Raiders look for revenge against Mt. Pleasant in final regular season game

Senior Raider play makers Donavin Pearson (#40), Kyler Parker (#5), and Brayden Cashion (#11) will be looking to exact a little revenge Friday night against Mt. Pleasant. The Tigers beat Moore County 47-28 last year in Maury County (Photo Credit: Emily Black for the Moore County Sports Network)

SPORTS — It was an ugly, embarrassing loss. That’s what the Moore County Raiders senior football players remember about last year’s 47-28 game in Mount Pleasant.

“With what happened last year with them, I just want to beat them so bad,” said senior wide receiver Joshua Parks during Coach’s Corner on the Moore County Sports Network on Saturday. “It was ridiculous last year.”

Despite their 1-8 record, the Mount Pleasant Tigers enter Raider Stadium as a dangerous foe. Five of their regular season loses — Summertown, Richland, Loretto, ZCA, and Eagleville — were all one possession games. The Tigers, who have experience positive team COVID cases this year, also forfeited a game to Cornersville. Beating the Raiders on Friday night could make their season and they’ll come onto Doug Price Field motivated.

The Tigers also possess the weapons to score. Senior quarterback Te’Varius Strayhorn (#6) frequently scrambles outside the pocket for positive yards. He’s pieced together 134 yards on the ground this season.

The leading Tiger rusher is Zavier Davidson (#27) with 592 total rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Ladontay Patton (#23) and freshman Keegan Cooper (#22) have also combined for another 641 yards on the ground.

On defense, the Raider offense will need to keep an eye on Ethan Beasley (#46) who’s racked up 63 tackles and seven sacks this season. Senior Jerimiah Dobbins (#32) has also racked up 50 tackles so far this year.

When asked how he planned to approach his final regular season game, Coach Kris White told the Moore County Sports Network that he plans to treat it like any other game.

“I want to go 9-1. I think it would be huge for this class of seniors to go 9-1 in their regular season,” he said. “We also wanna just get better from week to week. If we want to make a run at the playoffs, we have to get better each week.”

That mission got accomplished last Friday night against Richland as things started clicking for the Raider offense. Helped by the play of the offensive line, the Moore County running game became explosive in the 35-7 win against Richland. If the Raiders can continue to build on that solid rushing attack this weak, it will open up the passing game and give Raider QB Kyler Parker ample weapons to choose from against the Tigers.

Moore County will play their final regular season home game this Friday against Mount Pleasant. It will be First Responder’s Night. Kick off will be 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.}

Playoffs begin tonight without Fayetteville City

REGIONAL NEWS | Sports — The TSSAA playoffs will kick off tonight … without Region 5A’s undefeated regular season team. Last Tuesday, the TSSAA denied Fayetteville City School’s appeal regarding the eligibility of a student-athlete. That denial put a final period on their varsity football season.

Team forced to forfeit six games

The move follows a series of up-and-down events for the Fayettevile High School Tigers. Last September, they received what they interpreted as approval for a transfer player from Alabama to play in the 2019-20 season. That letter, from TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress, stated that, “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.”

But TSSAA officials claim that letter only referred to the student-athlete’s move from Alabama to Lincoln County. On October 15, the TSSAA contacted the Fayetteville School System regarding a complaint they’d received. It stated that the student in question wasn’t living inside the Fayetteville High territory. A strict reading of the TSSAA guidelines is that the TSSAA’s definition of territory includes both the geographic boundary and bus route. According to school officials, the student lives in Lincoln County. However, he doesn’t live inside the Fayetteville City limits, which is where the bus route exists for Fayetteville High School.

Days later the TSSAA informed the Tigers that they’d need to forfeit the six games the transfer student-athlete played in and pay a $600 fine. The forfeited games dropped the Tigers’ record from 10-0 overall, 5-0 district to 4-6 overall and 0-5 district – essentially forcing them to miss post season play.

Back and forth legal battle

It was a heartbreaking decision for the Tigers, who went 1-9 last year, and their first-year head coach, Kenny Morson. One that forced Fayetteville City Schools officials to do something unconventional. They appeared before a Circuit Court Judge M. Wyatt Burk asking for a temporary restraining order and injunction against the TSSAA. Judge Burk granted their request … temporarily putting the Tigers back in post season action.

Two days later, the TSSAA filed a motion to dismiss. That day, the judge encouraged both parties to work out the issue privately rather than pursue a lengthy and messy legal battle. Fayetteville City agreed on the condition that the TSSAA postpone publishing the Region 5 brackets until the matter was resolved. On Tuesday, the TSSAA denied Fayetteville City’s appeal … putting an end to the legal back and forth.

“I wish I could take one of the members back there with us to face my team,”Coach Morson told The Tennessean on November 5. “I’ve got no words for it.” (Click here for that article.) •

{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.}