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.}

Raiders travel for first round Regional Boys Tournament action

LOCAL NEWS — The Moore County High School Raiders (8-14, 1-3) will travel to Hendersonville on Saturday, February 29 to take on Merrol Hyde Magnet School in the first round of the TSSAA Region 4-A Boys Basketball Tournament. If they win, they’ll move on to play the winner of the Fayetteville vs. STEM Prep Academy game on March 3 at Eagleville High School.

Led by Head Coach Heath Hardin, the Raiders finished third in District 8 play. Fayetteville snagged first place with Eagleville edging out Moore County for second. The Raiders defeated Cascade 70-64 in overtime in the consolation game. In District 8 play, Brayden Cashion made the All Season and All District teams. Riley Hollman and Andrew Copeland both made the All Tournament team and Cashion was also named All Season.

The Merrol Hyde Hawks are led by four outstanding shooters: seniors Matthew Sykes and Asher Wolthers, as well as juniors Ethan Hansen and Kolton Garvon, who all tie for their season high scorers. Wolthers manages 68 percent from the field.

For Moore County, one interesting note is that senior Raider Ben Fletcher is currently tied for the Moore County record for most charges. Currently Wade Harder holds that record with 31.

If you plan to go, tip off will be at 7 p.m. The school is located at 128 Township Drive in Hendersonville. You can also watch a live broadcast on the NFHS Network. •

{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 lose an ugly one at Mount Pleasant

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — Moore County lost their final game of the 2019 season on Friday with a 47-28 loss at Mount Pleasant. It was an ugly affair … one that was hard for Raider Nation to watch or listen to.

Mount Pleasant has long prided themselves on playing smash-mouth football but game film reveals not one but two body slams, a Tiger player blindsiding a defenseless Raider player, and Moore County QB Kyler Parker taking a flagrant knee to the face as he attempted to get up from a tackle … most were no calls.

Despite the rough a tumble play, Moore County battled but came up short. The loss puts them out of playoff contention with Fayetteville City, Cornersville. Huntland, an Mount Pleasant making it into the playoffs.

Raiders hang tough in first half

The Tigers won the toss and elected to kick off to the Raiders. The Raiders went a quick three and out before the Tigers scored nearly as quickly on a three play drive ending with QB Hayden Lovely finding Keshawn Hudson on a pass for their first six points. The PAT gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

Undaunted, the Raiders answered as Kyler Parker, Joshua Parks, and Brayden Cashion put Moore County near the red zone. On a second and ten, QB Parker called his own number and ran 21 yards into the end zone. Chase Bradford’s PAT was good to tie the score at 7-7.

The Tigers and Raiders then traded possessions before the Tigers put together three first down plays to find themselves first and goal at the eight yard line. Hudson scrambled into the end zone on the next play to give the Tigers back the lead, 14-7.

On the second possession of the second quarter, QB Parker did the heavy lifting to get the Raiders first and goal at the six yard line. Tyler Smith battled his way into the end zone and Moore County’s “money” kicker Bradford nailed the PAT to tie the score, 14-14.

Mount Pleasant answered on the next set of downs but missed the PAT. With 4:00 remaining in the first half, they led 20-14.

The Raiders punted on their next possession. With time quickly expiring, the Tigers scored on a second down and long but not before their star running back, Keshawn Hudson got ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Raiders got the ball back with a chance to score. Tyler Smith got them in excellent field position with his return to the 48. On the first play, QB Parker got body slam tackled by Mount Pleasant as the Coach Dobbs protested enthusiastically.

The Raiders went into the locker room trailing 26-14 and it was mostly downhill from there. As the refs looked on, the game degenerated into what one observer called, “a sanctioned street fight.”

Chippy second half

The Tigers scored again at the 6:35 mark in the third to pull them ahead 33-14. In the fourth quarter, they scored on their first possession to extend it to 47-14. Then Moore County answered when Tyler Smith got two consecutive first down to set up Kyler Parker for the score. With 9:11 remaining the Tigers continued to lead, 41-21.

The Tigers scored on their next possession to pull ahead 47-21.

With around four minutes remaining in the game, the Raiders tackled the Tiger QB in the back field and he fumbled. Raiders Bryson Dobbs scooped it up and ran for the score and then the refs did the darnest thing … they called the live play dead. Dobbs stood defiantly in the end zone refusing to budge as Coach Dobbs fumed from the sidelines.

The Raider D shut down Mount Pleasant on their next possession. Kyler Parker and Tyler Smith then combined for yardage to get the Raiders one last score. With 2:35 remaining the score was Tigers 47, Raiders 28.

The Raiders ended their season with a 4-6 overal record and 1-4 district record. •

{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, 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.}

Raider, Richland Preview: Game moved to Thursday

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — Friday night lights will move to Thursday night this week.

On Wednesday, school officials announced that the Raiders district game against Richland would be moved to Thursday night to avoid impending bad weather. It’s one of two crucial district games left on the regular season schedule and it’s a must win if the Raiders want to continue to control their own destiny in their quest to reach the playoffs.

The game at Richland (4-4 overall , 0-3 district) follows a quality 22-12 home win over district foe and longtime rival the Huntland Hornets last Friday night. Tyler Smith again produced big yardage for the Raiders with QB Brayden Cashion and Kyler Parker also fighting for first downs. The Raider D, led by Zac Carawan and Donavin Pearson, played an impressive game and they’ll need that energy and tenacity tomorrow night.

This season, Richland’s coaches seem focused on the run led by #46 senior Montel Bobbitt and #16 junior Austin Seals. The Raider D played lights out against Huntland’s inside run game last week. If they can repeat that intensity and set the edge, their odds are good Thursday night.

