By David Knox
CEDAR HILL – It was chilly, rainy, windy and mucky.
No worries. Moore County had Smitty.
Tyler Smith rushed for 236 yards and three touchdowns and the junior also anchored a solid defense as the Raiders broke a four-game losing streak with a 34-7 win over host Jo Byrns last Friday night.
“That kid’s just got a heart of gold. He’s gritty, he’s tough,” coach Jason Dobbs said after the win, which brought the Raiders’ record to 3-4. “I had to get on him earlier in the season about his running style. We put in some zone stuff and he thinks he’s supposed to zone run every time he touches the ball but I think we got him fixed on that.”
He entered the game with 525 yards rushing and the big night pushes him to 761 yards for the season.
Smith racked up his 236 yards on just 16 carries, an average of 14.8 yards per carry. He collected a huge chunk of yardage on a 40-yard TD run and an 84-yard TD run in the opening quarter. After Kyler Parker scored on a 13-yard run, the Raiders built a 20-0 halftime lead and were never threatened by the Red Devils.
The Raiders kicked off to start the second half but the Red Devils fumbled the ball and Donavin Pearson alertly grabbed the ball and raced 25 yards the other way for the score that put Moore County up 27-0 with Chase Bradford’s PAT. Smith added another TD run of 4 yards for good measure to close out the scoring.
Parker accumulated 111 yards on 15 carries. For the night, Moore County amassed 387 yards on the ground and another 42 through the air, as Brayden Cashion was 2-of-6 passing, hitting Joshua Parks for 27 yards and Bryson Dobbs for 15.
The Raiders close out their home schedule – at least for the regular season — Friday night at 7 p.m. against archrival Huntland. It will be Senior Night, with the festivities following the game, and also Pink Out Night for Breast Cancer Awareness.
The final two games are on the road, and the Raiders (3-4, 0-2 Region 5) need to win all three games to end up on the plus-side in the region and lock up a playoff spot.