MC History: The Raider, Huntland Rivalry

{Editor’s Note: The annual Moore County versus Huntland rivalry game will be played on Friday in Huntland at 7 p.m.}

Make the mistake of saying native son Johnny Majors is from Huntland and any local will be quick to correct you. It’s a fact that the former UT football coach lived most of his early life in and is “from” Lynchburg … we don’t care what the UT media guides used to say. In fact, Majors Boulevard in Lynchburg pays tribute to the Majors family and their contributions to Moore County.

Johnny was born in 1935 to Shirley Inman and John Elizabeth Bobo Majors in Lynchburg. Shirley Majors played football at Moore County High School before coaching there from 1944-47. He left to restart the football program at Huntland High School. At the time, they hadn’t fielded a team in 20 years. He commuted each day from Moore County to Franklin County so that his children could continue to attend Moore County Schools. But that all came to an end one chilly fall night when Johnny and the MCHS Raiders beat his father’s Huntland Hornets 18-13 in the last regular season game.

Johnny Majors eighth grade yearbook picture … note the Lynchburg, TN. {Historical Photo}

“That’s the last dad-blamed time a son of mine plays against me,” he said, according to the State Archives.

After that, Shirley Majors packed up the family and moved to Huntland where Johnny finished his high school football career. It’s the genesis of an intense rivalry that remains today.

Over the years there have been lots of good-natured hi-jinx. Someone from the Huntland side once sent a black floral wreath to the Raiders prior to game day, according to former MCHS Cafeteria Manager Norma Stone.

Another local legend states the in 1993-94 a crew from Huntland supposedly snuck into Moore County and tagged local speed limit signs with a large “H” from MCHS to Huntland High School. “Occasionally, I will still see a sign with it still on there,” said native Christy Anderson.

Currently, the Raiders and the Hornets are neck and neck in Region 5A standings and each enjoys a 1-1 district record. The winner will likely move to the second spot behind Fayetteville City.

Kick off is at 7 p.m. 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.}

A Raider Homecoming: Friday night lights is a family affair for the White and Dickey families

The Whites (from left to right Holly, Kaden, Dawson, and Coach Kris White) say they are grateful to be back home in Moore County where football comes with family and a sense of community. (Photo courtesy of the Moore County Sports Network)

Homecoming in Moore County is one part Friday night lights and one part family reunion. Parade floats stuffed with colored tissue paper sit parked in the end zone as the queen and her court sit perched atop borrowed convertibles waiting for their royal loop around the field. It’s a night when the former star quarterback and his buddy lean against the home side fence reminiscing about the good ole days and old fames lock eyes from across the bleachers.

This year’s game will be another kind of homecoming as Raider Coach Kris White, flanked by his sons, Kaden and Dawson, will take the field on Friday for his first ever homecoming game as a head coach.

Community, family, and football

Coach White served as the Raider defense coordinator during the 2007 season under then coach Thomas McDaniel. After one year, he left to take an assistants position at Oakland High School before moving on to Knoxville Catholic High School. But he says Raider Stadium and this community were never far from his mind.

“When I left, we continued to keep up with the team and the players,” he says. “We also had lots of former players and their parents come cheer us on at Oakland.”

Kris and his wife, Holly (Dickey) White knew they always wanted to come back home to southern, middle Tennessee. They also knew that Kris longed for the challenge of a head coaching position but when the idea first popped up, Holly says there was a pause.

“At first, we though not yet,” says Holly. “Our boys (Kaden and Dawson) had already managed several moves during their school careers and we knew they wouldn’t be excited about another one … especially for Kaden senior year.”

But then the phone calls started pouring in … first one and then several from Lynchburg friends, and those involved with the program to voice their support and encouragement. Coach White says after he and Holly discussed it, it was family and a sense of community that finally moved the needle for them.

“My mom didn’t get to come see the boys play last year and neither did Holly’s dad,” Coach White says. “During this pandemic, family’s just started to mean more to everybody.”

In addition to their parents, both Holly and Kris have siblings who live in the area. Friday nights are now a family affair for the White and Dickey families as a sea of aunts, uncles, and cousins line the Moore County bleachers to cheer on Kaden and Dawson. Kaden, a senior, is the leading Raider receivers with 322 yards and Dawson, a freshman, has added 289 of his own all purpose yards. The “Smash Brothers” as the Moore County Sports Network announcers have nicknamed them also combine for an impressive 122 tackles as the Raider’s safeties.

Coach White says family and the love of football in the community made the MCHS job very tempting.

