Raiders seek a little revenge in playoff rematch against Fayetteville Tigers

Senior Dylan Scruggs, who helped tie the regular season game late in the fourth quarter against Fayetteville, will be one of the Raider seniors looking to exact a little revenge this Friday in the playoff rematch. (Photo Credit: Riley Corder for the Moore County Sports Network)

LINCOLN COUNTY — This Friday night, the Moore County Raiders will get a long anticipated opportunity: a rematch with the Fayetteville Tigers. The fellow Region 5A team exists as Moore County’s only loss of the 2020 season. That 28-22 defeat in Lincoln County on September 18 left a bad taste in the Moore County squad’s mouth.

It was an ugly affair.

The Raiders – in an uncharacteristic mistake-riddled first half – suffered nearly 15 first half penalties and lethargic play. Despite the fact that they tied the game late in the fourth quarter with a clutch Kyler Parker to Dylan Scruggs 55 yard touchdown pass, the Tigers faked a punt and scored the go ahead TD with 50 seconds remaining in the game. (To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.) An opportunity to right that wrong’s been circling in the Raiders players heads ever since.

“After that game, the coaching staff focused the team on just getting better each game, but the kids definitely want another shot at them,” Raider Head Coach Kris White said.

The 12-1 Raiders, haven’t loss a game since Fayetteville City, and now boast a Mr. Football finalist, another Mr. Football semi-finalist, an offense that’s as dangerous through the air as on the ground, and a defense that swarms the ball.

Led by Raider quarterback Kyler Parker and senior running back Tyler Smith, the Moore County offense has pieced together 2,345 rushing yards so far this season. The option QB and elusive running back have proven hard to stop.

In receiving, there are playmakers all over the field. Moore County’s balanced their running attack with 1,972 receiving yards led by freshman Dawson White (535), senior Kaden White (509), senior Brayden Cashion (327), and senior Dylan Scruggs (263), who missed several games late in the season due to a knee injury.

On defense, fellow Mr. Football semi-finalist Kaden White leads in tackles with 136 and he’s followed closely by teammates Donavin Pearson (133), Dawson White (121), and Tyler Smith (108).

By comparison, the 10-2 Tigers prefer to run the football. They’ve earned 2,105 yards on the ground and another 912 through the air. The Raider D will need to key in on freshman running back #3 KJ Jackson, who’s amassed 1,257 of the Tiger’s rushing yards this year. Junior Corian Cash (#11) is the Tiger leading receiver with 393 yards.

On the Moore County Sports Network’s Coach’s Corner on Saturday senior Brayden Cashion said it’s just an opportunity to mark another one off the list. Cornersville, Eaglevile, Chapel Hill, Huntingdon … for this year’s Raider seniors the 2020 season has been opportunity to beat those teams that presented obstacles to their collective success in previous seasons.

Despite that mission, senior center and nose guard Zac Carawan said that the Raiders remained level headed going into the game and planned to play with not only a lot of emotion but also a lot of discipline.

“Basically, it’s an opportunity to get revenge, but we also treat it just like any other game,” he said.

Fayetteville’s football stadium is a quick 30 minute trip down Highway 50 and Raiders Nation will likely show up in large numbers. Tickets will not be sold at the gate and are only available through the TSSAA website or the Go Fan app. MCHS Athletic Director Josh Deal told The Times that the Raiders were allocated 800 tickets and we’ve currently sold 501 of those tickets. 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.}

Raiders fall to Tigers 28-22

Senior Dylan Scruggs caught a 55-yard clutch pass from Raider QB Kyler Parker on Friday to tie the game with Fayetteville City. {Photo Credit: Riley Corder for the Moore County Sports Network}

LINCOLN COUNTY — Football is a game of timing.

You play four quarters of 12 minutes each. Offenses get 40 seconds to run a play or face a delay of game penalty. There’s snap cadence. Running backs and receivers run precisely timed routes while the quarterback attempts to evade the defense and hit his target.

It’s a game of inches and seconds. One that’s difficult to play (and watch) when the referee crew interrupts play nearly 20 times in just the first half. That’s a stat from the Moore County Raiders Friday night loss to the Fayetteville City Tigers in Lincoln County on Friday by a final score of 28-22.

After a disjointed and uncharacteristically mistake-riddled first half, the Raiders tied the game with a clutch 92 yard drive capped off with a Kyler Parker to Dylan Scruggs 55 yard pass late in the fourth quarter.

Sputtering, flag heavy first half

The first half felt like a slow, sputtering, out of sync affair thanks in part to nearly 20 flags thrown by officials over the course of the first 24 minutes.

Moore County failed to score in the first stanza. The Tigers scored first on a hand off to KJ Jackson on a first and ten at the 38 yard line. They made the two point conversion and led Moore County 8-0 as time expired in the first quarter.

