By David Knox
Moore County News
LYNCHBURG — Mt. Pleasant took an early lead Friday night at Moore County, but the fifth-ranked Raiders answered with 18 second-quarter points en route to an eventual 38-13 victory in Region 5-1A play.
The decision sends Moore County (9-1, 4-1) into the Class 1A state playoffs as the No. 2 seed out of its region, behind Fayetteville — a 28-22 winner in Week 5 — and riding a five-game winning streak.
Following a 3-yard scoring run by Raider quarterback Kyler Parker for a 6-0 lead midway through the opening period, Mt. Pleasant (1-8, 0-4) answered by going 70 yards on 17 plays — aided by sophomore running back Zavier Davidson, who carried eight times for 27 yards to set up a 5-yard Te’Varius Strayhorn go-ahead touchdown with 7:39 remaining in the half.
But Moore County answered with an 80-yard drive in nine plays on the next possession, Tyler Smith rushing in from 20 yards out. A 2-point Brayden Cashion pass to Keller Morey gave the Raiders a 14-7 lead. After a quick three-and-out, the Tigers’ punt was picked up by Moore County freshman Dawson White, who found his wall of blockers and sped 60 yards for a touchdown. The extra point gave Moore County a 21-7 lead with 2:15 left in the half.
After another three-and-out, the Raiders went 82 yards in quick fashion, mostly through the air, to set up a 23-yard field goal by Chase Bradford at the horn for a 24-7 lead.
Parker and Cashion added rushing scores in the second half, and Mt. Pleasant got back on the board with 3:39 left in the game when Ethan Beasley scored from 3 yards out.
Mt. Pleasant will miss the postseason for the first time since 2017 and post its least successful campaign since a 1-9 finish in 2016, while Moore County will host Wayne County in next week’s opening round.