Raiders outmuscle Cornersville 55-14

Landon Smith (#25) and Isaac Petty (#81) combine for a crucial third quarter stop. The gritty Raider defense shutout the Bulldog offense in the second half. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

CORNERSVILLE, Tenn. — There are three kinds of high school football players: those who seek contact, those who understand contact is necessary, and those who avoid it. The first kind gives you an edge.

On Friday night, Cornersville radio announcers accused the Moore County Raiders of “playing dirty” against the Bulldogs. That isn’t what was happening.

This year’s Moore County squad is filled with players looking for contact. They put their heads down and run straight ahead or over you if necessary. Raider defenders fly across the field with a “not on my watch” attitude.

Opposing teams may view it as “dirty” but it’s just good, old fashioned physicality. It makes the other team quit. Opposing fans don’t like that.

It’s that gritty, hard-nosed play that resulted in a 55-14 shellacking of the Bulldogs in Cornersville on Friday and the continuation of the Raiders perfect season.

Raiders manage a 20-0 first quarter lead

Moore County jumped out to a quick 20-point lead in the first quarter.

The Raiders won the toss and elected to receive the ball first. QB Dawson White and running back Logan Hegwood combined on the first series for two first downs, then the Raiders found themselves in fourth and one.

Hegwood then bounced outside after the handoff on the next play and found the end zone for the first Raider TD. Jax Ross’s PAT made it Raiders 7, Cornersville 0 with 8:43 to play in the first.

The Raider defense stood firm on the Bulldog’s first series. They allowed a single first down then on third down, ball hawk Keller Morey nearly snagged the INT to force fourth down.

Moore County scored on it’s second possession when White handed off to Hegwood, who walked into the end zone. Morey set up that score when he went up to make the catch on second and eight to give the Raiders a fresh set of downs. Ross’s PAT padded the Raider lead to 14-0 with 2:54 to play in the first.

The Bulldogs turned over the ball on their next possession. After Ben Franklin got nine on a first down play, the Bulldogs ran a misdirection play and Isaac Petty didn’t bite. His pressure cause the ball to pop out and teammate Coleman Phillips promptly scooped it up to make it Raider ball.

The Raiders used just 30 seconds to to score when QB White muscled into the end zone to make it 20-0. The PAT missed.

The first quarter ended with Cornersville driving near the 30.

Raider QB Dawson White hands off to running back Logan Hegwood. The duo combined for 36 Moore County points against Cornersville. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

Raiders score in the last minute of the second quarter

Cornersville needed just 12 second quarter seconds to earn their first points of the game when Bulldog Franklin scored on the first play of the second quarter. The PAT made it Raiders 20, Bulldogs 7 with 11:48 to play in the half.

Moore County answered on a series that resulted in the fourth, fifth, and sixth unsportsmanlike flags of the game. Hegwood managed first down then White connected with Brantley Hill for another fresh set of downs. On second a nine, White ran straight ahead and over Bulldog linemen for the touchdown. The two point conversion failed — making it Moore County 26, Cornersville 7 with 8:49 to play in the first half.

Cornersville pieced together a 13-play series on their next possession that ate up nearly seven minutes off the game clock and resulted in another Bulldog TD. Cornersville QB Woodard called him own number on second and goal for six points. The PAT cut the Raider lead with 1:15 to play in the half, 26-14.

Enter the Raiders two minute drill. Alex Copeland returned the kick off to set up Moore County with first and 10 at the 40 yard line. White then connected with Morey on a first down pass. After a incompletion and a false start flag, White handed off to Hegwood who muscled to the 30 yard line for the first down. On first and 10, White threw a perfect fade pass to Morey for six more Raider points.

Moore County went into the break leading Cornersville 34-14.

Logan Hegwood and Dawson White both led in the first half with two TDS each. Keller Morey added a receiving touchdown and Jax Ross was two of three in PAT attempts.

Moore County shuts out Bulldogs in second half

Moore County came out of the break ready to play — especially their defense, who shut out the Bulldogs in the second half.

Cornersville got the ball first, then and on second and 11, Dawson White came out of nowhere to pluck a Bulldog pass out of the air for a pick six. Ross’s PAT made it Moore County 41, Cornersville 14.

Moore County forced a Bulldog three and out on their next series to hand the Raiders back the ball at the 6:03 mark.

Hegwood returned the kickoff to the 40 then Wes Clifton lowered his shoulder on three consecutive run plays to set up first and 10. The Bulldogs pushed the Raiders back a yard, then on second an 11, White connected with Copeland near the end zone. On third and two, White handed off to Hegwood who muscled for another Raider touchdown.

With 2:35 to play in the third, Moore County led Cornersville 48-14. The score surpassed the Raiders previous season high score of 45 points. They scored that against Eagleville on September 1.

Moore County scored their final TD of the game in the fourth quarter when Clifton went right up the middle for a Moore County TD. Quality runs by Logan Cashion and a Gavin Wise to Chris Merical completion set up the score.

Logan Hegwood and Dawson White led for the Raiders with three touchdowns each. Hegwood added a two point conversion. Keller Morey and Wes Clifton scored a TD each. Jax Ross was five or six in point after attempts.

On defense, Eli Brown led with nine solo tackles and two assists. Peyton Martin followed with seven solo tackles and an assist. Isaac Petty also played a stand out game with three solo tackles, an assist, a tackle for a loss, and a sack. He also forced a fumble.

Moore County moves on to probably their toughest match up of the 2023-24 season so far when they travel on October 6 for a district game against Collinwood. They enjoy a bye week on September 28 for Fall Break. •

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