By David Knox
The Moore County Middle School Raiders manhandled South Giles 46-0 Thursday night at Raiders Stadium/Doug Price Field.
The Raiders, winless a year ago, improved to 2-0.
It was the Raiders’ second straight shutout after beating Huntland 40-0 last week.
Before an outstanding crowd in very hot and humid conditions, MCMS scored twice in each of the first three quarters and added a safety in the final period with a running clock. Coach Josh Wilson took mercy on the visitors, letting the clock expire on South Giles’ 23 at the end of the first half and taking a knee at the Eagles’ 25 to end the game.
The Raiders scored on a 34-yard run by Logan Hegwood and a 27-yard run by Keller Morey in the first quarter. Quarterback Brett Dobbs cashed in both of the two-point conversions and Moore County led 16-0 after the first period.
Holding South Giles on downs to start the second quarter when Landon Jolley sacked the quarterback, it took just two plays for MCMS to score. Dobbs rushed 28 yards around the right side for the score. Hegwood burst through for the two-point try.
The Raiders got the ball back after a three-and-out and Dobbs hit Alex Copeland for a 51-yard TD pass. Dobbs rushed around the left side for the two points and a 32-0 lead with 3:13 left.
On the next series, the Raiders partially blocked a punt, giving them the ball at the 23, but MC didn’t try to score and took the 32-0 lead to intermission.
The Eagles got the ball first in the third quarter, but Bryson Carter made a big tackle for loss on first down, and then recovered a fumble on second down. With offensive backups getting some valuable experience, Michael McNutt cashed in a fourth-down run from 7 yards out. The try for two failed with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
Carter had another big defensive play on the Eagles’ next possession with a tackle for loss on third down. And Morey brought the punt back deep into Eagles territory. On third down, McNatt raced 20 yards for another TD as the period expired. The try failed, leaving it at 44-0 after three periods.
The ensuing kickoff saw the Eagles pinned deep as the Raiders had excellent coverage. On second down from their 2, a pitch to the runnign back slipped through his hands and out of the end zone for a safety and a 46-0 lead.
Landon Smith recovered a fumble to quickly kill the Eagles’ final possession, and the Raiders’ Dobbs took a knee to end the game.
Since Liberty decided not to field a team, that home at MCMS on Sept. 19 has been canceled, meaning this was the final home game for the middle school team, which is usually “Eighth-Grade Night.” The eighth-grade players and cheerleaders were honored on the field after the game.
The middle school is set to be in action next Thursday at South Lincoln. Kickoff is 6 p.m.