Big second half lifts Tigers to a 52-31 victory over the Raiders

Logan Hegwood avoids a Tiger defender for six points on Friday in Lynchburg. The sophomore running back managed two touchdowns and 200 all purpose yards. (Photo Credit: Jeff Reed Photography)

LOCAL SPORTS NEWS — There are no moral victories. That’s what Raider Head Coach Kris White told his team following Moore County’s 52-31 loss to the defending Class 1A State Champion Fayetteville City Tiger on Friday.

“It was a lot closer than the thought it was going to be,” Coach White told his players in the post game huddle. “If we’ll go out the there and fight like we did tonight, we can win the next five and make it into the playoffs.”

Raiders manage a one point lead before the Tigers pull away

Moore County won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Raiders managed positive yardage but no score in their first series. QB Connor Partin called his own number twice to get the Raiders to third and six before the first of multiple encroachment calls against the Tigers gifted Moore County five yards. Logan Hegwood then powered forward for the one yard and the first down. After a play for negative yardage, a sack, and a dropped pass, the Raiders punted.

Will Harder’s punt hit near the goal line and the Tiger offense took over at the seven yard line. The Tigers managed two first downs before Moore County’s defense stiffened. On their third first down, the Tiger QB handed off and Peyton Martin and Hayden Carter stopped the play before it could develop. The Tigers mistakenly tried to run the same play on the next down. Martin and Carter tackled the runner for no gain. The next Tiger pass fell incomplete on third and seven and Fayetteville punted. With 4:42 to play in the first quarter, the score remained 0-0.

Then is started raining touchdowns.

On the next Raider series, Moore County failed to get up field, then on third and 13, a Tiger intercepted a Raider pass for the game’s first turnover. Three plays later, a Tiger running back shuffled down the right hash for six points. The PAT fell no good and the Tigers led 6-0 with 2:12 to play in the first.

The Raiders answered immediately when Dawson White returned the kick off ninety plus yards for a Moore County score. The PAT attempt sailed wide and with 1:53 to play in the first quarter the score knotted at 6-6.

Then, the Tigers answered with their own kick return for a score. Again, their PAT missed. At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers led the Raiders 12-6.

Four plays into the second quarter, Connor Partin handed off to Logan Hegwood who made a man miss and the sprinted downs the right hash and into the end zone to tie the game. Blake Bradford connected on the the PAT. With nearly 11 minutes left to play in the first half, the Raiders managed a one point lead.

But the Tigers answered with a long, sustained four minute drive that got them in the red zone. On first and goal, the Tiger running back ran straight up the gut and into the end zone to give the Tigers back the lead at the 6:53 mark. They’d manage two more before the half. At the break, Moore County headed into the locker room trailing Fayetteville 34-13.

In the third quarter, the Tigers scored quickly — adding six more points in just 35 second. Then again around the 6:21 mark.

On the next offensive series, a Tiger lineman slammed Raider QB Keller Morey to the ground as the home crown erupted. Unfazed, on the next play, Morey connected with Dawson White for six points.

In the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing 52-19, Coach White substituted heavily giving younger players some valuable reps and several made impressive plays. At the 8:54 mark, the Raiders managed a successful onsides kicks thanks to new player PJ Barad, who battled and refused to come down without the ball. Will Baker and Landon Brann also made positive yardage offensive plays.

After the game, Coach White told his players — many of whom are freshman and sophomores starting for their first season — that he was proud of their fight.

“I’m proud of you that you didn’t lay down,” Coach White told his players. “As a coaching staff, I’ll be honest, that’s what we were a little worried about and you didn’t. You represented your community well.”

“Nobody can say you went out there scared,” he continued. “You fought your tails off and we’re proud of you.”

Hegwood and White lead for the Raiders

The Raiders played two quarterbacks Friday night against the Tigers. Connor Partin got the start and managed four of eight passes for 54 yards before going down with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Keller Morey came off the bench and connected on 10 of 22 for 133 yards. Morey also managed five rushing, 11 receiving, and a 37 yard kick off return.

Offensively, Dawson White led for the Raiders with three touchdowns. He put together 187 total all purpose yard including five rushing, 90 receiving, and a 92 yard kick off return for a touchdown. Logan Hegwood followed with two touchdowns and 200 yards including 97 on the ground, a 58 yards kick off return, and a 45 yard punt return. Blake Bradford was one of four in point after attempts.

On defense, Dawson White and Hayden Carter led with eight tackles each followed closely by Peyton Martin with seven, and Wes Clifton, Logan Hegwood, and Landon Brann who all had six tackles.

The Raiders move on to district game against Wayne County (1-3,0-1) this Friday in Lynchburg. •

{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.}