5 Things to know about the Moore County, Collinwood game this Friday

Will Harder alludes a Loretto defender for positive yardage last Friday. The junior receiver has put up over 100 yards through the air this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed Photography)

LOCAL SPORTS — Raider fans have gotten spoiled these past four weeks with a string of home games following the first two games of the season. After playing Cascade and Eagleville on the road, the Raiders returned to Doug Price Field to take on Forrest, Fayetteville, Wayne County, Loretto, and finally Collinwood at home. They will finish on the road at Cornersville on October 22 and annual rivalry game in Franklin County against Huntland on October 29.

This Friday, the Moore County Raiders (2-5, 1-2) will play a Homecoming game against the Collinwood Trojans (1-6, 1-2). This is the first time the Raiders and Trojans have played in the regular Region 5A season. Collinwood moved from Region 6A to Region 5A this year.

Collinwood beat Huntland 16-0 on October 1 and it sits as their lone victory in the 2021 season. Their offense has struggled this year with shutout loses against Cornersville on September 17, and Fayetteville on September 24.

Here are five things to look for in this week’s game:

1| Look for Morey to find his rhythm. Sophomore Raider QB Keller Morey took over as QB 1 after senior Connor Partin suffered an injury against Fayetteville on September 17. Since then, he’s improved game to game managing a 41 percent completion rate in the win against Wayne County and a 63 percent completion rate in the 21-13 loss to Loretto. Reps equal confidence and we look for Morey to have a break out game against Collinwood.

2| But he’s gonna need his playmakers. It’s no secret that fellow sophomore Dawson White has been Morey’s go to receiver this year, but other playmakers are starting to make things happen on offense. Junior Will Harder has made some money catches over the last several games. He and option quarterback Morey are the only other players besides White to hit the 100 yards receiving mark this season. It would only take a couple of clutch catches against the Trojan for sophomore Alex Copeland to join them. He’s managed 78 yard through the air so far this season.

3| The Raider defense could be the difference makers. White also leads the Moore County defense with 81 tackles and two interceptions so far this season but a couple of under classman are also becoming difference makers. Freshman Peyton Martin has made 68 stops and averages 11.3 stops per game. Sophomore Wes Clifton has also come on strong over the past several games. He’s managed 44 tackles including 23 solo tackles and a sack so far this year. If the underclassman continue to step up this year, the Raider defense could be the difference makers through the last three regular season games.

4| The Raiders need a couple of region wins to keep playoff hopes alive. Currently Moore County sits tied with Collinwood for fourth place in Region 5A play behind Fayetteville, Cornersville, and Eagleville. They’re gonna need a win over the Trojans and the Huntland Hornets to keep post season goals in play. They also need the third place Eagleville to drop one of their last two games against Collinwood and #1 Fayetteville to help the cause.

5| This is the first season for the Trojan Coach. This the first year for new Trojans’ Head Coach Leslie Mote who took over in May of this year. Collinwood fired Scott Hannah in April of this year after six season and five consecutive playoff appearances. Hannah took over in 2015 and at the time he was their third head coach in as many seasons. Collinwood also moved into Region 5A this year with Wayne County this year. Players may have adjusted fully to his system just yet and the Raiders might be able to convert any missteps into points.

The Raiders kick off against the Trojan at 7 p.m. in Lynchburg on Friday night. The annual Homecoming ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. and the Homecoming Dance will happen on Saturday from 7-11 p.m. You can watch the game live on the NFHS Network, listen for free in the Moore County Sports Network app, or watch The Lynchburg Times Facebook page for live score updates.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover 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.}