Raiders looking to tame the Wildcats in tonight’s playoff game

The Raiders take on Wayne County tonight at 7 p.m. in Lynchburg.

SPORTS — With not one but two TSSAA Mr. Football semi-finalist on it’s roster, the Moore County High School Raiders will look to take out Wayne County tonight in the first round of the the Class 1A Playoffs. Moore County will enter the game with a 9-1 regular season record as well as an offense and defense that’s clicking on all cylinders.

Led by senior quarterback and Mr. Football semi-finalist Kyler Parker, the Raiders boast numerous, quick strike weapons. Aided by determined Raider playmakers, Parker’s completed 105 passes on 182 attempts so far this season. Outside the pocket, Parker’s rushed for another 825 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Through the air, Parker’s favorite targets are fellow Mr. Football semi-finalist Kaden White (452 receiving yards), Dawson White (334 receiving yards), Brayden Cashion (288 receiving yards), Dylan Scruggs (236 receiving yards), and Joshua Parks (167 receiving yards). Scruggs hasn’t played the last two games due to a shoulder injury but is expected to return for playoff action.

On the ground, Parker and senior running back Tyler Smith do the heavy lifting. Smith has racked up 729 yards on the ground and 10 touchdown so far this season for the Raiders. The Raider offense owes much of its success to an unyielding offensive line that’s doing an outstanding job of blocking downfield and creating space for Raider rushers.

And of course, Raider kicker Chase Bradford’s been rock solid again this year making 32 or 37 point after attempts and two of two field goals.

As the season’s progressed the Raider defense has gotten stingy. They forced shutouts against Cascade, Eagleville, and Jo Bryns and allowed less than 14 points a game in their final two games. They beat Richland 35-7 and Mt. Pleasant 38-13.

In the secondary, ball hawks Joshua Parks, Dawson White, and Hayden Carter pick off interceptions and inside, the Raider defensive line forces and recovers fumbles. Hayden Carter leads this stat with four fumble recoveries on the year.

Kaden White (115 tackles), Donavin Pearson (111 tackles), Dawson White (100 tackles), Tyler Smith (90 tackles) and Hayden Carter (77 tackles) lead the Raider D.

The Wildcat secondary can be exposed for big plays

The Wildcats come into Raider Stadium with a 5-5 regular season record. They suffered a COVID forfeit loss to Middleton in the first game of the season followed by losses to Loretto, Summertown, Riverside, Huntingdon, and Collinswood.

The Wildcats put up 747 yards through the air this season and another 1026 yards on the ground. They play grind-it-out offense led by senior quarterback #10 Cade Crews who is 59 of 126 on the year and leading running back #33 Hunter Staggs and junior running back #19 Julian Birch. The two have combined for a little over 600 yards this season. In the passing game, Raider fans will want to keep their eye on senior wide receiver #8 Clay Baugus who has 26 receptions for 408 yards.

With a weak secondary, the Wildcats defend better against the run than the pass and the Raiders receivers should be able to expose them for big plays.

Kick off tonight is at 7 p.m. No tickets will be sold at the gate. All tickets are digital and may be purchase by clicking here or on the Go Fan app. If you can’t attend the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}