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Raiders battle for 22-12 home win over rival Hornets

Jack Daniel Primo Grills

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.}

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