Moore County put on a show for the Homecoming crowd last Friday as the Raiders rolled over the MTCS Cougars in a 53-7 win. The victory improves Moore County to a 5-0 overall record and a 2-0 District 9A record. Though it’s still early in the season, the Raiders claimed the top spot in District 9A with the MTCS win. It also boosted the Raiders to the #5 spot in this week’s AP Prep poll.
South Pittsburgh earned the number one spot followed by Greenback, Clarksville Academy and Gordonsville.
Despite the 53 Raider points, the Moore County defense told the story. An opportunistic Raider secondary snagged two interceptions and converted them into 14 points. Raider defenders Joshua Prater, Dalton Barrier, Joe Qualls, Chance Tharp, Austin Bingham, Austin Henshaw, Christian Glascoe and Adian Simpson smothered the MTCS offensive – often forcing them into negative yardage.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Raiders got on the scoreboard on their first offensive series of the game. Matt Taggett and Dalton Barrier set up a first and five for quarterback J.P. Evans, who called his own number and shuffled in the end zone for a quick six points. The extra point try failed and Moore County led 6-0.
MTCS went three and out on their next possession and the Raiders got great field position on a Taggett return. Moore County played two-steps-forward-three-steps-back following the return – suffering a play for a loss and a five-yard penalty before converting on fourth and two on an Evans keeper.
Taggett and Dillon Davis combined to earn another Raider first down. The Cougars stuffed the Raiders on the next play before Evans connected with Davis on a long pass to make it first and goal. Evans bulled his way into the end zone and Taggett connected the extra point to improve the Raiders lead to 14-0 with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter.
Less than a minute later, sophomore free safety Christian Glascoe snagged an interception and ran it back for another quick six points. With 2:59 remaining in the first, the Raiders led 19-0.
Though it looked to be a first quarter shut out, the Cougars got on the scoreboard on the final play of the the first 12 minutes to make it 19-7.
The Raiders began the second quarter with a hand off fumble. MTCS recovered but the Raider D stiffened – forcing a punt after allowing the Cougars a stingy two-yards during the series.
Moore County struggled to move the ball on the next series but never lost their drive. Evans fought for extra yardage on a fourth and three to earn a first down. With a fresh set of downs, Evans passed to Davis, who glided into the end zone for another score. The point-after failed.
By halftime, Moore County enjoyed a 39-7 lead.
The Raiders – ahead but not letting up – scored again on the first play of the second half as Taggett returned the kick off and ran it back 80 yards for a Moore County touchdown. Evans extra point kick was good; they led 46-7.
As the clocked ticked, Cougar passes continued to be fair game. After being stuffed for a short gain by the defensive might of Austin Bingham and Chance Tharp, Evans snagged a Cougar pass and ran it 42 yards for another Raider touchdown, 53-7.
The Raiders take on Warren County this Friday at the Warren County Middle School located at 200 Caldwell Street in McMinnville.
The Class AAA Pioneers enjoy a 1-5 overall record with losses to DeKalb County (50-0), Shelbyville (47-13), Smith County (47-7 and Cookeville (42-13). The Pioneers beat Cumberland County (37-13) on Aug. 30.
Kick off is at 7 p.m.