Raiders looking for pieces to come together against Fayetteville on Friday

The Raiders takes on top ranked Fayetteville on Friday in Lynchburg. Kick off is at 7 p.m. (Graphic Credit: Jeff Reed Photography)

LOCAL SPORTS NEWS — So far this season, the rebuilding Moore County Raiders have shined between the hashes in fits and spurts. At times, the offense makes the right read and burns a defender for a deep pass or the quarterback spots daylight, tucks the ball, and runs for first down yardage. At other times, we sputter in the red zone.

On defense, at times the determined Raider defense makes a goal line stand and uses bend-but-don’t-break mentality to keep the other team out of the end zone. At other times, defenders tackle high, fail to wrap up a player, and cough up valuable yards.

On Friday in Lynchburg, the Moore County Raiders will see if they can use a little home field advantage to get all the pieces to come together as they take on the top-ranked Fayetteville Tigers.

“We’re getting better,” Coach Kris White told Benji Garland during the weekly Coach’s Corner podcast. “We’ve got to put it all together on the same night.”

Last year, the Tigers handed the Raiders their only regular season loss. It was a frustrating, sputtering, flag-heavy affair that left Moore County feeling a little salty. The Tigers needed a trick play late in the fourth to earn the W. After the Raiders tied the score, the Tigers needed a fake punt on fourth and six with 50 seconds remaining to keep their go-ahead drive alive. {To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.}

Later that year, the Tigers also ended Head Coach Kris White’s first season with a 38-29 loss in the Class 1A State Quarterfinals. Fayetteville City would move on to beat South Pittsburgh 20-14 and earn the Class 1A State Championship,

Revenge won’t be easy to come by this year, as the young Raiders will face off with a talented Tiger team that returned nearly all its starters. The Tigers have won their past 11-straight games and 28 of their last 30 and have a second straight Class 1A title in their sights.

Raider Head Coach Kris Whites says it’s a great opportunity for his team to evaluate how far they’ve come.

“When I was a player, I wanted to play the best to see where I matched up and that’s what I challenged them to do this week … to look at it as an opportunity to play the best and see where we match up,” he said on Coach’s Corner on Wednesday. “It’s more of a pride factor.” (To watch the Big Ben’s Show complete Week 5 episode, click here.}

Coach White says he plans to pick a starter at the quarterback position on Friday rather than rotate sophomore Keller Morey and senior Connor Partin, who have both gotten starts through the first four games.

“Moving forward, we’re going to start the game with one guy, but if things go bad, we will go to another one,” Coach White said. “We’re not going to rotate series. That’s not what I think is best for our team right now.”

The Raiders and Tigers will face on Friday at Doug Price Field. Kick off will be at 7 p.m. The Moore County Athletic Department will honor local first responders including those from visiting Fayetteville at halftime. The MCHS Pep Club has also designated the home Fayetteville City game as Hawaiian night, so come dressed in your island best.

If you can’t attend the game, you can watch live on the NFHS Network, listen live in the Moore County Sports Network app, or follow The Lynchburg Times Facebook page for live score updates. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently 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.}