By David Knox
PETERSBURG – Moore County Middle wrapped up a stellar 6-1 regular season with an easy 32-6 win over Unity on the Lions’ homecoming.
The win earned the Raiders the No. 2 spot in the Elk River Conference Bowl Games on Saturday, Oct. 5. And it’ll be a rematch with Unity.
“I thought the kids played hard, played Raider football,” coach Josh Wilson said, who is enjoying his best season in his four years as MCMS head coach. “They gave great effort.” Wilson has also been pleased with the camaraderie and encouragement the starters have given the backups. “The first-teamers were on the sidelines cheering for the second-teamers and I thought that showed great sportsmanship.”
The Raiders’ only loss this year was a 28-26 loss at Cornersville on Sept. 12, but the Raiders looked fully recovered from that stinging defeat that cost them the Frontier Division championship.
The always-salty defense held the Lions to a consolation TD run with 2:24 remaining in the game. The Lions didn’t get into Raiders’ territory until then. Most Lions drives ended with a punt, a bad snap on a punt or on downs.
Moore County meanwhile, was having its way on offense. Keller Morey scored on a 36-yard run to open the scoring and quarterback Brett Dobbs bootlegged it in for a two-point conversion with 2:01 left in the opening quarter.
On Unity’s next possession, a wobbly snap on fourth down to the punter resulted in the kicker being racked up for a huge loss. Moore County cracked the end zone again as Logan Hegwood rushed 7 yards for the TD. Dobbs passed to Alex Copeland for the two-point play and a 16-0 lead with 7:11 left in the half.
Another MCMS score was wiped out by penalty on the next series and the Raiders failed on that drive, the only time in the half. The Raiders took the 16-0 lead to the intermission.
The Raiders got that score back quickly though, as Copeland took the second-half kickoff back for a touchdown. Heywood added the run and a 24-0 lead with 7:44 left in the third stanza.
The Raiders held Unity on four plays again. Heywood had another TD run called back for a personal foul, but he quickly cashed in a 25-yard scoring sprint and added the two-point conversion for a 32-0 lead with 3:03 left in the third quarter.
Wilson, as he has in blowouts all season, played second-teamers the rest of the way, letting the play clock run down, and showing great sportsmanship.
The Lions added the meaningless score against mostly backups.
Up next is the bowl game at Lincoln County High School. The Raiders will face Unity at 5 p.m. in the lineup of bowl games.
It will be the final MCMS game for 16 eighth-graders: Morey, Copeland, Hegwood, Michael McNatt, Will Parker, Wes Clifton, Peyton Hill, James Laster, Trevor Smith, Eli Brown, Aiden Raulston, Sawyer Parks, Brody Richardson, Aydan Blair, Landon Jolley and Nathan Roth.
Cornersville will face Highland Rim in the 1 vs. 1 bowl game.