Raiders looking keep playoff bid alive against Huntingdon

Raider QB and Mr. Football semi finalist Kyler Parker celebrates as he runs for six points against Wayne County. (Photo Credit: Emily Black for the Moore County Sports Network)

HUNTINGDON — In post season play, the Raiders have been there and they’ve done that. But this year, the Raider playoff bid feels different and Friday night that road … like years before … goes through Carroll County.

The Moore County Raiders will travel tonight to take on the Region 6A Huntingdon Mustangs in a TSSAA Class 1A round two playoff game. The Raiders enter the contest with a 10-1 record. Their only loss of the season happened at Fayetteville in week five of the regular season.

The two teams are no strangers in post season play. Huntingdon put a stop to Moore County’s playoff bid in 2017 and again in 2018. On Friday, the Raiders will be looking for a little bit of revenge and to prove that they’ve got what it takes this year.

According to Coach White, the Mustangs play physical, smash mouth football and are known to be extremely physical up front. They also run the ball well.

“They are a sound football team,” Coach White says. “We’re gonna have to man up and stop them.”

The Mustangs are big and physical and they expect to be in the playoffs year after year.

Huntingdon enjoys a 9-2 overall records with losses against McKenzie and Milan in the regular season and a perfect Region 6A record. They beat Cornersville 48-8 to advance to the second round game against Moore County.

Stats against Wayne County

In last Friday’s playoff game against Wayne County at home, the Raiders put up 279 total yards of offense – 93 through the air and another 186 on the ground. Raider QB Kyler Parker threw five of eight for 63 percent. Tyler Smith led in both passing and rushing with 142 all purpose yards – three catches for 44 yards and six receptions for 98 yards. He also led the Raiders in scoring with three touchdowns. Chase Bradford was a perfect six of six on point after attempts.

Donavin Pearson led the Raiders on defense with 15 total tackles including eight solo tackles followed by Kaden White with 12 total tackles and an interception.

The 48-14 win over Wayne County gave Coach Kris White his first Moore County playoff victory.

“It was really gratifying but the biggest thing was to get to see these seniors reap the fruit of their labor,” said Coach White. “They believe in our coaching staff and they believe in each other. I’m just really happy for them because this will be their legacy.”

The Mustangs home field might present a bit of a culture shock to most Raider fans. It resembles a small junior college football stadium more than a rural high school football field and the Mustangs play on turf not natural grass. It’s a little more than three hours away for the Raiders, who will travel Friday on not one but three Moore County school buses due to COVID restrictions.

Seating will be limited to a third of the stadium’s total seating capacity, according to MCHS Athletic Director Josh Deal. Tickets will not be sold at the gate and are available only through the TSSAA website or the Go Fan app. According to Deal, tickets are still available. •

{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.}

Kyler Parker, Kaden White named Mr. Football semifinalists

It’s official. Moore County coaching staff got word this week that two MCHS Raiders – Kyler Parker and Kaden White – have been added to the list of semifinalist for Tennessee Titan’s Mr. Football for 2020.

Parker has 2,329 all purpose yards including 1,504 passing yards and 825 rushing yards. The Raider QB has scored 11 touchdowns and enjoys a quarterback rating of 104.7.

White has put up impressive defensive numbers including 115 total tackles (77 solo tackles as well as 38 assists) including three tackles behind the line of scrimmage, two fumble recoveries, one interception, two caused fumbles, and two pass deflections. He’s also racked up 35 receptions for 452 yards and four touchdowns.

“Kyler is leading all of Class 1A in passing and is fourth in rushing,” said Raider Assistant Coach T.J. Christian. “Kaden has been phenomenal on defense all season. Through nine games he is leading all of Class 1A in tackles.”

The two Raiders were joined by fellow Region 5 candidate Kolby Stewart of Huntland. Two South Pittsburg players, Hunter Frame and Jared Stone, were also named semifinalists. Other area players named include Tullahoma’s Jakobe Thomas.

The list of semi-finalists will be reduced to just three finalist on November 17. The TSSAA Tennessee Titans Mr. Football winner will be announced in December 8 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Nominees are selected by a committee of statewide sports writers. •

{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 looking to tame the Wildcats in tonight’s playoff game

The Raiders take on Wayne County tonight at 7 p.m. in Lynchburg.