Director of Schools Chad Moorehead says when he spotted Kris White’s application in the stack coming in for the Raider football head coach opening, he immediately knew he was the best candidate.

“About a week later, the MCHS administration presented him to me as their choice, and I agreed with the decision,” Director Moorehead says.

Both Coach White and his wife say that no matter how far away they moved that Moore County always felt like home and it didn’t take long for it to become the new normal.

“Moore County treated me great when I coached here before,” Coach White says. “You can feel the love of football and this team in this community. I’ve never forgotten that feeling.”

“Kaden and Dawson stayed connected to lots of their friend from before,” says Holly. “So we knew this transition was going to be much easier than they realized.”

The Whites also had another deep connection to Moore County, Lynchburg native Janice (Keller) Morey and her husband, Randy. The two also coached at Oakland High School during Kris’s tenure there as an assistant.

“I did her girl’s weight program during the day and got to know her well. Of course, Holly already knew her well from growing up together. Randy also coached there. Ryder and Kaden were the same age and played middle school baseball together. Dawson and Keller were also the same age. We all became really good friends.”

Those familiar faces helped smooth the tradition for everyone.

Coaching players to become young men

It’s a combination that seem to be clicking for this year’s Raider team. White inherited a senior-heavy roster from outgoing Raider Coach Jason Dobbs, whom White considers a good friend. He’s added to it rock star athletes from other sports like basketball and baseball to create a bench that’s both athletic and deep.

Beyond athletics, Coach White says he trying to teach his Raider team to become young men with respect and discipline. It’s a coaching style the players respond to as evidenced by their 5-1 record. Coach White credits that winning record not only to his players but also to the skill and devotion of his assistants: Morey, TJ Christian, Wes Black, Schuvaud Whitaker, and Manny Buchanan.

“I’m only as good as my assistants and how hard they work for this team,” says Coach White.

Moore County will take on Jo Bryns tonight at Raider Stadium. Homecoming ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. and the game will kick off at 7 p.m. 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.}

After bye week, Raiders remain #5 in state

Little changed in the top ten Class A teams in the state this past week. The Raiders remain tied with Greenfield for the number five spot, according to the AP. (Lynchburg Times Graphic)

SPORTS | After a week off, the Moore County Raiders remain the number five Class 1A football in the state, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Moore County remains tied with Greenfield for the number five spot, according to the latest poll released on Monday. South Pittsburg remains the undisputed number 1. They haven’t moved from that top spot all season. Copper Basin (2), Fayetteville City (3), and Coalfield (4) round out the top spots. Moore County lost in Fayetteville on September 18 by a 28-22 margin.

Lake County (7), Huntingdon (8), Cornersville (9), and Monterey (10) make up the remaining top ten Class 1A teams. The Raiders beat the Bulldog in Cornersville in September 4 by a final of 33-23.

The Raiders(5-1) will take on Jo Byrns (3-4) on Friday at Raider Stadium. To read our preview of that game, click here.

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 drop two spots, remain in AP Top 10

The Raiders were ranked #7 in this week’s AP High School Football Top 10. {File Photo}

SPORTS | After losing a close one in Lincoln County last Friday to the Fayetteville City Tigers (4-1), the Moore County Raiders (4-1) remain one of the top 10 Class 1A teams in the state, according to the Associated Press (AP). In the new AP Tennessee High School poll released on Monday, Moore County dropped two spots to number seven.

Fayetteville City – who beat the Raiders 28-22 in week five – rose one spot to number five. Fellow Region 5 team the Cornersville Bulldogs (4-1) moved down one spot to number nine. Number one South Pittsburg (5-0) and number two Lake County (2-0) continue to battle out for the top spot.

In Region 5A action, the Raiders (1-1) remained tied with Cornersville (1-1) for the third spot. Fayetteville City leads with a perfect record in region play followed by Richland (1-0). Both Huntland and Mount Pleasant remain winless in region play.

The Raiders play the fourth of four consecutive road games this Friday night in Eaglesville. According to Moore County Athletic Director Josh Deal tickets will be limited to this away game and will be offered to the families of players, managers, and cheerleaders first. All available tickets can be purchased through the MCHS front office. (Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday: MC’s allotment of tickets is now sold out.) For more information, call 931-759-4231. •

{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.}

Raiders move up in AP prep poll

We’re a moving on up … no seriously, after another road win Friday night against Forrest in Chapel Hill, the Moore County High School Raiders are ranked number five in the Associated Press Tennessee High School football statewide poll after week four.

