FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. — Moore County simply didn’t make enough big plays against the Fayetteville Tigers when given the opportunity Friday night.
The result was a 14-0 loss in a key Region 4-1A game.
On a wet, sloppy night in Fayetteville, Moore County’s inability to convert on fourth downs and a bevy of turnovers cost the Raiders (4-3 overall, 3-2 Region 4-1A) a chance to stay ahead of the Tigers in the conference standings.
After a defensive battle for nearly three full quarters it was Austin Holdmeyer’s 69-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Pigg with 3:18 left in the third quarter that proved to be the difference. Hunter Keele’s PAT was true and the Tigers led 7-0.
The hosts added another touchdown with 1:08 remaining in the game on a 15-yard run by Cain McWilliams. Keele added his second PAT to give Fayetteville (5-2, 4-1) a 14-0 lead.
The Tigers were able to ice the game when they intercepted MCHS freshman quarterback Stone Frost’s pass with less than a minute remaining in the contest.
“It was a defensive battle,” said Fayetteville head coach Alvin Palmer. “The defense did an excellent job making stops when we had to have them. The offense made enough big plays to put points on the board.”
It was Fayetteville’s bend-but-not-break defense that kept the Tigers alive Friday night, while also keeping their hopes of winning a region title in the newly formed 4-1A alive.
Moore County had a chance to get on the board in the first period but came away empty after driving inside the Fayetteville 15-yard line. The Raiders started their opening possession at their own 20 yard line and drove 66 yards down to the Tigers’ 14, eating six minutes off the clock.
But, after having success running the ball, Moore County opted to go to the air on back-to-back passing attempts. The Tigers held the Raiders on a fourth-and-6 to end the scoring threat and take over on downs.
Moore County also coughed up the ball on a fumbled punt return, giving the ball back to City at the 26-yard line. Fortunately for the Raiders, this time it was their own defense that held steady. MCHS kept the Fayetteville offense in check and forced a 28-yard field goal attempt, which Tigers’ kicker Keele missed, leaving the game in a scoreless deadlock after one quarter.
Moore County managed to drive deep into Fayetteville territory midway through the second quarter as well. But the Raiders’ drive was stopped when they fumbled the ball away and Fayetteville’s Marquice Emmons recovered it at the 5-yard line to keep MCHS out of the end zone.
After the MCHS defense held the hosts once again to force a punt, Moore County’s offense took over inside the Fayetteville 35-yard line with 2:33 remaining in the half. The Raiders moved the ball 19 yards down to the Tigers’ 15, where the drive stalled and the half ended with the score knotted at 0-0.
Moore County recovered a FHS fumble early in the third quarter, but again failed to take advantage. The Raiders moved to the 7-yard line before being whistled for a penalty on fourth down. Moore County’s attempt to break the tie failed when the Raiders missed a 29-yard field goal attempt with 7:28 left in the third quarter.
The teams then traded punts before Holdmeyer’s touchdown pass to Pigg finally broke the deadlock.
*****Notes: It was truly a defensive battle as the Raiders defense held Fayetteville to just seven first downs and 160 total yards — 90 on the ground and 70 through the air. McWilliams was the leading rusher for FHS with 48 yards. … Moore County played without seniors Spencer Reese and Brandon Scott. Reese was injured in the first half of the Raiders’ win over Summertown. … Both teams are off this week. MCHS returns to region play on Oct. 16 with a trip to long-time rival Huntland. The Hornets (4-3, 3-2) topped Cornersville 47-21 on Friday. … Columbia Academy (5-1, 5-0) is ranked eighth in Class A and appears headed toward the 4-1A title with Richland, Cornersville and Huntland left on its conference slate.
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, Publisher, with additional information from The Elk Valley Times (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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