The second quarter ended much like the first with the Tigers scoring as time expired. At the end of the first half, Fayetteville City led the Raiders 16-0.

Half time adjustments

As the winds whipped and the temperature dropped after halftime, Moore County showed signs of life when senior running back Tyler Smith spotted a hole in the Tiger defensive line and muscled his way into the end zone. Parker then connected with Dawson White for the two point conversion to get the Raiders within eight. With 10 minutes to play in the third quarter, Moore County trailed the Tigers 16-8.

Following the Raider score, the Tigers answered with a quick five play series that resulted in six more Fayetteville City points. This time the Raider defensive line held and the two point conversion failed. With a little over six minutes remaining in the third, the Raiders continued to trail Fayetteville City 22-8.

On the next Raider series and behind a offensive line that gave him plenty of time to make plays, Parker spread the ball around with positive plays to Joshua Parks, Kaden White, Tyler Smith, and Dylan Scruggs to get he Raiders to first and goal as time expired in the third. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Parker tucked the ball and ran in for a Moore County touchdown with 11:57 to play. Chase Bradford’s PAT was good to make it 22-14.

After the Raiders tied the score, the Tigers needed a fake punt on fourth and six with 50 seconds remaining to keep their go-ahead drive alive. Fayetteville City then completed a pass to the one yard line to give them first and goal with 19 seconds left on the clock. They scored on the next play, but the two point conversion failed. With 17 second left, the Raiders took over on the 34 yard line. Parker ran for two yards then completed a toss to Joshua Parks for a first down but time expired.

With its first loss under first year head coach Kris White, the Raiders fall to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in Region 5A. Moore County now ranks third in the region behind Richland (2-1, 1-0) and Fayetteville City (4-1, 3-0). The Raiders will travel for the fourth straight week next Friday night to take on non-conference Eagleville (2-3, 1-1).

The game will kick off in Eagleville at 7 p.m. For those who plan to travel, the GPS address is 500 Highway 99, Eagleville, TN 37060. If you can’t travel to the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering 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.}

Post season play back on for Fayetteville City

REGIONAL NEWS | Fayetteville — The plot thickens in the Fayetteville City School versus the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) battle brewing in Lincoln County. On Wednesday, the school announced that a Lincoln County Chancery Court granted a temporary restraining order and injunction against the TSSAA’s ruling to deem a transfer student ineligible as well as force the school to forfeit six wins … essentially making them ineligible for post season play. Circuit Court Judge M. Wyatt Burk issued the ruling.

In a letter posted on their public Facebook Page, Director of Schools Janine Wilson stated, “As a result of this step, we will not be appearing for an appeal hearing with TSSAA Board of Control, at this point, but we will however present our case in front of a court of law to be conducted at a later date.”

So far this season, Fayetteville City’s played an undefeated season. They were leading in Region 5A play and boasted a 9-0 record, prior to the TSSAA’s decision.

A hearing is now set for November 13 but that’s five days after the first round of the football playoffs. Post season play begins on November 8.

“The decison to seek relief in court was not made in haste,” Director Wilson’s letter continued. “We feel that this course of action is the most appropriate step to address this situation for the benefit of our players and coaches.” •

Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing story that will be updated as for facts are available. Stay tuned.

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering 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.}

TSSAA force Fayetteville City to forfeit six games

According to a copy of this September 6 letter from the TSSAA, the unnamed transfer players was approved to play at Fayetteville City Schools. On October 25, TSSAA reversed that decision. The school is appealing. {Photo Provided}

REGIONAL NEWS | Sports — According to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA). Moore County’s Division 1 , Class 5A opponent Fayetteville City Schools must forfeit six football game and will miss post-season play after TSSAA determined the school played an ineligible transfer player in six of the team’s first seven games.

Previously, Fayettevile had played a perfect season with a 9-0 overall record and a 5-0 Region 5A record. The vacated wins will leave the team 3-6 overall and winless in the district. The move shakes up the Region 5A standings … moving Fayetteville out of the top spot. The new rankings are: 1) Cornersville, 2) Huntland, 3) Moore County, 4) Mount Pleasant, 5) Richland, 6) Fayetteville.

According to the TSSAA, the transfer athlete did not move into the Fayetteville school system’s territory, “as defined by the TSSAA bylaws.”

On Saturday, the official Fayetteville City Schools Facebook page posted a copy of a September 6 letter to the high school stating, “Based on the information obtained by our office, TSSAA can confirm that the (redacted) family has had a bona fide change of address into the Fayetteville High School zone.”

According to them, TSSAA approved the transfer student and then reversed that decision. Fayetteville City Schools is appealing the decision. •

{Editor’s Notes: This is an ongoing story and we will update as new information is available.}

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering 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.}