Tennessee AP-member sportswriters and broadcasters select the top ten teams playing TSSAA football in the state.

The list, which was released on Monday, show the top 10 Class 1A teams as: 1. South Pittsburg 2. Lake County 3. Huntingdon 4. Copper Basin 5. Moore County 6. Fayetteville, 7. Coalfield. 8. Cornersville 9. Greenfield and 10. Monterey.

Other area teams earning ranks this week were Tullahoma (number three Class 4A) and Giles County (number eight Class 3A).

Moore County moved up one spot from number six to number five. Cornersville, who Moore County defeated on September 4 by a score of 33-23, held steady at number eight.

On a Division 1 Class A poll on the popular prep football site Coach T, the Raiders are ranked number two right behind South Pittsburg. Click here to see that poll.

On Friday, it will be number five versus number six (or number two versus number seven … depending on which poll you put more stock in) as MCHS heads to Fayetteville to take on the Tigers. •

{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 ranked #6 by Associated Press

Prior to the 2020 season kick off, practically no one was paying attention to Class 1A Region 5 Moore County. Instead, all eyes were on traditional heavy weights like Cornersville and South Pittsburg.

When the new Associated Press (AP) ranking came out on Monday, all that changed. The Raiders are now ranked number six in high school football Class 1A teams.

The Associated Press’ Top 10 teams in each of TSSAA’s Division 1 school are selected by Tennessee AP-member sportswriters and broadcasters and are updated each Monday.

Other ranked teams in Class 1A were: 1. South Pittsburgh 2. Lake County 3. Huntingdon 4. Copper Basin 5. Fayetteville 7. Coalfield 8. Cornersville 9. Greenfield 10. Monterey and Gordonsville (tied).

One interesting note, Moore County beat number eight Cornersville last Friday night 32-23. (Read our full coverage of that game by clicking here.) They travel again this week to take on the Forrest Rockets on Friday. (Read our preview of that game by clicking here.)

The game will kick off in Chapel Hill at 7 p.m. For those who plan to travel, the GPS address is 310 North Horton Parkway, Chapel Hill TN 37034. 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.}

Raiders travel to Chapel Hill to face off with Rockets on Friday

CHAPEL HILL — Fresh off a clutch 33-23 win against the Bulldog in Cornersville last Friday, the Moore County High School Raiders (3-0) travel to Chapel Hill this week to take on Forrest. The Rockets blanked East Robertson at home in game one and lost in Portland 20-14 the following week. Last Friday, they beat Eagleville at home 19-7.

After an electric win over Cornersville, the Raiders must stay focused and avoid the worst of all football curses this Friday in Forrest … the let down game.

Moore County hasn’t beaten Forrest since 2012. In fact, the last four games — going back to 2014 — Forrest outscored the Raiders by a total of 95-14.

This year, however, Moore County’s not just a one trick pony. In fact, 2019’s lead running back, Tyler Smith, rushed for a total of just 222 yards through three games. He’s not having an off year. The Raider are just spreading the ball around.

Raider QB one Kyler Parker is also making smart decisions and if the hand off or pass isn’t there … he’s as hard scrabble a runner as any of the Moore County backs. Add to those two weapons, receivers Dawson White, Brayden Cashion, Kaden White, and Dylan Scruggs and well, the Raider offense is harder to defend.

Pre-season, the Rockets were rumored to be the best team in Region 5A with an a eye on the top spot. They boast a rock solid defense and enough play makers to keep the Raiders on their toes through four quarters. This road game could just come down to who wants it more.

The buzz around Moore County’s 2020 team under Coach Kris White is starting to spread. They are the only undefeated team left in Region 5A and Forrest will be gunning for them.

The game will kick off in Chapel Hill at 7 p.m. For those who plan to travel, the GPS address is 310 North Horton Parkway, Chapel Hill TN 37034. 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.}

Raiders dominate Cornersville for first conference win

Raiders Kaden White (#20) and Isaiah Petty (#81) get ready to face off against Cornersville on Friday night. {Photo Credit: Riley Corder for the Moore County Sports Network}

CORNERSVILLE — An away game in an intimating stadium with a loud home field advantage against the number two Class A team in the state … one the Raiders had not beaten in the past four consecutive years. After two not difficult wins against Cascade and Community, it felt like the first real test for Head Coach Kris White and his 15 seniors deep 2020 Raiders.

But the Raiders had faced off against the Cornersville Bulldog with high expectations before and come up short.