Richland High School is located at 10610 Columbia Highway in Lynnville.

Kick off will be 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.}

Raiders battle for 22-12 home win over rival Hornets

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — Mark Twain once said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” The Moore County High School (MCHS) Raiders epitomized this idea on Friday night with a 22-12 home victory over rivals Huntland Hornets.

With Huntland running back Cameron Reed approaching 1,000 all purpose yards on offense and tackle Garrett Jernigan creeping up on 100 solo tackles, the Hornets were formidable foes with daunting stand outs. Throw in the unpredictable nature of rivalry games, and the Raiders anticipated tough sledging.

But it turns out that the Raiders possessed a few superlatives of their own, a coaching staff with an excellent game plan, and tenacity. Tyler Smith, Brayden Cashion, and Kyler Parker refused to quit on offense and the Raider D let by Zac Carawan and Donavin Pearson got crucial stops when necessary, despite the fact that both of Huntland’s star rushers (Cameron Reed and Kolbi Stewart) put over 100 yards each on MCHS.

In front of a huge home crowd at Doug Price Field, the Raiders won the toss and elected to receive the ball first. On third and eight Raider QB Cashion came up a little shy of a first down and the Raiders punted. On their first offense series, the Hornet put together several first downs (helped in part by a Raider penalty) to get them third and one at the 40. One play later, Reed scrambled down the sideline for six points. Abraham Morris’s PAT was no good and the Hornet let 6-0.

On the next offense series for the Raiders, Parker and Smith worked in tandem to get Moore County within striking distance but a bumbled snap saw the Raiders with fourth and sixteen and they turned the ball over on downs. On the next offensive series, the Hornets tested the edges. Why? Because Smith, Pearson, and Carawan were shutting down inside runs. They managed just one first down before time expired in the first quarter. The score remained: Raiders 0, Huntland 6.

In the first offensive series of the second quarter, QB Cashion doggedly pushed forward for repeated first down yardage setting up Tyler Smith for a quick score inside the red zone. Chase Bradford’s PAT gave the Raiders the 7-6 lead.

With Huntland’s Reed bottled up by the Raider front seven, the Hornets looked to Stewart and Bryson Turner for some outside yardage. They managed fourth and five and decided to go for it just inside Raider territory. They fumbled giving Moore County excellent field position.

The first half ended without a score change: Raiders 7 – Huntland 6.

Defense giving the offense a chance

We’re not sure what Raider Head Coach Jason Dobbs said to his team at the break but it was effective. The Raiders held the Hornets to small yardage on the first series. They then decided to go for it on fourth and five but Bryson Dobbs would have none of it. He sniffed out the Hornet play and tackled Reed for a loss. On the very next play, Tyler Smith ran the ball 57 yards for his second touchdown of the night. Cashion then threw a quick pass to Joshua Parks for the two point conversion to give the Raiders a 15-6 lead.

The Raiders and Hornets exchanged punts and fumbles before the Raider defense started playing light out. They held Stewart to short yardage and tackled Reed in the backfield to give their offense the ball back to start the fourth quarter. The Raiders failed to convert on a fourth and short giving Huntland the ball back on downs. With Stewart now a QB, he completed several short passes to Reed, who eventually made it into the end zone on a second and eight play. He scored but Morris’s PAT was again no good. The Raiders held a precarious 15-12 over the Hornets with 8:15 remaining.

The Raiders then went three and out again. Huntland put together short yardage before getting themselves again into four down territory. Stewart’s pass to Reed was intercepted by Tyler Smith, who ran it down to the six yard line. QB Cashion handed off to Smith who then scored his third touchdown of the night. Bradford’s kick sailed through the uprights to make it Raiders 22, Huntland 12.

The new scoreboard sure looked good displaying the first Raider home win of the season as time expired. The Raiders improved to 4-4 and 1-2 to while the Hornet fell to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in district play. The top four teams in each district make it into post season play. The win allowed Moore County to tie Huntland for third place. Down the stretch, the Raiders will play two consecutive district games to end the regular season: at Richland (Overall 4-4, District 0-3) on October 25 and at Mount Pleasant (Overall 5-3, District 1-3) on November 1.•

{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 Rivalry: Final home game against Huntland on Friday

LOCAL NEWS | Sports — The Moore County Raiders versus Huntland Hornets game is always intense. It’s a rivalry game that dates all the way back to the 1940’s. (Why? Check out our story about the history of the rivalry here.) But this year’s game is especially tense as both teams need the ‘W” to move on to post-season play.

The Raiders (3-4, 0-2) and Huntland (4-3, 1-1) will square off Friday night in at 7 p.m. for a conference game with everything on the line.

In particular, the Raiders will need to find a defensive answers for Huntland’s dynamic rushing by Cameron Reed and Kolbi Stewart. Combined the two have put up almost 1,500 rushing yards this season. Reed has nearly hit the 1,000 mark on the ground by himself. Offensively, Raider QB Brayden Cashion will need protection from the aggressive Huntland defensive line. Also, the Raider offense will need to keep their collective heads on a swivel for Huntland defender Garrett Jernigan, who’s stacked up over 80 solo tackles this year so far. Huntland Head Coach Bob Robertson will likely have his Hornets tuned in for the rivalry game.

Moore County will continue to look to their work horses, Tyler Smith and Kyler Parker, to put up big rushing yards while also depending on Donavin Pearson, Hayden Carter, Tyler Sanders, Bryson Dobbs, and Zac Carawan to keep the Raider defense on point.

They’ll also look to Chase Bradford to keep up the outstanding kicking game. So far, he’s 21 on 22 on the season.

Kick off will be at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it to the 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.•

{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. •

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. •