7 p.m. If you can’t travel with the team, the Moore County Sports Network will broadcast the game live on the NFHS NetworkThe Times will also post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is a nonpartisan, independent community newspaper serving Lynchburg, Tennessee and the surrounding counties. We are dedicated to public service journalism for the greater good of our community. You can support us, by clicking here.}