5 Keys to a Raider win against Wayne County

Eli Brown makes a key stop against Eagleville in the third quarter last Friday. He and the rest of the Raider defense have held team scoreless in the second half in the past two games.  (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

WAYNESBORO, Tenn. — The Raiders will travel close to two hours west on Friday for a district match up against Wayne County. Moore County will enter Guy H. Buchanan Stadium with a perfect 3-0 record after a win at Cascade (34-5) as well as back-to-back home games against Fayetteville (34-14) and Eagleville (45-20). Moore County, Collinwood, and Richland all currently sit at 1-0 in Region 5A play.

The Wildcats currently sit at 1-2, 0-1 with a 29-5 loss at Mt. Pleasant during their season opener, a 40-14 win against Summertown on August 25, and a narrow 14-12 district loss at Richland last week.

Moore County beat the Wildcats 34-25 in Lynchburg last year. Raider option QB Dawson White led in that game with three touchdowns and defenders Landon Smith, Bryson Carter, and Eli Brown all managed double-digit tackles. {To read our complete coverage of last year’s game, click here.}

Here are five things we think are the keys to a Raider victory on Friday:

1| Play a complete game. The gritty Moore County defense has yet to allow a single point in the second half of a game on Doug Price Field. They only allowed five points total in the season opener at Cascade. However, if the Raiders have their collective Columbia blue eyes on a successful Class 1A State Championship run, they’ll need to put together a complete game on defense. Now is as good a time as any to start. The Wildcats traditionally run the hard-to-defend triple option offense, so Moore County’s D will need to come out of the gate swinging.

2| Control the time of possession. In the second half of last year’s game, the Wildcats pieced together a nearly eight-minute scoring drive that pulled them within two points with 3:55 to play in the third. Moore County’s offense answered, but that’s a lot of time for your defense to be on the field – especially with multiple offensive playmakers playing both sides of the ball.

3| Key in on Ryder Butler and Drew Bevis. The Wildcat rushing game seems to be led by running back Ryder Butler and option QB Drew Bevis. The two combined for 264 of the Cats 449 total offensive yards against Summertown. Butler managed 13 carries for 170 yards and one score and Bevis added 20 carries for 94 yards and three touchdowns. Both players can move the ball effectively.

4 | Take care of the ball. The Wildcat defense held Summertown to just 112 of total offense as well as forcing a pair of fumbled recoveries and an interception. The Wildcats converted two of those turnovers into points. Moore County needs to play smart, no-mistakes football on Friday to avoid an early season district loss.

5| Score early and often. Wayne County lost eight seniors last year. They’ve got talent but could lack experience. They’re all playing under first year head coach Derek Willis. Willis coached as an assistant under the previous play caller, so it’s not a clean slate but new players, new plays, new schemes could mean opportunities for Moore County. The Raider offense needs to rattle them with a couple of early scores.

Kickoff at Wayne County takes place at 7 p.m. If your can’t attend in person, the Moore County Sports Network will broadcast the game live on the NFHS Network. The Times will also provide live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is a nonpartisan community newspaper serving Lynchburg, Tennessee and the surrounding counties. We also provide news and information for the 350,000 folks who come to Lynchburg to visit The Jack Daniel’s Distillery each year. We are dedicated to public service journalism for the greater good of our community. You can support us, by clicking here.}