Raiders shut out Cornersville on Senior Night

Moore County senior football players, football managers, cheerleaders, and band members take a moment for a group photo following the Raiders blow out win over Cornersville on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — A total solar eclipse, getting struck by lighting, spotting Big Foot … these are all things just as likely to happen as the first quarter scoring of the Moore County Raiders home game against the Cornersville Bulldogs on Friday.

In the first 12 minutes, the Raiders put together a “unicorn game” — scoring on four straight first down plays in the first six minutes of the game. That’s right. The Raiders managed 26 points in a little over seven minutes without ever playing a second down.

As impressive as those stats are, they’re less the result of a dominating performance by Moore County and more a reflection of the youth on the field for the Bulldogs, who played with multiple eighth grade starters on Friday, according to their roster.

The game contrasted wildly from the match up a year ago, when a senior-heavy Bulldog squad handed Moore County a 35-14 loss in Cornersville — putting up 21 unanswered second half points.

Four scores on four first downs

Junior running back Logan Hegwood sprints for a Raider touchdown from the first play from scrimmage. He scored three times on Friday night — all on first down plays. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

It took Moore County just over a minute to score on Friday in Lynchburg. Thanks in no small part to blocking by his defense, Dawson White returned the kick off all the way to the Bulldog 35 yard line, Then, on first down, Logan Hegwood cut inside on the very first play from scrimmage and ran it all the way to the house. Blake Bradford’s successful PAT gave the Raiders an early 7-0 lead.

On their first offensive series, the Bulldog went a quick three and out. Keller Morey then returned the Bulldog kick off to near midfield. On first down, QB White found Morey in the secondary. Morey caught the pass and then — thanks to an outstanding block by Isaiah Petty — ran it all the way for six more Raider points.

The Raiders bobbled the extra point snap but a heads up play by Alex Copeland nearly turned it into a two point conversion. The Bulldogs stopped him just shy of the goal line — forcing the Raiders to settle for six. They led 13-0 with 9:21 left to play in the first quarter.

On another three and out for the Cornersville offense, Moore County blocked the Bulldog punt. Moore County recovered the ball to set up first and goal at the one yard line. Then, Raider option quarterback White lowered his head and pushed forward for six more points. The two point conversion failed — giving the Raiders a 19-0 edge with 7:41 to play in the first quarter.

Cornersville failed to make a first down on their next series and punted on fourth down. Morey returned the punt to the 30 yard line. On first down, White handed off to the elusive Hegwood who out maneuvered the Bulldog defense for six more points. It was his second touchdown of the night. Bradford’s PAT sailed through the upright — padding Moore County’s lead to 26-0 with 5:47 to play in the first half.

By a little over the halfway point of the first quarter, the Raiders had managed to score four times on a first down play.

The Bulldogs went three and out again on their next set of downs and then Moore County managed a train wreck of an offensive series with a couple of negative plays and an Alex Copeland touchdown called back due to a block in the back. Moore County punted on fourth and 30.

The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs driving.

Senior Isaiah Petty scores on Senior Night

On the first play of the second quarter, Wes Clifton nearly intercepted the Bulldogs Hail Mary fourth and 17 pass — even with a cast on his left forearm. The Raiders took over on downs and Hegwood again made several Bulldog defenders miss before sprinting to the end zone for his third touchdown of the night — all three on first down. Bradford’s successful PAT made it Raiders 33, Bulldogs 0 with 10:47 to play in the first half.

The Bulldogs managed a first down on their next set of downs before punting on fourth and 22.

With 7:02 to play in the first half, a Hegwood run and catches by Will Baker and Morey set up a second a 10 pass from QB White to Copeland for six more Raider points. Bradford’s PAT gave Moore County a 40-0 lead with 4:52 to play.

But the Raiders weren’t done with their first half scoring, thanks in part to a shanked punt that actually fell for negative yards. With a fresh set of downs at the Bulldog 26, QB White handed off to Hegwood who ran it into the red zone. On first and goal, Isaiah Petty managed to score the final Raider points of the first half. Refs thought his teammates celebrated the senior a bit “excessively” earning Moore County and unsportsmanlike call.

But it didn’t matter. Moore County went into the half time locker room leading 46-0.

Parker scores the final points of the game

In the first minute of the second half of play, Raider Head Coach Kris White replaced every starter. Back up quarterback Gavin Wise came in along with his go-to backs Will Parker and Landon Brann.

Neither team scored in the third quarter. Then, on the first Bulldog possession of the fourth quarter, freshman defensive back Cole Taylor intercepted a Cornersville pass to give Moore County back the ball but they turned it over on downs.

Cornersville turned the ball over again on their next series when a Bulldog coughed up the ball on second and seven. Junior linebacker James Laster recovered the ball for Moore County.

With a fresh set of down with 5:33 to play, the Moore County runner got tackled for a loss on first down and then Parker earned it all back on second and 15. QB Wise called his own number and scramble for six yards and then Brantley Hill ran for daylight on fourth and five to earned a Moore County first down. On first and goal from the nine, Wise handed off to Parker who leaped into the end zone for the final Raider score of the night. Bradford’s PAT made the final score 53-0.

{Editor’s Note: We’ll enter complete game stats as soon as they are available.}

The 8-1 Moore County Raiders will play their final regular season game this Thursday against the 2-7 Huntland Hornets. As always, you can throw the records out for the annual rivalry game as anything can and will happen. Kick off will happen at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 28 at Doug Price Field. If you can’t attend in person, you can listen for free on The Lynchburg Times’ Raider Radio or watch on the NFHS Network.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}