Moore Friday night light is officially happening

Friday night lights will officially resume on August 21 with the Raiders home opener against Cascade. {File Photo}

Official word from Governor Bill Lee came down this week and Friday night lights will officially kick off on Friday, August 21 at Doug Price Field inside Raider Stadium with the home opener against Cascade. Governor Lee is expected to sign Executive Order 55 this week, which will include an exception to the contact sports restrictions for Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) schools.

“We appreciate being able to work with Governor Lee and his staff on this,” said TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress. “I am pleased that we were able to develop some very specific guidelines for every sport that will allow our kids to get out on their fields and fully participate in football and girls’ soccer this fall.”

All rules for contact sports issued by the TSSAA Board of Control on July 22 remain in effect. To read those rules, click here.

Coach Kris White began heat acclimatization practices with his team on July 20. Each players must complete two days of helmet only and three days of helmets and pads practice before moving on to full equipment practices.

The governor’s order should also mean that the Raider’s regular season will take place as originally scheduled with 10 regular season games and an open date. Region 5A playoffs should also kick off on November 6 as originally planned. State championship games would take place in Cookeville from December 3-5.

As stated in our July 22 article, the TSSAA has added multiple social distancing requirements including temperature checks and masks for fans.

For more news and updates concerning Raider Football, there are a couple of social media pages you should like including the new student-run Moore County Sports Network. Click here to like their Facebook page. •

{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.}

White returns to Lynchburg; this time as Raider head football coach

MOORE COUNTY — Moore County High School’s new coach is their former coach.

Director of Schools Chad Moorehead announced this week that former Raider assistant coach Kris White would be returning to Moore County to lead the 2020 team … but this time as their head coach.

“We are very excited to have Coach White back,” Director Moorehead told The Times. “Coach White has been a part of multiple state championship teams and we expect that he will continue to build on the strong football tradition in Moore County.”

Kris, who is a native of Murfreesboro, is married to Moore County native Holly Dickey White, an outstanding coach in her own right. She left an MCHS coaching position in 2009 after leading the Raiderettes to a state runner-up finish.

Kris graduated from Riverdale High School and then attended Middle Tennessee State University. He played as a student athlete at both schools. He started his coaching career at Riverdale High School before heading to Moore County. He left the Raiders in 2009 to take an assistant position with Oakland High School. He is leaving his current position at Knoxville Catholic High School to return to Moore County.

This will be his first head coaching position. In addition to his wife, Holly, he’ll be returning to Moore County with his two sons: Kaden age 18 (an incoming high school senior) and Dawson, age 15 (an incoming freshman).•

{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.}

Dobbs resigns as Raider head football coach

MOORE COUNTY — This week MCHS joined eight other Tennessee high schools who are now on the hunt for a new head football. Jason Dobbs announced he’s leaving Lynchburg to return Murfreesboro.

Dobbs coached the Moore County varsity team for the past four year and led the Raiders to a 22-21 overall record. His Raider teams also made it to the TSSAA Class 1-A playoffs in 2017 and 2018. Last year Moore County finished with a 5-5 overall record and barely missed a playoff opportunity with an ugly season-ending game at Mount Pleasant. {Click here to read our coverage of that game.}

Dobbs is leaving Moore County to join coaching buddy, Oakland Head Coach Kevin Creasy. Dobbs will join Oakland as an assistant coach. Dobbs and Creasy coached together at Trousdale County from 2005-09. Dobbs also coached at Riverdale for six seasons.

When we reached out for comment, Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead said, “We hate that Coach Dobbs is leaving. I have confidence that the high school administration will find a coach that will continue to build on a strong football tradition for our school. I wish Coach Dobbs and his sons well on their football careers. Moore County will be following them closely because once you are a Raider, you are always a Raider.”

According to Director Moorehead, the search for Coach Dobb’s replacement is underway.

According to the website TN High School Football, seven other schools are currently also looking for a head coach: Austin East, Fayette Ware, Sycamore, Whites Creek, The Webb School, West Grene, and Whitwell. •

{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.}

Raider, Mount Pleasant Preview: Potential playoff situation complicated

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — The Moore County Raiders (5-4 overall) head to Mount Pleasant (7-2 overall) on Friday for a crucial district game. Their Region 5A records? Well, that gets a little complicated.

Richland beat Moore County on October 24, 20-14. Mount Pleasant beat Richland 40-14 on September 6. The top four teams are invited into post season play. Fayetteville City is also appealing the TSSAA decision to deem a play ineligible. With so many variables in play, the Raiders need a decisive away victory to keep post season play alive.

