Raiders stay perfect with 35-10 win over Forrest

Raiders Peyton Martin, Dawson White, and Eli Brown
Peyton Martin, Dawson White, and Eli Brown bring down a Rocket rusher on Friday night. So far this season, the Raider defense is holding opponents to around 11 points per game. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. — Offenses usually gets the headlines, but defenses win championships. That’s the storyline of the Moore County Raiders’ 35-10 win over the Forrest Rockets on Friday night.

Forrest came into the game well-rested after a bye week, but seemed ready to tap out by the third quarter. That’s thanks in no small part to the tenacious Raider defense, who through nine games, have held opponents to around 11 points per game.

Moore County came into the match up fresh off a 49-7 win against Huntland that secured the Region 5A crown. In that game, Moore County put up a 28-point lead by halftime, and shutout the Hornets in the second half. {To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.}

Hegwood led the first half with two scores

Moore County got on the board first with an uncharacteristically slow-paced drive that ticked off over four minutes of the first quarter game clock.

QB Dawson White earned the first Moore County first down with back-to-back keepers. The Raiders then struggled — managing only short yardage to make it fourth and one. White again called his own number for the first down. A run by Logan Hegwood and catch by Will Parker gave Moore County a fresh set of downs, then Hegwood used his legs to earn one more. On second and seven, White threw down field to Keller Morey for another first down to set up a first and goal rushing touchdown from Hegwood. Jax Ross’s PAT gave the Raiders an early 7-0 lead over Forrest.

The Rockets responded with a 16-play drive that ended the first quarter.

The Rockets started the second quarter at second and goal but settled for a field goal. With 11:12 to play, Moore County led Forrest 7-3.

It took the Raiders just four downs to answer, when White cut inside on third and one to earn the score. A jet sweep pass to Hegwood and screen pass to Copeland set up the touchdown. Ross’s PAT made it Moore County 14, Forrest 3 with 9:28 to play in the first half.

Moore County’s defense allowed just seven yards on the next Forrest series and they punted on fourth and seven.

Following the kickoff return, White handed off to Hegwood who managed positive yards despite an obvious Rocket face mask. The 15-penalty yard set up Moore County with first and 10 at the 35-yard line. White’ s first pass to Morey fell incomplete, then he called his own number for eight yards. On third and two, Brantley Hill took the hand off for the first down. Wes Clifton went to work on the next two plays – earning another Raiders first down. Now in the red zone, White handed off to Hegwood on first and second down to make it first and goal. Hegwood ran up the gut on the next play for six points. Ross’s PAT gave the Raiders at 21-3 lead with 4:05 to play in the first half.

Forrest put together an 11-play drive to end the first half to get within field goal range, but the Rocket kick went wide right.

Logan Hegwood led in the first half with two scores followed by Dawson White with a touchdown. Jax Ross was a perfect three of three in first half PATs. Moore County put up 183 yards of total offense in the first half compared to Forrest with 87.

Parker and Hill score in the second half

Forrest got the ball first in the second half and managed two first downs before coughing the ball up at the 25-yard line. But the Moore County offense failed to do anything with the gift and turned the ball over on downs. Forrest failed to earn a single yard on the next series thanks to pressure from Logan Cashion on the inside. They punted on fourth and 10 – handing the Raiders great field positon.

Moore County took over at the 43 and White called the QB keeper for a quick eight yards. His second down pass fell incomplete, then he battled ahead for the first down. White and Hegwood then earned positive yardage to set up a pass to Will Parker for the touchdown. Ross’s fourth PAT of the game gave Moore County a 28-3 lead.

Forrest offense became visibly frustrated on the next set of downs. Landon Smith and Keller Morey forced a play for a loss and the Rockets never recovered – punting on fourth and 26.

Gavin Wise came in a QB in the fourth quarter and finished the game for Moore County. He used Hegwood and Clifton to earn yards but the Raiders turned the ball over on downs. The Rockets went a quick three and out to give Moore County back the ball with 6:16 to play. Wise then connected with Hill on first and 10 for the final Raider score of the game.

The Rockets scored on their final possession. At the buzzer, Moore County earned a 35-10 victory over the Rockets and maintained their perfect season.

Logan Hegwood led for Moore County against Forrest with two scores followed by Dawson White, Will Parker, and Brantley Hill with a touchdown each. Jax Ross was a perfect five of five in point after attempts.

White was the leading rusher with 115 yards. Will Parker (34) and Keller Morey (33) led in receiving yards. Moore County put together 328 total yards of offense.

Peyton Martin once again led the offense with 10 total tackles followed closely by Landon Smith with nine tackles. Eli Brown added seven more. Martin and Aydan Blair each recovered a fumble for Moore County.

Moore County moves on to their final regular season game this Thursday at home against Richland. •

{The Lynchburg Times is a nonpartisan, independent community newspaper serving Lynchburg, Tennessee and the surrounding counties. We are dedicated to public service journalism for the greater good of our community. You can support us, by clicking here.}