Raiders drop season opener at Cascade

Dawson White (#6) and Aydan Blair (#75) take down a Cascade running back on Friday. (Photo Credit: Jeff Reed Photography)

LOCAL SPORTS NEWS | Wartrace — Raider Head Coach Kris White stands midfield two dozen set of eyes glued to him following Friday night’s 29-14 loss at Cascade High School.

“Not the final score we wanted,” he tells his team. “But I take responsibility for this one. This one’s on me. You blame me but what you can’t do is blame each other.”

Seniors in the kneeling sea of white and Columbia blue nod their heads. Relief shows on some of the younger player’s faces but they all seem deflated.

“This game does not define us,” Coach White continues. “It’s how we come back that matters. We’ll fix whatever problems we’ve got.”

Scored tied at the end of the first half

First game nerves and youth showed in the first quarter of last Friday’s game. The Champions picked not one but two Raider passes in the first 12 minutes. Both times, the Raider defense bailed the offensive out and kept the Champions out of the end zone. Then with just 51 seconds left to play in the first quarter, Dawson White got payback when he snagged a tipped pass and ran it down the right hash all the way to the end zone for six Raider points. Blake Bradford’s successful point after added one more and the Raiders led 7-0.

In the second quarter, the Raiders and the Champions swapped possession before the Cascade QB connected on a long pass to the right corner of the end zone for a Champion touchdown. The Raiders and Champions went into the locker room at halftime with score knotted 7-7.

Cascade pulls away in the second half

The Raiders started the second half with a quality defensive stop. After returning to the 41 yard line. Hayden Carter knocked a Cascade runner out of bound after just four short yards. Cascade managed around five yard pushing up the middle on the next play to earn third and one but a holding call moved them back 15 yards. On third and 17, Keller Morey got a big lick stop and forced Cascade to punt on the next down.

On the next Raider first and 10, White broke free down the right hashmark for his second touchdown of the game. After Blake Bradford’s PAT, the Raiders led 14-7. Cascade answered on a long, sustained, clock-eating drive that resulted in six points. The Champions attempted a fake point after but the Raider D sniffed it out. With 6:16 to play in the third, the Raiders led 14-13.

Moore County could not get much going on the next offensive series. Cascade blocked the punt and recovered it inside the red zone. The Raider defense again stepped up. This time, Joseph Trice got a big stop at the goal line to keep the Champions out of the end zone and they turned the ball over on downs.

On the next series, two Cascade players collided leaving one of the them lying on the ground for several minutes. Both Cascade’s and Moore County’s coaching and training staff headed on to the field as both sideline took a knee. After several scary moments, the EMS took the Cascade player off the field on a back board.

As play resumes with one minute left to play in the third quarter, another Raider miscue put the Champions back in scoring position. After a bad punt, Cascade scored on short yardage and their successful two point conversion gave them the lead. At the end of three quarters, the Champions led the Raiders 21-14.

Cascade scored their final points of the game around the 2:23 mark with a touchdown and two point conversion to given them their final points of the night.

Dawson White led with two touchdowns

Dawson White led for the Raiders scoring both of Moore County’s two touch downs. Blake Bradford managed a perfect two of two on point after attempts.

White put together 114 rushing yards. Keller Morey and Will Harder led in receiving yards. Morey managed a single catch for 52 yards and Harder made two receptions for 33 yards. Morey had 37 rushing and 52 receiving yards for a total of 89.

On defense, Dawson White and Hayden Carter led with 17 tackles each. Peyton Martin added another 10 tackles.

The Raiders will travel again this week to play the Bledsoe County Warriors in Pikeville on Friday. •

{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.}