Mooreville advances to second round after gritty upset

Nov. 8—After losing freshman phenom quarterback Wyatt McDaniels to injury and dropping three straight games, Mooreville easily could have packed it in for the season. After all, starting the season 6-0 was already a vast improvement over last year's winless season.

Instead, the Troopers snuck past Aberdeen in the last week of the regular season to punch their ticket into the playoffs and then upset Independence, the No. 1 seed from Region 2, 13-12 last week. Mooreville will be fresh off its first playoff win since 2014 when it faces Humphreys County on Friday.

"With everything we've had go on this year, for the kids to fight like they have and to go through the adversity and to push through for a tough win to beat a one seed, just proud of these boys," Mooreville head coach Jimmy Young said.

The Troopers had an electric offense through the first half of the season with McDaniels at the helm. But after injuries on that side of the ball, Mooreville has had a midseason shift in identity.

"I've been telling them for a couple of weeks now that the three Gs to success are great defense, good special teams and a gritty offense," Young said. "... I just told them we have to play great defense, good special teams, gritty on offense and take our shots. Just realize that we're going to have to weather the storm some. Just keep grinding, keep playing, give it all you've got, play every play like your last play."

Mooreville will have its work cut out for itself heading into this week's game against Humphreys County. The Cowboys are 9-2 following a blowout win over Belmont last week and are the second seed out of Region 3. However, after last week's upset win, there's always the thought of "why not us?"

"(The boys) have remained positive this whole year, which speaks volumes to them and them changing the culture," Young said. "The success and why we've had it is because of these kids. They've just bought into one another and bought into us as coaches and they just keep playing every play like it's their last play and getting after it."