Raider defense needs to give offense a chance to win

Looking at the teams rosters and stats for the season, the question seems to be: can the Moore County Raider defense slow down the Mount Pleasant offense to give the Raider offense a chance to win? The Tigers hold the edge on offensive numbers with both more rushing and passing yard totals. But Moore County boasts more numbers in tackles and sacks.

The Raiders will need offensive yardage leaders Tyler Smith, Kyler Parker, and Dylan Scruggs to take care of the football especially in the red zone. As in the last two previous games, QB Brayden Cashion will likely need to call his own number in crucial third down situations.

The Raider defense led by Tyler Smith, Donavin Pearson, Bryson Dobbs, Zac Carawan, Hayden Carter, and Tyler Sanders will need to continue to play smart, aggressive football. In particular, they’ll need to get a handle on Tiger running backs Keshawn Hudson (657 yards) and AJ Busby (500 yards) who have combined for over 1,100 rushing yards. Hudson’s also caught passes for over 300 yards through the air. He’s scored 15 times this season.

The game will take place at Mount Pleasant High School, which is located at 600 North Greenwood Street. Kick off is at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the game, there are a couple of ways to follow the action. Every game night, Whiskey Country radio transforms into Raider Country with play-by-play action from Joe Abraham and Al Clark as well as sideline reporting from Kelli Ray. Tune in locally on 95.9 or 105.1 FM. You can also watch a live broadcast on the NFHS Network. And, of course, The Lynchburg Times will post score updated on social media throughout the game.•

{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.}

Raider Recap: Richland loss puts playoff berth in jeopardy

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — Though both Moore County juniors Kyler Parker and Raider punter Bryson Dobbs had huge nights on Thursday, it wasn’t enough to get the Raiders a crucial regional road win in Lynnville. Moore County lost to Richland 20-14 in a sluggish battle being played a day early due to serve weather concerns.

The Blue Raiders headed into the game controlling their own destiny, securely in third place in Region 5 after last week’s home victory against Huntland. But the Raider’s loss at Richalnd plus Huntland’s surprising 35-7 win over Cornersville that same night have the Raiders post-season play looking uncertain. Now the Raiders must not only beat Region 5 opponent Mt. Pleasant next Friday but also hope Richland can defeat Huntland to keep the post season hopes alive.

Sluggish first half

The Raiders traded two sets of possessions before either made it into the red zone. With 5:30 remaining in the second half, Coach Dobbs switched into a spread offense. This allowed Tyler Smith to get two big runs and a first down. Then quarterback Brayden Cashion called his number to get a second first down. With time quickly expiring, Parker got crucial rushing yardage to the 25 yard line to get Smith in position to break into the red zone.

On first and goal, Parker scrambled in and scored on the first play of the second quarter. Chase Bradford’s PAT gave the Moore County Raiders a 7-0 lead. Richland answered on their next drive to make the score 7-7 with a little over six minutes to play in the first half.

Momentum then started to slowly shift Richland’s way. Moore County went three and out and Coach Dobb’s decided to play for field position. Bryson Dobb’s punt went deep into Richland territory and took a Moore County roll. A few plays later, Richland executed a fake punt on fourth down to keep the series alive. But the Raider defense held. Both sets of Raiders went into the locker room tied at 7-7.

Smith hits 1,000 yard mark

During halftime, Huntland led Cornersville. With the ante now upped, the Blue Raiders would need sustained drives and solid defense to get the W. The two teams again traded possession with each offensive and defensive line battling it out in the trenches. With a little under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Richland earned first and goal before scoring on a fullback dive into the end zone to give them the 14-7 edge.

Moore County answered on the very next series. Parker and Cashion put together two first downs to get the Raiders around midfield as time expired. As the drive continued in the fourth quarter, Cashion threw a deep ball to Parker to snag another first down. Smith then ran along the edge to get Moore County in the red zone … setting up Cashion for a QB keeper score. Bradford’s PAT was good to tie the ballgame, 14-14.

The two teams then entered into a defensive stalemate, trading possessions and punts. Raider punter Dobbs kept Moore County in the game by helping them win the battle for field position. With 5:43 remaining, Richland’s Montel Bobbitt broke free for a 50 yard run into the end zone. Hayden Carter then blocked the PAT to give Moore County a shot at a game-winning drive.

