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Raiders romp past Richland, lock up home playoff game

Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 10:14 am

The Moore County Raiders played a near-perfect game in locking up a key home playoff game with a 35-7 domination of Richland on Friday night.

The fifth-ranked Raiders (8-1, 3-1 Class 1A Region 5) had no trouble with the visiting Raiders (3-5, 1-3) in clinching second place in the region. Fayetteville City long ago locked up the region championship.

“That’s one thing I preached to the kids all week,” said coach Kris White, “taking care of business. And us being in control of our own destiny. And I was proud of the way they responded.”

It was a complete domination, and one of the most complete games the Raiders have played this season.

“It was,” White said. “It’s like I told our coaches and I told our team, last week’s feel of practice was different than any other because it was like the kids were businesslike about it. Like they went out with a purpose. … and I think it showed Friday night that on both sides of the ball it was probably as good as we’ve played all year.”

Quarterback Kyler Parker engineered a near-flawless offensive effort. He was 10-of-14 passing for 109 yards and two touchdowns and carried the ball 11 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Smith added 111 yards and a TD on seven carries.

“He’s getting where he’s making the correct reads on things,” White said. “The one play we kept running and having success with, we put that in on Tuesday, and he’s just continued to improve weekly and it’s started to show up.”

Moore County started fast after taking the opening kickoff, a three-play drive culminating with a 42-yard run by Parker for the score. Chase Bradford’s extra point made it 7-0 with 10:47 to play in the first quarter. After a defensive three-and-out, the Raiders went 85 yards for another score. A 25-yard run by Parker was a key play in the drive, and Smith ended it with a tough 14-yard run to paydirt. The PAT by Bradford made it 14-0 with 6:23 to play in the first period and the rout was on.

The Raiders added two more scores in the second period. A 47-yard run by Parker set up Brayden Cashion’s 5-yard TD run on a jet sweep to make it 21-0 and then the Raiders used up the final four minutes of the half on another TD drive, the score coming on a 2-yard Parker to Dawson White TD pass. Smith set that score up with a 43-yard ramble.

The Raiders’ final score came early in the third quarter. Tanner Parks partially blocked a punt that set the Raiders up in good field position at the Richland 39. On the next play, Parker tossed a screen to Kaden White, who got a big block from Smith in the flat and raced the distance. Bradford’s PAT made it 35-0 with 10:08 left in the third.

Hayden Carter and Joshua Parks intercepted passes in the contest. Donavin Pearson led all tacklers with nine total stops. The visiting team got a consolation score against the young reserves with 12 seconds to play to avoid the shutout.

Moore County hosts Mount Pleasant in the final regular season game Friday at 7 p.m. It will be First Responders Night.