SPORTS — With not one but two TSSAA Mr. Football semi-finalist on it’s roster, the Moore County High School Raiders will look to take out Wayne County tonight in the first round of the the Class 1A Playoffs. Moore County will enter the game with a 9-1 regular season record as well as an offense and defense that’s clicking on all cylinders.

Led by senior quarterback and Mr. Football semi-finalist Kyler Parker, the Raiders boast numerous, quick strike weapons. Aided by determined Raider playmakers, Parker’s completed 105 passes on 182 attempts so far this season. Outside the pocket, Parker’s rushed for another 825 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Through the air, Parker’s favorite targets are fellow Mr. Football semi-finalist Kaden White (452 receiving yards), Dawson White (334 receiving yards), Brayden Cashion (288 receiving yards), Dylan Scruggs (236 receiving yards), and Joshua Parks (167 receiving yards). Scruggs hasn’t played the last two games due to a shoulder injury but is expected to return for playoff action.

On the ground, Parker and senior running back Tyler Smith do the heavy lifting. Smith has racked up 729 yards on the ground and 10 touchdown so far this season for the Raiders. The Raider offense owes much of its success to an unyielding offensive line that’s doing an outstanding job of blocking downfield and creating space for Raider rushers.

And of course, Raider kicker Chase Bradford’s been rock solid again this year making 32 or 37 point after attempts and two of two field goals.

As the season’s progressed the Raider defense has gotten stingy. They forced shutouts against Cascade, Eagleville, and Jo Bryns and allowed less than 14 points a game in their final two games. They beat Richland 35-7 and Mt. Pleasant 38-13.

In the secondary, ball hawks Joshua Parks, Dawson White, and Hayden Carter pick off interceptions and inside, the Raider defensive line forces and recovers fumbles. Hayden Carter leads this stat with four fumble recoveries on the year.

Kaden White (115 tackles), Donavin Pearson (111 tackles), Dawson White (100 tackles), Tyler Smith (90 tackles) and Hayden Carter (77 tackles) lead the Raider D.

The Wildcat secondary can be exposed for big plays

The Wildcats come into Raider Stadium with a 5-5 regular season record. They suffered a COVID forfeit loss to Middleton in the first game of the season followed by losses to Loretto, Summertown, Riverside, Huntingdon, and Collinswood.

The Wildcats put up 747 yards through the air this season and another 1026 yards on the ground. They play grind-it-out offense led by senior quarterback #10 Cade Crews who is 59 of 126 on the year and leading running back #33 Hunter Staggs and junior running back #19 Julian Birch. The two have combined for a little over 600 yards this season. In the passing game, Raider fans will want to keep their eye on senior wide receiver #8 Clay Baugus who has 26 receptions for 408 yards.

With a weak secondary, the Wildcats defend better against the run than the pass and the Raiders receivers should be able to expose them for big plays.

Kick off tonight is at 7 p.m. No tickets will be sold at the gate. All tickets are digital and may be purchase by clicking here or on the Go Fan app. 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.}

Raiderettes kick off Regional Quarterfinal in Lynchburg on Friday

LOCAL NEWSFill the gym, is the refrain echoing out of Moore County High School this week as our MCHS Raiderettes prepare to battle it out at home for the first game of the Regional Tournament.

The MCHS Raiderettes pieced together a 18-13 (6-4) record to earn themselves a spot in the TSSAA 2020 Class A East Regional Girls’ Basketball Tournament as one of 32 teams. They enter the tournament ranked #2 in District 8 and face off against STEM Prep Academy in the first round on Friday.

The STEM Chargers are led by top shooters sophomores Andranique Voorhies and Andrian Voorhies, as well as senior Ndidi Morgan.

Two points shy of district top spot

Last week, the Raiderettes lost to Huntland in Franklin County, 56-54, narrowly missing out on the district’s top spot. It was a fierce match up that saw four lead changes in the final two minutes. Lady Hornet Mikaylie Edwards swished a mid-range jumper with 30 second remaining to give Huntland the go-ahead lead.

The Raiderettes will look to season leaders like sophomores Olivia Richards, Erica Clifton, and Chloe Brazier as well as senior Carolyna Driver to keep the season momentum moving. If they win this first game, they’ll take on the winner of the LEAD Academy versus Fayetteville game on Monday, March 2 at Eagleville High School.

Friday night’s tip off is at 7 p.m. and the MCHS Gym will open at 6 p.m. 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.}

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.}

Post season play back on for Fayetteville City

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

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

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

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

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

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

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

TSSAA force Fayetteville City to forfeit six games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}