The Blue Raiders kept possession for the final four minutes of the game with a sustained drive that allowed Tyler Smith to hit the 1,000 yard mark but wasn’t enough to win the game. Moore County lost 20-14.

Next week, they’ll head to Mount Pleasant (5-3 overall, 1-3 district) for a must-win game if they hope to keep post season play dreams alive. Senior Tiger QB Hayden Lovely’s putting up solid numbers this season with 637 yards and nine passing touchdowns and three rushing scores. On the rushing side, the Raiders will need to contend with a couple of effective Tigers. Senior Keshawn Hudson’s racked up seven rushing TDs including one 95-yard run and seven receiving scores. Fellow seniors AJ Busby and Markayne Foster have combined for over 1,500 all purpose yards. •

{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.}

Raiders win a sloppy one at Jo Byrns

CEDAR HILL — The plan for the night was simple. Travel to Cedar Hill and get a non-conference solid win against Jo Byrns without suffering additional injuries. Coach Dobbs wanted to focus on protecting the football and finishing tackles before heading into a “murders row” of conference games against Huntland, Richland, and Mount Pleasant to end the regular season. And then the rain started.

The (2-4, 1-3) Raiders got the win 34-7 win over the Red Devils … but it was ugly.

On their very first possession on a soggy field with light rain still pouring down, the Raiders fumbled in the red zone. Three plays later, Jo Byrns returned the favor when they bumbled the snap on a first down. Dylan Scruggs recovered the ball and Tyler Smith ran it 40 yards on the next play for a touchdown. Chase Bradford’s PAT was good to make it Raiders 7, Red Devils 0.

Two series, two turnovers.

Hayden Carter and Raider Center Zach Carawan then got two huge stops to force a Red Devil punt.

On the very next Raider first and ten, Tyler Smith ran 84 yards for another six. Chase Bradford’s PAT sailed through the upright to make the score Raiders 14, Red Devils 0 at the end of the first quarter.

The temperatures then began to drop in Cedar Hill. At kickoff, the temp hovered near 80. By the beginning of the second quarter, it approached the mid-fifties and started raining again … both actual raindrops and turnovers.

The Raiders fumbled right out of the gate and the Red Devils recovered. But as the radio broadcaster said, “Cedar Hill just doesn’t want to accept our Christmas presents,” and the Red Devils went three and out.

Two series later, Tyler Smith and Kyler Parker combined to get the Raiders into the red zone. On first and five from the 13, Parker punched it in for a touchdown to make it Raiders 20, Red Devils 0. The PAT was no good. It was Chase Bradford’s second miss of the regular season.

After halftime, the Red Devils fumbled again on their opening series. This time, Donivan Pearson scooped and scored. Bradford added the extra point to give the Raiders a 27-0 lead. Jo Byrns finally got on the board on their next series to make it 27-7.

After the score, Jo Byrns attempted an on sides kick but it was sniffed out by Hayden Carter. Tyler Smith then got a huge upfield block by Landon Jolley to make it into the red zone. Smith and Kyler Parker then got consecutive gains before Smith got his third score of the night. Bradford’s PAT was good to make the final score 34-7.

In the fourth quarter, Raider Head Coach Dobbs began substituting heavily to give younger players some reps. The Raiders will need the depth for the last half of the season.

The Raiders improved their season record to 3-4 while the Red Devils dropped to 1-7. •

Raiders travel to Jo Byrns Friday

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — After a week off, the Moore County Raiders (2-4, 0-2) with take on Jo Byrns (1-6, 1-2) in Cedar Hill on Friday night.

The Red Devils have experienced a frustrating season so far with losses to Harpeth, Huntland, Clay County, Houston County, East Robertson and Monterey. Their lone win of the season came on Sept. 20 against Red Boiling Springs. However, their motivation will be high as they are still in the Region 4-1A playoff hunt. The top four teams make the playoffs.

Raider Head Coach Jason Dobbs says Jo Byrns is “traditionally a good football team … very multiple on offense and 4-4 on defense.”  He says the Raider keys to victory will be to take care of the football and tackle.

After two impressive early season wins against Cascade and Community, the Raiders have struggled of late … though the games have been closer that some scores might imply. For the most part, the Raiders have held their own until late in the fourth quarter. Part of the the fourth quarter fade may have something to so with the fact that many varsity Raider starters play on both sides of the ball.

“With the weather being unseasonably hot it hurts our team because players never get to rest or catch their breath,” says Coach Dobbs.

