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Tigers strike early, pull away late for win over Raiders

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 11:46 am

Moore County running back Tristian Whitaker looks for open running room during the Raiders’ game against visiting Fayetteville on Friday night. The Tigers claimed a 48-13 win over MCHS. (Photo by Jeff Reed, www.jeffreedphotography.com)

Moore County running back Tristian Whitaker looks for open running room during the Raiders’ game against visiting Fayetteville on Friday night. The Tigers claimed a 48-13 win over MCHS. (Photo by Jeff Reed, www.jeffreedphotography.com)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The Fayetteville High School football team proved the old adage that speed kills as they used that trait to beat Moore County 48-13 in Lynchburg on Friday.

The Tigers’ display of speed began on the first play from scrimmage as junior quarterback Lex Marsh connected with junior running back Brandon Moore for a 65-yard scoring strike. Junior Suedo’s extra point put the visitors up 7-0.

The kickoff flew into the Raiders’ end zone and Moore County’s offense was required to start at its 20.

However, junior quarterback Matthew Schuller ripped off a 45-yard run that got the Raiders into the red zone. Then sophomore running back Tristian Whitaker rambled in from the 6 for the Raiders’ first score. Coy Cashion’s PAT tied the gamer at 7-all.

The Tigers offense stalled and the Raiders (1-6 overall, 1-4 Region 4-A) took over on the 20 after Fayetteville’s 49-yard field goal attempt flew wide to the left.

A Schuller pass was picked off by Moore and he raced 56 yards down the sidelines for his second touchdown of the game. After the extra point, Fayetteville led 14-7 with 2:47 remaining in the first quarter.

The Raiders immediately roared back as senior fullback Isaac Holt took the kick at his 1-yard line and then shrugged off tacklers as he rambled down to the Tigers’ 12.

Schuller topped off the drive with a 3-yard plunge. The point after attempt was wide and the Raiders trailed 14-13 with 37 seconds left in the first.

The Tigers answered just seconds later, however, as Moore went 67 yards for his third TD. The PAT gave Fayetteville a 21-13 lead with 13 seconds left in the quarter.

The score remained the same until the third quarter when the Raiders defense appeared to have stopped a Tigers drive but an unnecessary roughness penalty gave Fayetteville a first down at the Moore County 29.

On the next play Marsh connected with Zorion Pullen for the touchdown. The point after was no good and Fayetteville led 27-13 with 6:58 left in the third.

Fayetteville (5-2, 4-2) caught Moore County flat-footed with an onside kick that gave them the ball at the Raider 47.

They quickly moved to the 22 where Marsh and Moore hooked up once more to push the Tigers’ lead to 34-13.

A shanked punt in the fourth quarter gave the Tigers excellent field position at the Raiders 37 and the Fayetteville offense took advantage of it to drive to the 7, where Moore ran it in. The PAT was good and the Tigers led 41-13 with 9:23 left in the third.

Whitaker returned the kickoff to the 40, but an MCHS pass was picked off again moments later, this time by Akoyai Dyer who went 49 yards for the final Tigers’ score.

—Notes: Fayetteville had 168 yards on the ground and Marsh completed 5-of-9 passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns. … Nate Love led the Raiders ground game with 71 yards on seven carries; Cashion had 65 yards on 15 touches and Schuller had 62 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Holt had nine yards on seven carries, while Whitaker had 60 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. The Raiders had a total of 287 rushing yards. … Schuller was 0-for-4 and two interceptions through the air. … The Raiders will host their arch rival Huntland (3-4, 2-3) on Friday, Oct. 14 with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

—By PHIL GATTO, Moore County News correspondent

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