In 2016, the Bulldogs won 39-15 in Cornersville. In 2017, the Raiders suffered a crushing 42-0 loss at home. In 2018, it was much of the same with Bulldogs blanking the Raiders 39-0. Last year, the Bulldogs marched into Raider Stadium with a 0-2 record and Moore County could just taste the upset. After leading for much of the game, the Raiders fell in the final quarter.

But these are not those Raiders.

As Moore County fans travelled the 51 minute drive west to Cornersville on Friday, they wondered could this be the year that David slays the Goliath.

Moore County hits the gas in the first half

Mike Tyson once famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The loud home crowd, the homemade noise makers, the air horn, the fireworks, the number two hype … all that didn’t matter against a smart, well-coached, deep-benched Raider team filled with play makers who came out swinging.

Moore County scored quick and scored often in the first half. The Raiders won the coin toss and in a gutsy move, elected to receive. It took them exactly six plays to score when QB Kyler Parker connected with Kaden White on a 44 yard pass for Moore County’s first six points. Chase Bradford’s PAT sailed through the uprights to give the Raiders the extra point. With nine minutes still to play in the first quarter, the Raiders led the Bulldogs 7-0.

After the score, many wondered: how will the Raider defense respond? By playing lights out, bend-but-don’t-break football … that’s how.

The Bulldogs managed several successful runs for chunk yardage and a long bomb to their tight end to get into the Raider red zone. On first and 10 short of the goal, Cornersville junior running back Cason Warner got stacked up by the Raider line for a meager one yard gain. On second and nine, the Raiders forced the Cornersville QB Jackson Farler to fumble. The Bulldogs recovered but for a loss. As a clearly fired up Raider defense lined up on third and eight, the hurried Bulldog QB passed late and it fell incomplete. Cornersville settled for a field goal.

On the very next Raider play, QB Parker called his own number, broke a Bulldog tackle, and then beat the safety to the edge to score a quick six for Moore County. Bradford’s PAT was good. The Raiders took an early 14-3 lead with 4:30 left to play in the first quarter.

The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs driving at the goal line and in the first minutes of the second quarter, they finished what they started. At the two yard line, they squeaked past the Raider defender for their first touchdown but the point after fell short. With just over 10 minutes left in the first half, the Raiders continued to lead 14-9 … and that was as close as Cornersville would ever get.

On the next set of downs, Raider QB Parker went to work. He handed off to Tyler Smith for short yardage before connecting with Brayden Cashion on a 24 yard bomb. Two plays later, Smith finished what he started and found the end zone. The PAT missed the uprights. With 9:59 to play in their second quarter, the Raiders padded their lead, 20-9.

Cornersville and Moore County then exchanged punts. On the next Bulldog series, Cornersville found rhythm on offense completing a couple of first downs. Then on a crucial third and 12, Raider defender Donavin Pearson tackled the Cornersville receiver for a first down saving stop.

After three quick Raider scores, it felt like Coach White then decided to throw his offense into neutral. Instead of quick strike plays, the Raider managed a series of slow, methodical first downs to wind down the second quarter. In the final seconds of the first half, Parker connected with Dylan Scruggs with no time remaining for six more Raider points. The two point conversion failed and the Raiders headed into the halftime locker room, leading the Cornersville Bulldogs 26-9 … and they never looked back.

Moore County beat Cornersville in the first half with offense, and sealed that lead in the second half with defense.

Moore County’s Pearson set the tone with a huge tackle on the very first play of the second half. Then, Dawson White came out of the secondary to make a touchdown saving tackle to give the Bulldogs third and one. Two plays later the Bulldogs scored but not before they’d ticked over four valuable minutes off the second half clock. With 8:30 remaining in the third quarter, the Bulldogs pulled within 10.

On the next Raider series, Moore County looked to punt on third and eight, but the Bulldogs got called for a late hit — gifting the Raiders with a new set of downs and the momentum. They turned the ball over on downs over the next five plays, then Pearson clobbered the Cornersville running back and forced a fumble. Moore County recovered the ball on the Bulldog 30 yard line. Two plays later, Parker connected to Scruggs for his second receiving TD of the night. It was Raider QB Parker’s fourth touchdown pass of the night. Bradford’s PAT was good and the Raider increased their lead to 33-16.

With four fingers raised high, the Raiders concentrated on grinding out the clock in the final stanza. On their first offensive series, they pieced together six plays that resulted in zero points but managed nearly six minutes off the clock. Behind three scores, time was running out for the Bulldogs.