With Jo Bryns’ smaller defensive line, expect Raider QB Brayden Cashion to have some success both through the air and handing off to his favorite Raider running backs. Tyler Smith (564 yards), in particular, has been putting up some huge rushing yardage with three 100 plus yard games under his belt. Kyler Parker (302 yards) and Dylan Scruggs (193 yards) have also acted as Raider work horses.

On the defensive side, Tyler Smith also stands out with 44 tackles so far this season. Donavin Pearson (33), Bryson Dobbs (27), Zac Carawan (20) and Hayden Carter (18) and Tyler Sanders (18) also lead the Raider D in tackles. Dobbs and Pearson lead in sacks. Also of note is the rock solid kicking game coming from Chase Bradford this year. Of 17 point after attempts, he’s sailed 16 through the uprights.

Coach Dobbs says the Raiders took the bye week to get rested and healed.

“The bye week is good for everyone to take a break and get ready for the push for the play offs,” he said. “We focused on healing up and resting as well as us getting better.”

After this game, the Raiders play three straight conference games (Huntland, Richland, and Mt. Pleasant) and must win two of them to make the playoffs.

Jo Byrns High School is located at 7025 Highway 41N in Cedar Hill. Kick off is at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it to the away game, there are a couple of ways to follow the action. Every Friday night, Whiskey Country radio transforms into Raider Country with play-by-play action from Joe Abraham and Al Clark  as well as sideline reporting from Kelli Ray. Tune in locally on 95.9 or 105.1 FM. You can also watch a live broadcast on the NFHS Network. And, of course, The Lynchburg Times will post score updated on social media throughout the game.•

{Editors Note: All stats according to Max Preps.}

Middle School Raiders blank Unity to win conference

FAYETTEVILLE | Sports — The Moore County Middle School Raiders put an exclamation mark on a blockbuster season on Saturday night beating the Unity Lions 36-0 to earn conference bragging right until next year.

Moore County got on the board first when Raider QB Brett Dobbs found Alex Copeland in the end zone for six points. Three first downs pieced together by Logan Hegwood and Keller Morey set up the score. The two point conversion was no good.

The Unity Lion then went three and out.

On the next possession, excellent blocking by the Raider offensive line including crucial blocks by Wes Clifton and Keller Morey set up Logan Hegwood for a scamper into the end zone to make it Raiders 12, Unity 0 with 2:24 remaining in the first quarter.

On the kick off, Unity fumbled the ball giving the Raiders great field position at the 38 yard line. Alex Copeland, Will Parker, and Logan Hegwood then pieced together a couple of first downs before Landon Jolley got a huge block to pave the way for Logan Hegwood to walk into the end zone. Hegwood also managed the two point conversion to make it Raider 20, Unity 0.

After halftime, the Raiders kicked off to Unity but again the Lions fumbled the ball. It didn’t take the Raiders long to score again. Brett Dobbs handed off to Logan Hegwood. He shook off tackles and made defenders miss until he’d earned another six. The duo combined on the two point conversion to make it Raider 28, Unity 0.

Unity then burned through three quick downs as Bryson Carter tackled the Lion QB twice in the backfield for negative yardage. They decided to go for it on fourth down but again Carter would have none of it and the Lions turned the ball over on downs.

On the next series, Brett Dobbs and Will Parker went to work getting Keller Morey in position to score. Dobbs threw a screen pass to Morey, he caught the edge and outran the Unity defender down the right sideline for six more. The two point conversion was no good to make the score Raider 34, Unity 0 with less than two minutes remaining.

Unity managed their second first down of the game on the next series before Michael McNatt got a couple of huge tackles for short Lion yardage. Unity decided to go for it on fourth and one but the Raider defense stiffened and they got the ball back on downs.

The Raiders, now heavily substituting, went three and out to give the Lions the ball back with time quickly expiring. They managed another first down before Bryson Carter again hassled the quarterback, forcing a fumble, which the Raiders scooped up for a safety. The final score was Raider 36, Unity 0.

Not only did the Moore County Middle School Raiders go 7-1 and win conference honors, several individual players were also recognized. Brett Dobbs was named All Conference MVP and Landon Jolley was named All Conference Defensive Player. Wes Clifton, Alex Copeland, Keller Morey, Aydan Blair, and Logan Hegwood were also named to All Conference.

Josh Wilson coaches the MCMS Raiders and both Lily Blankenship and Lilly Carter serves as middle school football managers. •