Turnovers, offensive struggles cost Raiders a 21-7 home loss against Forrest

Turnovers, offensive struggles cost Raiders a 21-7 home loss against Forrest
Logan Hegwood alludes a Forrest tackler on his way for positive yardage on Friday. Hegwood managed six carries for 22 yard and another 22 receiving yards against the Rockets. (Photo Credit: Jeff Reed Photography)

LOCAL SPORTS NEWS | Lynchburg — The young 2021 Raider squad continued to struggle Friday night as they fell to the Forrest Rockets 21-7 at Doug Price Field.

Prior to kick off, the MCHS Athletic Department took a moment to honor local veterans as well as the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As the MCHS Band of Spirit gathered at mid field, 13 local veterans stood along the far side holding 13 American flag to honor the service members who died in Afghanistan in late August.

At halftime, they recognized the 2020-21 Raider Baseball squad that managed a 22-11-3 record and the Class A State Runner Up trophy last May.

Turnovers led to 14 Rocket points

Turnovers plagued the Raiders on Friday. On the first Moore County offensive series, the Raiders managed two first downs with a combination of short passes and runs by Dawson White and Logan Hegwood. On the second, Forrest #9 Purcell snatched Raider QB Connor Partin’s pass out of the secondary for a interception. This time, the Raider defense prevented the Rockets from converting that mistake into first quarter points.

That trend would not hold. Forrest converted two third quarter Raider fumbles into touchdowns.

Raiders struggled to get offense moving

Despite strong running by Dawson White and Logan Hegwood and option yardage by Connor Partin, the Raiders just could not gain any offensive traction on Friday. Moore County avoid the shutout by scoring late in the fourth quarter on a 24 yard run by Connor Partin. Will Parker got the Raiders within striking distance by connecting on a 56-yard Partin pass on the previous play. Blake Bradford added the PAT.

Defense continues to make plays

One bright spot was the Raider defense who continues to make crucial stops despite missing one of their key players, 280 pound freshman linebacker Aidan Blair. In particular Dawson White, Elam Brown, Wes Clifton, and Landon Jolley wrapped up Forrest runner in crucial third down plays and Hayden Carter managed more than one touchdown saving tackle.

After the game, Raider Head Coach Kris White told his team that they played hard and he felt proud of their effort but they needed to “clean things up.”

“A lot of y’all are probably having to play who aren’t ready to play yet, but that’s just the nature of the beast,” he said. “You gotta relish every rep that you get and make it be important.”

Offensively, Connor Partin, who got his first start at QB, got 223 total yards including 177 passing yards and 46 yards on the ground. He also got the only touchdown of the night. Will Parker led for the Raiders with 56 all purpose yards followed closely by Keller Morey with 54 yards. Morey also snagged an INT. On defense, Dawson White led with 20 tackles including nine solo tackles. Freshman Petyon Martin (15), senior Hayden Carter (14), and sophomore Wes Clifton (11) also all managed double digit tackles. Raider kicker Blake Bradford was a perfect one of one on point after attempts.

The Raiders will need to recover and prepare this week for their home game against Fayetteville City on Friday in Lynchburg. The Raiders will come into the game winless (except for a forfeit from Bledsoe County) while the Tigers currently sit a 4-0. •

{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.}