MCHS Raiders kick off season at Cascade

Graphic Credit: Jeff Reed Photography

LOCAL SPORTS NEWS — It’s Friday Night Lights season here in Southern Middle Tennessee and the Raiders kick off their season on Friday, August 20 with an away game in Wartrace against the Cascade Champions.

A year ago, the Moore County High School Raiders really wanted to give first year head coach, Kris White, his very first Raider win at home against Cascade in the season opener. Kyler Parker completed a long pass to Brayden Cashion to get the Raiders up by a touchdown in the first quarter, and Dylan Scruggs snagged a tipped pass in the end zone just before halftime to seal the deal. At the end of four quarters, the Raiders blanked the Champions 15-0. {To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.}

But this year is different. Many of the playmakers from last August – Parker, Cashion, Scruggs as well as Kaden White, Tyler Smith, Donavin Pearson, and Chase Bradford – are now college freshmen. The Raiders return just a handful of starters from last year’s squad.

In our preseason interview with the Raider coaching staff, Coach White along with his staff of assistants — T.J. Christian, Randy Morey, Wes Black, and Manny Buchanan – admitted that this year’s roster is light on returning starters at the skill positions. At press time, the the QB1 slot was still up for grabs with Keller Morey and Connor Partin both getting quality snaps at the August 6 scrimmage in Lynchburg.

At that same scrimmage, the Raider defense impressed with several defensive players getting big licks. In a series against Grace Academy, Isaiah Petty managed a play-stopping hit against a Lion running down the right side. A couple of plays later Joseph Trice puts a big hit on a Richland runner.

In the west bracket, most high school football prognosticators have their eye on the Fayetteville City Tigers and Class A’s newest member the Peabody Golden Tide, but Moore County could prove to be a dark horse in the mix. Many think with a solid line many of the skill positions could develop quickly.

Coach White says despite the inexperience, this year’s team is filled with guys who have put in the work and earned their opportunity to play. He also says that Moore County’s linemen on both side of the ball have gained a lot of strength in the offseason.

“The line is the most experienced group that that we have,” Coach Kris White told us in early August. “We’ve got a senior and a sophomore that started last year as a freshman and an eight grader who started nine games last year. They’ve played and they’ve been through it.”

All Cascade games are played at the old Cascade High School not the new campus. Kick off is at 7 p.m. If you can’t make the game, the Moore County Sports Network will broadcast the game on the NFHS network.

Lynchburg’s local podcast, The Big Ben Show hosted by MCHS Alumni Benji Garland will host Coach’s Corner every Monday again this year. To watch their first preseason episode on YouTube, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. 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.}