By David Knox
EAGLEVILLE — Moore County’s Raiders fought hard, but ultimately Eagleville pulled away in the second half for a 42-8 win. The Raiders, depleted by injuries, battled their Class 2A opponent on its homecoming for more than a half. That was despite a crucial fumble, a breakdown on kick coverage, a couple of new injuries and way too many missed tackles. “We got our pride dented a little bit tonight,” coach Jason Dobbs said. “But the kids fought hard. “We had too many missed tackles. I told them 12 (Ethan Cobb) is their dude, he makes them go and he had a good night.” The Eagles scored twice quickly late in the first quarter. Cobb found Avery Sparks open for a 42- yard gainer down to the MCHS 31. Kwan Park followed that big pickup with one of his own, a 22-yard run to the 9. Park finished the drive off two plays later from the 6. Jonathan Vermillion added the first of his five extra points to give the home team a 7-0 lead with 2:52 to go in the opening stanza. The Raiders fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Eagles cashed in two plays later on a 16-yard TD pass from Cobb to Trevor Griffin. Down 14-0, the Eagles hung tough. They forced a punt and put together a 66-yard drive, keyed by a 40-yard run by John Michael Moore. Moore appeared to have suffered a serious leg injury on the play, but he returned after halftime. Garrett Jennings rushed in for the score from the 6 and, after an encroachment penalty on Eagleville, Dylan Knight bulled in for the two-point conversion. The Raiders had new life and some momentum heading into the locker room down just six points. But Eagleville’s Sparks brought back the second-half kickoff all the way to Moore County’s 27-yard line, and two plays later Cobb hit Sparks for a 23-yard TD. With 10:58 in the third quarter, it was 21-8. Moore County responded with a drive from its 31 to the Eagleville 5-yard line. Moore had a couple of good runs and quarterback Brayden Cashion hit Bryson Dobbs for a couple of pass pickups. But a holding penalty set the Raiders back, and on fourth-and-11 from the 12, Cashion’s pass for Moore was incomplete in the end zone with 2:57 in the third. “If we score right there, make it 21-14, it may be a different ballgame,” Dobbs said. That seemed to take most of the starch out of the weary Raiders. In one play, Cobb flipped the field, going 50 yards, shedding a host of tacklers. Four plays later, Cobb scored from the 10. Vermillion’s PAT made it 28-8 with 18 seconds left in the quarter. The Eagles added two quick touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Wyatt McLemore burst 48 yards for a score with 4:34 left. After MCHS fumbled the kickoff, for a second time, the Eagles cashed it in on a 1-yard run by Joshua Stout with 1:39 to play. “The thing that disappoints me is not taking care of the football again,” Dobbs said. Besides Moore getting banged up, Carson Templeton injured a shoulder. Jennings led the Raiders with 100 yards rushing on 20 carries. Moore added 87 on eight rushes. For Eagleville, Cobb rushed for 78 yards and was 5-for-8 passing for 83 more yards.