HUNTLAND, Tenn. — D.J. Taylor broke free with a 70-yard touchdown run and amassed 224 yards on 32 carries to lead the Huntland Hornets to a 14-0 victory over the Moore County Raiders Friday night.
Huntland improves to 4-2 in the Class 1A, Region 4 standings and is 5-3 overall. Moore County falls to 3-3 in the league standings and is 4-4 overall.
Despite Taylor’s outstanding performance, Huntland Coach Bob Robertson was quick to pay tribute to his entire team for its accomplishment.
“I’m not much into talking about individual players, although D.J. did a good job,” he said. “The whole team played really well, and they were together as a team.
“We had injuries, but we had players step up and do what they had to do.”
The bottom line is Huntland is one step closer to making the Class 1A playoffs with Grace Christian Academy on the menu next weekend at 7 p.m. in a road matchup in the City of Franklin.
Moore County will be taking on Richland High School in Lynnville at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Huntland handled the game against the Raiders predominantly on the ground, namely through Taylor’s 224 yards, and the team finished the night with 272 yards on the ground and added another 21 in the air for 293 yards in total offense.
The Hornets defense held the Raiders to 136 total yards in offense, including 65 on the ground and 71 in the air.
Huntland began the shutout when quarterback Aaron Williams completed a touchdown pass to Tyler Smith with 4:27 left in the first period to get the Hornets on the scoreboard, setting the score at 6-0. However, Ricky Garcia missed the extra point.
The score remained there through the half with the teams exchanging the ball 10 times.
The two teams primarily kept the ball on the ground with Taylor racking up 86 yards on 14 carries in the first half.
Moore County was led in first half rushing by Mason Henshaw who toted the ball 11 times for 35 yards. Henshaw finished the night as his team’s leading rusher with 41 yards on 13 carries.
The Raiders threatened to get on the scoreboard late in the first period when they were forced to punt from their own 46. However, Taylor muffed the reception, and the Raiders got the ball back with 1:36 remaining in the first half.
The Hornets’ defense stood firm and forced Moore County to turn over the ball on downs with 11:37 remaining in the second quarter.
Huntland was threatening again to get on the scoreboard with 1:14 to go in the first half with possession at the Raiders’ 16-yard line. However, a handoff from Williams to Dakota Stewart was lost and recovered by the Raiders, halting the drive.
Huntland added to its lead with 2:31 left in the third period when Taylor broke through the left side of the line and burst downfield for a 70-yard run. Williams connected with Tyler Smith to add the two-point conversion and the Hornets held a 14-0 lead that would stand throughout the rest of the game.
—By BRIAN JUSTICE, Herald-Chronicle Editor
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