BEAT THE STREAK: Raiders beat Fayetteville 34-14 on Friday

Raiders lineman Aydan Blair
Junior Aydan Blair blocks against an overmatched Tiger on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — It’s Friday night around 10 p.m. and the Raiders just handed Head Coach Kris White a gift.

“You group of seniors just got a monkey off you back,” he jokes. “I got one off mine too. We haven’t beaten them since I’ve been here.”

His comments were met by a round of enthusiastic cheers from his team as they remained huddled at midfield following Moore County’s 34-14 win over the Fayetteville Tigers – the first since 2019.

For this particular group of seniors, the win felt particularly sweet. Their freshman season, the Tigers handed the Raiders their only losses of the successful 13-2 season. The Tigers beat the Raiders in Lincoln County by a touchdown during the regular season and then again 38-29 in the Class 1A Quarterfinals game. Fayetteville would go on to win the Class 1A State Championship that year.

Raider go into the break ahead by a touchdown

Moore County drew first blood on Friday when Dawson White muscled his way into the end zone on first and 10 near the red zone. Long runs by Logan Hegwood and Peyton Martin set up the play. A offsides penalty by Fayetteville on third and two didn’t hurt either. With 9:29 to play in the first quarter, the Raiders led 7-0.

Fayetteville couldn’t score on their next drive. A couple of plays for no gain combined with a holding call found them in a second and 16 hole near midfield. The next run play went no where thanks to lights out tackling by both Wes Clifton and Landon Smith — forcing a punt to give Moore County the ball back with 7:10 to play in the quarter.

Moore County made them pay for it when White found a wide open Alex Copeland standing on the left side of the end zone for six more points. First down plays by White, Clifton, and Peyton Martin set up the play. With 1:21 left in the first, Jax Ross’s PAT gave Moore County at 14-0 first quarter lead.

The first quarter ended with Fayetteville driving near their own 44 yard line.

Fayetteville found a bit of fight in the second quarter as Moore County seemed to lose defensive focus. The Tigers completed the drive they started at the end of the first when QB Samuel Willoughby handed off to Kevon Henderson for a quick first and goal play for six points. The two point conversion failed making it Moore County 14, Fayetteville 6 with 8:08 to play in the second quarter.

Moore County immediately answered with a rushing TD by White. A first and 10 scamper by Logan Hegwood all the way to the 16 yard line set up the touchdown. Ross’s PAT gave Moore County a 21-6 lead with 6:41 to play in the the second quarter.

Moore County then allowed the Tigers to control the remainder of the half. Fayetteville pieced together 14-play drive that resulted in another six points by Henderson. At the break, Moore County led 21-14.

Raiders hold Tigers scoreless in the second half

Raiders Logan Hegwood and Peyton Martin
Senior running back Logan Hegwood cuts left as junior linebacker Peyton Martin makes room on Friday night. Hegwood scored a touchdown and Martin managed nine tackles against the Tigers. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

The Moore County rediscovered their defensive groove in the second half while piecing together scoring drives. Lights out tackling by Landon Smith and Dillion Sherrill as well as a sack on Willoughby by Eli Brown forced the Tigers to punt on their first drive of the second half.

Moore County answered with a 15-play drive for six points.

Moore County went for it on fourth and one to keep the drive alive. A handoff to Hegwood likely would have securely it but a Tigers defensive offsides call handed the Raiders a fresh set of downs. Hegwood then managed two consecutive first down plays to set up second and five near the red zone. Determined, he drove in for another Raider touchdown with 1:31 to play in the third.

The Raiders kept the Tigers out of the end zone for the remainder of the game. White scored the final touchdown of the game at the 3:35 mark.

Dawson White led for the Raiders with three touchdowns

Option QB Dawson White led for Moore County with three rushing touchdowns for 18 points. White connected on seven of nine passes for the night and managed 109 yards through the air. He added another 142 on the ground for 251 total yards of offense. He also added five solo tackles on defense.

Senior running back Logan Hegwood and senior receiver Alex Copeland each added a touchdown. Jax Ross kicked four of five PAT attempts successfully.

On defense, sophomore Tristin Gray played a breakout game. He and defensive stalwart junior Peyton Martin led on defense with nine tackles each. Eli Brown followed closely with eight tackles including a key sack in the third quarter that forced the Tigers into third and 16 – essentially stalling out the drive. Senior Wes Clifton and junior Tripp Hammond each tackles Tiger players for a loss.

For complete stats, visit the Moore County Raiders Max Preps page by clicking here.

“We’ve got a region opponent next week,” Coach White told his team after the game. “This is when it counts.”

Moore County plays their district opener at home on Friday against Eagleville. It will be an early season battle of the unbeatens. Moore County earned a perfect 2-0 record with wins over Cascade and Fayetteville. The Eagles beat Providence Christian Academy 14-0 on August 18 and Community 54-0 last Friday night. If you can’t attend the game in person, the Moore County Sports Network will broadcast the game live on the NFHS Network. •

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