It took less than three minutes for Middle Tennessee Christian School to score its first touchdown against Moore County on Friday night. As it turned out, that lone touchdown was all the Cougars would need, but still, they never let up.
At Throneberry Stadium in Murfreesboro, ninth-ranked Middle Tennessee Christian rolled to a dominating 50-3 victory over the Raiders, sending Moore County back to Lynchburg with a 3-4 record and 1-2 in District 9-A play.
The hosts set the tempo quickly and Moore County never caught up. While Middle Tennessee Christian amassed 424 total yards in the rout, the Raiders managed just 51.
“They showed us 42 sets on film,” said first-year Middle Tennessee Christian head coach Fred Shambaugh. “We told them, ‘Hey, it’s going to take us a little bit to figure out what they’re doing. But when we do, our base defense is going to take care of us.”
MTCS (7-0 overall, 3-0 in 9-A) enters its off week with the best start in school history, while Moore County has to regroup quickly for a 5-1 Huntland team that has won four games in a row, including a 37-27 victory over Forrest last week.
Moore County played Friday’s game against the Cougars without starting tailback Austin Henshaw, who missed the game due to team disciplinary reasons.
Friday in Murfreesboro, MTCS scored on its first four possessions before quarterback Justin Winn tossed an incomplete pass on fourth down to end the first half. It was a rare miss for the Cougars’ senior.
Winn completed 13-of-15 passes for 159 yards and had three touchdown passes. He also had 75 rushing yards on eight carries and a touchdown.
“Our line did a great job blocking, and the run game came to play this week,” said Winn. “They had to defend the run and we had some receivers open.”
Trey Hickey caught two passes for 61 yards. Peyton Buckner had five catches for 48 and Griffin Harper had five receptions for 45.
Winn took the Cougars’ first offensive snap 45 yards to the Moore County 25 to open the game and set the tone. Five plays later, he hit Buckner for an 11-yard TD pass. Winn rolled to his left before reversing the field and scrambling to his right where he found Buckner in the back of the end zone.
Winn, who completed his first seven pass attempts before his first incompletion, made it 16-0 after his 8-yard run and dive in the end zone to end the first quarter. Nick Merritt, who had a pair of 2-point conversion runs, scored on a 1-yard TD run to make it 22-0.
The lead extended to 30-0 before halftime when Tanner Green took Winn’s handoff and raced down the Moore County sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run with 4:02 left in the half.
Trey Hickey’s 21-yard touchdown catch from Winn extended the lead to 36-0 with 10:14 left in the third quarter to start a running clock. Winn later hit Harper for a 10-yard TD pass.
Felix Bourillet, an exchange student from France, booted a 37-yard field goal with 4:34 left for Moore County’s lone points of the game. Backup quarterback Joseph Peck ended the scoring when he raced down the Moore County sidelines for a 39-yard TD run with 1:37 left.
Mason Henshaw led Moore County’s paltry offense with 18 yards on five carries. Jake McGee added 16 yards on two carries.
—By TOM KREAGER, The Daily News Journal