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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Moore County escapes Cascade; Champs can't cash in on key plays

Sunday, October 7, 2012

(Photo)
The Cascade Champions stormed the field in Lynchburg on Friday night and went toe-to-toe with the No. 3 Class A team in the state for the full 48 minutes, but came up just shy of knocking off the District 9-A top dog.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
LYNCHBURG -- Going into Friday night's District 9-A showdown, Champion coach Kenny Parker knew the Moore County Raiders (8-0, 4-0 9-A) were going to bring a full-on attack with several offensive threats and a strong defensive effort.

Although the Champs (5-2, 2-1 9-A) controlled the tempo of the game early, it was the Raiders who had just a little more in the tank and were able to make a handful of key plays to pick up the 16-13 victory.

While Cascade had its chances to deal a knockout blow to the Raiders, the Champs couldn't capitalize on several key opportunities.

Opportunities missed

"I thought our guys fought hard. I think we didn't make some plays and those plays we didn't make beat us. It was a slugfest with two good football teams. When it came down to it at the end, they made the plays and we didn't," Parker said.

Following an early second-quarter touchdown by Creed Rose, the Champs opted for a directional kick, which they promptly recovered on the 41-yard line.

Despite setting up another chance to add to their 13-8 lead, misfortune struck late in the drive.

Having driven the ball deep into the Raider red zone, the Champs coughed up the ball up on the 10-yard line.

While the Raiders took over possession just before the half, the Champion defense held its ground and kept Moore County out of the end zone in the second quarter.

Defensive stand

Knowing the threat Evans brought to the field, the Champion defense had to take the field in the second half and hold the Raiders for two consecutive drives--which was no easy task.

(Photo)
Creed Rose barrels through the Raider defense late in the third quarter for a big gain. Moore County had little answer for the sophomore running back as he accumulated 207 yards on 41 carries.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
But that's exactly what they did.

Moore County took the opening possession in the second half and moved the ball well, but were dealt several key penalties.

With about 10:30 to go in the third, Evans trotted 57 yards into the end zone, seemingly picking up the score. However, a holding call backed up the drive and forced a punt, giving Cascade a chance to go up by two scores.

Starting at their own 5-yard line, the Champs moved the ball out to the 24 where the drive stalled.

On fourth and long, the Champs opted for a fake punt, but was held short of moving the chains, which gave the Raiders the ball back in excellent field position.

Go-ahead score

Five plays later, Evans connected with Josh Prater on a 16-yard touchdown pass. The Raiders successfully tacked on a 2-point conversion to go up 16-13.

Moore County seemingly snuffed out the flame of the Cascade offense by forcing a fumble on the Raider 13-yard line during the ensuing possession, but the Cascade defense held its ground when needed.

Allen Craig picked off a pass by Evans, setting a great opportunity for the Champs to punch the ball in the end zone.

But again, the Cascade drive stalled, forcing a 26-yard field goal attempt by freshman kicker Trent Sutton, which would have tied the game.

The kick, however, was short and gave the ball back to the Raiders with about four minutes to play.

Moore County continued a pound it up the middle run game, but was backed up in a punting situation deep in its own territory.

(Photo)
Allen Craig dives forward for a few extra yards after picking off Raider quarterback JP Evans in the fourth quarter.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
Keeping possession

On fourth and long, Moore County bobbled the snap and was unable to get the put away. Cascade, however, couldn't come up with the stop in the backfield as the Raiders were able to gain the needed yards for a first down to keep the drive alive.

Moore County continued to chew up the clock with the run game, which kept the ball out of Champion hands, nixing any second chance at a comeback attempt.

While the score reflected a loss for the Champs, Cascade still utilized a very effective offensive scheme.

Moore County virtually had no answer for Rose's run game. The sophomore running back ran the ball 41times and broke the 200-yard barrier.

He single-handedly accounted for 207 of 263 total offensive yards.

Champion workhorse

While Creed has been effective week in and week out for the Champion offense, freshman quarterback Chandler Sulcer has started to find a bit more of an identity as the Champion signal caller. He held his ground in the pocket and completed 2-of-2 key passes to Nolan Barnes and Jesse Barnes, both of which kept drives alive.

"He's getting better. He made some good reads, but we have to be a little more consistent. Creed ran the ball well and I thought our line blocked well," Parker said.

Sulcer also accounted for the first touchdown of the game on a quarterback sneak to put the Champs up 7-0, following Sutton's successful PAT, early in the first quarter.

Defensively, Cascade junior Gage Dane made eight stops against the Raiders. Senior Cody Smith also made a defensive impact, coming up with seven tackles.

Even with the team clicking exceptionally well against the No. 3 Class A team in the state, Parker feels his team has the right stuff to make some noise throughout the remainder of the 2012 campaign.

"We've got a good football team, but sometimes you don't come out on the right side of the sticks," he said.

Looking ahead

Cascade gets little time to dwell on the miscues from Friday night as they take aim at a red-hot Community Viking team next week.

With playoff implications on the line, Cascade has the tools and weapons to continue a successful season as the schedule winds down, but winning out is a must for a strong finish in the district standings.

The Champions welcome their arch-rivals during next week's homecoming celebration.

Cascade 7 6 0 0 -- 13

Moore Co. 8 0 8 0 -- 16

First Quarter

C -- Chandler Sulcer 1 run (Trent Sutton kick).

M -- Dillon Davis 12 run (JP Evans run).

Second Quarter

C -- Creed Rose 7 run (kick blocked).

Third Quarter

M -- Josh Prater 16 pass from Evans ( Dalton Barrier pass from Davis).

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