Chapel Hill, Tenn. – The Moore County Raiders snagged a perfect regular season on Friday when they defeated Forrest 28-7.
The win earned the Raiders the District 9A Championship and a first round bye in the Tennessee Secondary Scholastic Athletic Association (TSSAA) playoff bracket.
The Raiders will host the winner of Friday’s game between District 9A’s Eagleville and District 4A’s Monterey.
The Raiders got off to a slow start in the chilly conditions of last week’s game, getting the ball at the Raider 36 and moving to the Rocket 38 before having to punt.
Forrest failed to move the ball from its own 20 and a bad snap rushed the punter and Moore County got the ball at the Forrest 31.
The Raiders took advantage of the great field position and moved down to the three-yard line where Matt Taggett raced in with 4:17 left in the first quarter.
Taggett also ran in the two-point conversion to make the Raiders lead to 8-0.
On the following drive, Forrest was once again forced to punt and the Raiders got the ball at their own 48.
Three plays failed to advance the ball before Dillon Davis faked a punt on fourth down and got the first down at the Forrest 27.
With three ticks left on the clock in the first quarter, J.P. Evans connected with Davis for 27 yards and the Raiders second touchdown of the night. The extra point try was no good and the Raiders moved into the second quarter with a 14-point lead.
Forrest failed to be intimidated by the Raider score and moved quickly from its own 35. A 25-yard pass moved the ball inside the Moore County 10. The Rockets scored from the seven with 9:02 left in the half and the PAT made it 14-7.
On the ensuing kick off, Taggett moved to his right and took it 72 yards for the score, with no flags. His score boosted the Raider lead to 20-7 with 8:45 left in the half.
Forrest moved the ball on its next possession down to the Raider 16 but a 33-yard field goal attempt was wide left and the Raiders took over at the 20.
The Raiders appeared to be moving toward another scoring opportunity late in the half but a fumble ended the drive at the Rocket 11.
Moore County got on the scoreboard once more in the third quarter with Taggett racing 12 yards for the touchdown. The two-point attempt was successful and the Raiders boosted their lead to 28-7.
Another Raider fumble stopped a Moore County drive in the fourth quarter at the Forrest 37.
Taggett intercepted a Forrest pass at the 47 and took it down to the one, but the return was called back for holding.
Taggett went the distance on the next play but it – like so many in the game – was called back by the barrage of yellow flags.
Moore County will now have two weeks to prepare for their next opponent.
Although the Raiders beat the District 9A Eagles 25-20 on the third week of the season, Eagleville improved drastically through the season to finish 6-4 with wins over McEwen (32-7); Community (49-34); Forrest (32-7); MTCS (41-20); Huntland (37-7) and Cascade (28-6).
The Eagles lost to Westmoreland (20-14); Moore County, Collinwood (37-36); and Copper Basin (27-14).
District 4A’s Monterey finished the regular season at 5-5.
They won over Harriman (26-7); Clay County (36-26); Pickett County (59-26); Jackson County (36-30) and Red Boiling Springs (58-42).
The Wildcats have lost to Upperman (27-26); Gordonsville (42-8); Watertown (57-32); Trousdale County (41-22) and Friendship Christian (43-16).
As the higher ranked seed of either team, Moore County earns the privilege of hosting the Round 2 game on November 9.
The Blue Helmet Club is selling “District 9A Champs” long sleeve t-shirts to raise money for the team.
If you’d like to purchase one, contact Brenda Dye at MCHS, 759-4231; Christy Anderson, (931) 224-6525; Rex Russell (931) 247-5892; Gina Henshaw (931) 808-2359 or Amy Cashion (931) 224-6782.