Unionville, Tenn. – The Moore County Raiders travel to Unionville on Friday to face a resurging Community Vikings team.
The #2 Raiders advanced one notch in the AP Class A Prep Poll after #1 South Pittsburgh lost to Boyd Buchanan 35-21 last Friday at home.
Moore County (8-0, 4-0) currently sitting atop the District 9A rankings and cannot afford to stumble against the Vikings (3-5, 2-3) as they continue their quest for the District title and a trip to the TSSAA state playoffs.
Only the top two teams from District 9A will move on to the playoffs and a Raider loss could move them into a tie with either Cascade (6-2, 2-1) or Forrest (5-3, 3-1), depending on the outcome of the match up between those two teams.
Making the Raiders’ quest for the playoffs a bit more complicated is the knowledge that Community is more than capable of moving the ball and scoring on the big play, as evidenced by their outstanding performance against Cascade last week.
The Vikings came up short against the Champions in Wartrace – losing 29-27 despite outperforming Cascade’s offense. As in the Raider’s game against Cascade, the Vikings were the recipients of a high number of penalties that came at key points in the game against the Champions.
The Moore County defense will have their hands full both against the run and the pass as they face the Vikings. One player they will have to contend with is freshman running back Darian Pride who rushed for 120 yards on only seven carries against Cascade, including a 59-yard touchdown scamper. He had 67 more yards called back due to penalties.
Viking rusher Austin Lees will also try and power through the Raiders. He had a 44-yard TD run of his own last Friday night.
And if the Raiders manage to stifle the Community running game, quarterback Quinn Frost will be more than ready to use his arm against Moore County’s defense. Frost was 9-of-15 against Cascade for 151 yards. He connected with all-state receiver Zach James on a 48-yard strike and to Jesse Cooper on an eight yard touchdown.
The Viking defense proved it could take care of itself against Cascade’s running game as well, holding Cascade’s Creed Rose to only one score and stripping the ball away from the Cascade runners more than once.
Community’s offense combined for almost a hundred yards more than Cascade’s – rushing for 227 yards and passing for another 151 for a total offensive output of 378 yards.
Adding to the pressure for the Raiders is the giant bull’s eye on their collective backs. The Vikings know a win over Moore County could make their entire season and possibly earn them a slim shot at the playoffs.
To say that the Vikings should be more than inspired for tomorrow’s game would be an understatement.
Conversely, Moore County head coach Scott Smith and staff will be hoping for a huge Raider fan turnout in Unionville.
Kick off is at 7 p.m.