White’s five touchdowns lift Raiders to 46-21 victory over ranked Rockets

Moore County’s option QB Dawson White outruns Rockets defenders down the left hash on Friday in Chapel Hill. White scored five touchdowns in the game and racked up 194 all purpose yards. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. — The Forrest Rockets faced an impossible decision on Friday night. Key inside on Moore County’s option quarterback Dawson White and get burned on the edgegs or spread the defense to stop elusive Raider running back Logan Hegwood and leave the middle open. It was a lose-lose situation that resulted in a 46-21 Raider victory over a ranked 2A team.

The win stands as a bit of payback for the Raiders, who lost to the non-conference Rockets 21-7 in their home opener last season. In that game, turnovers plagued the Raiders. They turned the ball over four total times with the Rockets converting two of those to points.

Raiders convert Rocket fumble into points

On Friday night, it was the Rockets who struggled to take care of the ball. On their second possession, they fumbled on second and nine – giving Moore County the ball back at their own 35 yard line. The Raiders failed to convert and turned the ball over on downs.

Forrest got on the board first their next possession. With 4:17 on the first quarter clock, Forrest’s Eli Bell took a sweep play all the way to the house. The Rocket PAT gave them an early 7-0 lead. Moore County answered with two straight clutch pass plays from Dawson White to Alex Copeland to set up a Moore County first and goal. On the next down, White called his own number and powered in for the Raider touchdown. Blake Bradford’s PAT tied the game with 2:49 to play in the first quarter.

Forrest fumbled the following return giving Moore County a chance to pull ahead and they capitalized on it. QB Dawson White fumbled on the first down but recovered – though second and 21 seemed daunting. Logan Hegwood tried to make up those lost yards on the very next play. He wiggled free and seemed to be headed for six points but refs said he stepped out of bounds around the 18 yard line. He settled for a fresh set of downs. Dawson handed off to Hegwood on the next play to get Moore County to the six yard line. Then, after a false start penalty, White found Keller Morey in the end zone to give Moore County a 14-7 lead.

The Rockets turnover woes continued in the second quarter. On their first possession, Raider Wes Clifton picked off a Rocket pass giving Moore County the ball back. Moore County play callers then used a combination of run and pass plays to march it down the field. QB White passed to Will Baker on first down for eight quick yards and then handed off to Logan Hegwood who ran it all the way to the 27 yard line. White and Clifton then gained valuable yardage to get a fresh set of downs near the goal line. On second and one, White pushed forward for another Raider score. Blake Bradford PAT gave Moore County a 21-7 lead with 8:51 to play in the half.

The Moore County defense held on the next Raider possession thanks to stops by Landon Smith, Wes Clifton, and Bryson Carter. The Rocket receiver dropped the pass on third and long – forcing Forrest to punt. After fair catching the punt, Dawson White broke through the Forrest defensive line and ran 81 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The PAT bounced off the upright making it Raiders 27, Rockets 7 with 6:09 to play in the second.

Forrest scored on their next possession on a first and 10 pass play near the goal line. The Forrest kicker’s PAT pulled the Rockets within two scores with 1:24 to play in the half, Raiders 27 – Rockets 14.

Moore County then sustained a long drive that ate up the remainder of the first half. Logan Hegwood returned the kick off to the 37 yard line then Dawson White called his own number twice to make it third and short. With 39 seconds remaining, Hegwood powered forward for a fresh set of downs. An incomplete pass, holding call, and sack put the Raiders in a daunting third and 23 with just seconds left in the half. Those backwards yards forced the Raiders to settle for a 27-14 halftime lead.

Dawson White led in first half scoring with three touchdowns, and Keller Morey added one more. Blake Bradford added a PAT.

Junior Logan Hegwood scored on the opening kick off of the third quarter. His 95 yard touchdown run made it 33-14. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

Raiders score on opening drive of the third quarter

It didn’t take long for Moore County to get the offense moving in the second half. On the opening kickoff, Raider receiver Logan Hegwood spotted a Forrest hole, ran through it, and went 95 yards for a touchdown. Coach Kris White elected to go for two but the Rockets stopped Isaiah Petty right before he crossed the goal line. With just 18 seconds off the third quarter clock, the Raiders padded their lead to 33-14.

Moore County’s defense stiffened on the next series forcing them to go for it on fourth and one. Keller Morey then hit the Rocket QB in the back field for a sack and Forrest turned the ball over on downs with 6:42 to play in the third. A long, sustained Raider drive ate up the rest of the third quarter clock. Logan Hegwood, QB White, and Wes Clifton all gained positive yardage to get the Raiders to third and goal from the six yard line. After a little miscommunication by the Rocket defensive line, White walked into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the night. Blake Bradford’s PAT gave the Raiders a 40-14 edge.

Forrest needed a quick strike score to start the fourth and they got it. They picked up a first down on third and two and then completed a long pass. The Raiders got called for a late hit that gave them 15 more. With first and goal at the 10, the Rocket running back ran left for the touchdown. With 9:55 left in the game it was Moore County 40, Forrest 14.

On the kick off, Forrest attempted an onside kick but it sailed out of bounds to give the Raiders first and 10 at the 50. It took Dawson White one play to scramble right for the final touchdown of the night. The PAT sailed wide.

At the end of four quarters, the Raiders earned a 46-21 win over a ranked 2A team and a perfect 4-0 record.

White leads with five total touchdowns

Dawson White led the Raiders in total scoring with 30 points. Logan Hegwood and Keller Morey both added a touchdown each. Kicker Blake Bradford was four of six on the night.

In the air, Alex Copeland led with three catches for 60 total yards. Other Raiders with receiving yards were: Logan Hegwood (21), Keller Morey (13), Isaiah Petty (12), and Will Baker (8). On the ground, option QB Dawson White led with 158 yards followed closely by Hegwood with 107. Wes Clifton carried the rock four times for 17 yards.

On the defensive side, three Raiders – Landon Smith (14), Logan Cashion (11), and Peyton Martin (11) – racked up double digit stops. Blake Bradford managed a sack and freshman Gavin Wise snagged a INT. Smith and Cashion both forced and recovered a Forrest fumble.

The Raiders move on to district play this Friday to take on the Fayetteville Tigers. In a clash of the unbeatens, both team will come into the game with perfect 4-0 records and tied for first place in Region 5 play. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}