But this is where things had gone sideways for the Raiders the previous year. As the Bulldogs scored on a deep ball from Farler to to running back Alex Hillard, many Raider fans thought, oh no, here we go again.

But these aren’t those Raiders.

With less than three minutes to go and leading by 10, the Raiders refused to relax. They recovered an on-sides kick then played smart, clocked grinding offense. The Bulldog got the ball back with 40 seconds left but it was too late. At the end of four quarters, Moore County walked away with a 32-23 win over a top rival, their first road win, their first conference win, a 3-0 record, and a little swagger.

Offensively, Raider QB Parker managed an outstanding night with with 243 passing yards and four TD passes, another 95 rushing yards, as well as rushing touchdown. Dylan Scruggs caught two touchdown passes for 12 points while Kaden White and Tyler Smith managed a touchdown each. Raider kicker Chase Bradford went three of four.

Defensively, Donavin Pearson came to play with 13 total tackles (six solos tackles), a forced fumble, and several key stops. Tyler Smith managed 11 tackles and Kaden White another 10. Ryder Morey also defended a crucial pass.

The Raiders (3-0) will travel to Forrest (2-1) this Friday for their second of four consecutive away games. The Rockets beat East Robertson 10-0 in Cross Plains in game one, lost to in Portland 20-14 in game two, and won against conference foe Eagleville at home 19-7 this past Friday night.

The game will kick off in Chapel Hill at 7 p.m. For those who plan to travel, the GPS address is 310 North Horton Parkway, Chapel Hill TN 37034. 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.}

Raiders face first test at Cornersville on Friday

The MCHS Raiders prepare for their first conference match up this week in Cornersville. The away game kicks off at 7 p.m. {Photo Courtesy of the Moore County Sports Network}

SPORTS — If you’ve been paying attention so far this season, you’ve noticed that new Head Coach Kris White is well on his way to creating a memorable season for his 2020 Raider team. He has managed to lure a host of athletes from other sports to play football. The MCHS roster is now packed with not only returning stars from last year but also starters from the basketball and baseball teams plus a class of freshman talent who won the state middle school championship last year.

Players are excited to play for Coach White and his assistants, TJ Christian, Manny Buchanan, Randy Morey, Wes Black, and Schuvaud Whitaker. In fact, just last week the Raiders added three new players: Noah Blankenship, Will Baker, and Landon Lavergne.

So far this season, MCHS has stacked up two early season non-conference home wins: a 15-0 victory over Cascade and a 41-8 shellacking of Community. On Friday, they travel to Cornersville for their first conference match up against a rival with a winning streak and an eye on the playoff.

The Bulldogs beat Community 36-6 at home on August 21 and glided past Eagleville 35-13 in Cornersville last week.

So what’s the trick to maintaining their winning streak?

The Raider spread offense has played smart, consistent football so far this year but the Bulldogs’ hard-hitting defense isn’t likely to just lay down. The Raiders will need execution on both the rushing and passing side of the offense to keep the Cornersville D on it’s heels.

Led by Bulldog left-handed QB Jackson Farler the Cornersville offense clicks on several fronts including tight end Eli Welch, who is both big and fast, as well as, Alex Hilliard, who ran for 106 yards against Community. They are helped by a O-line led by Brady Callahan and Cason Warner that does not yield.

Friday night’s game could end up being the battle of the safeties. Cornersville boast two ball hawks protecting it backfield. But Moore County boasts it’s own defensive weapons — the White brothers. Freshman free safety Dawson White and senior strong safety Kaden White have combined for 22 tackles and an interception through two games.

If they can keep the Raiders from being burning by the long pass, the defensive line led by Donavin Pearson (20 total tackles, 10 solo tackles) and Tyler Smith (17 total tackles, 8 solo tackles) can handle the inside run game, hopefully preventing the dynamic Cornersville offense from gaining momentum.

The Raiders played mistake football against Community with zero fumbles and zero interceptions. It’s a trend that will need to continue for the Raiders to come back to Lynchburg with a W on Friday night. Cornersville has won the past three straight match ups.

Coach White says that Cornersville will be returning numerous players including their QB and several defensive players.

“We’ll have to be able to stop the run,” he says. “Based on film through two games, they like to run the ball and do so almost 80 percent of the time,” he said.

Coach White also said that one of the keys to success will be for Moore County’s players not to get rattled by a loud away game.

“They have a DJ who plays music in between plays. It’s loud,” Coach White says. “It’s an awesome game atmosphere but one that can’t serve as a distraction.”

The game kicks off in Cornersville at 7 p.m. 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.}