LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The Moore County Raiders dropped their 2015 home opener 22-0 to Forrest High School Friday night in Lynchburg.
Playing before a near standing room only crowd in the newly improved Raider Stadium, Moore County could never seem to get the offense untracked.
However, the defense performed well, and at times displayed a bit of brilliance with two goal-line stands.
The Rockets (2-0), on the other hand, came out of Chapel Hill with all their engines burning.
The visitors began the game with good field position from the 35 thanks to a kick off that went out of bounds. Going three and out, Forrest punted to the Raider 27, and then Moore County did the same.
From the Moore County 42, running back Slayton Wild took the handoff on a draw play down to the Raider 9.
Jake Elkins ran the ball in with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter and Javier Rios booted the extra point to put Forrest in front 7-0.
Rios’ kickoff went deep into the Moore County end zone, forcing the Raiders to take over on their own 20.
The Raiders offense couldn’t generate a needed first down however, and the hosts were forced to punt again. Senior Spencer Reese’s punt — combined with an illegal block by Forrest — backed the Rockets to their own 5. But they quickly moved to the Raider 35.
The game was halted for an injury to Rockets’ running back Slayton Wild who was carried to the hospital, but was later diagnosed with a pinched nerve.
Then entered the game one Scrappy Osborne … all 5 feet of him … and he proceeded to burn Moore County for 85 yards rushing in the game.
However, though Forrest picked up a first and goal at the Raider 6, the Moore County defense stood tall, stopping the drive and denying a score in four tries.
But MCHS had to punt again. Reese’s punt from his own end zone was returned by Jacob Jones to the Raider 8.
On third and goal, Forrest quarterback David Andrews ran it in from the 3-yard line and Rios’ kick made it 14-0 with 1:16 remaining in the half.
Most of the third quarter was a defensive struggle, although the Raiders managed to pick up their initial first down of the game.
The highlight of the third quarter was an interception by Moore County defensive back Brandon Scott, who picked off an Andrews’ pass and returned it to midfield. Moore County failed to take advantage of the turnover, and turned the ball over on downs at the Forrest 38.
Following an exchange of punts, sophomore returner Matthew Schuller, under tight coverage, mishandled a fair catch at the Moore County 15.
Williams scored from the three with 4:51 remaining and then a bad snap on the extra point try resulted in a two-point conversion as Payton Sisk ran it in for the Rockets.
Scott returned the kickoff for 32 yards but the Raiders were again unable to move the ball and turned it over to Forrest, which used the victory formation to wind up the game.
Reese led Moore County’s limited offense with 37 yards on 15 carries; Austin Henshaw had (-6) yards on four carries; Stone Frost had (-8) yards on five tries and Danny Diaz carried once for 2 yards.
Through the air, Frost was two-of-five for 9 yards and one interception.
Jordan Pykiet had one catch for 5 yards, while Will Slatten had one reception for 4 yards.
The Raiders (1-1) will host Columbia Academy (0-1) Friday, Sept. 4 as the MCHS begins Region 4-A play.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 42-41 overtime loss to undefeated Franklin Road Academy of Nashville.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
By PHIL GATTO, MCN Contributor
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