Athlete of the Week: Moore Haven Terrier defense

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Moore Haven coach Brent Burnside addresses his defense during a timeout.

MOORE HAVEN — The Moore Haven Terrier defense is the week’s Big Lake Athlete of the Week for their performance in the playoff game against the Westminster Academy Lions on Nov. 15.

The Terriers defense held the Lions to 13 points in the game, giving their offense enough time to get things rolling in the second half. They also were responsible for what might have been the turning point in the game.

Trailing 20-13 in the fourth quarter, the Lions were driving to tie the game up 20-20. The Westminster offense worked their way down field close enough to take a shot to the end zone.

During one of those shots the Moore Haven defense stepped up and completely changed the momentum of the game. The Westminster quarterback floated a ball to the end zone to his wide receiver, but Moore Haven cornerback Issac Harper read the play perfectly, jumped up and came down with the interception.

“Isaac’s interception came in one of those key moments as we were backed up and they were taking a shot to the end zone,” said Moore Haven coach Brent Burnside. “His interception sealed the deal.”

“The defense has played well all year,” continued Burnside, “our defensive front has been our strength and we have been able to come up with big stops in key moments. Our defensive play has allowed us to stay in games.”

One of the leaders on that defensive front is senior Zion Moore, who leads the Terriers with 12 sacks this season. Moore has 53 credited solo tackles this season and 20 tackles for loss.

Late in the game as the Lions attempted to respond following another Moore Haven touchdown, a Westminster player performed a blindside block against Moore as he chased the Lions quarterback. Blindside blocks are not allowed due to the injury potential to a defensive player, but Moore was so strong the play ended up having more of negative effect on the Lions player than himself.

Still the penalty was called and it backed up Westminster even more, allowing the Terriers to pin their ears back and continue to harass the Lions offense.

The Terriers will need another big performance from their defense against their next opponent, the Champagnat Catholic Lions. Champagnat won 47-0 against the Terriers back in 2017. And in 2018 they beat Moore Haven 29-16.

The Champagnat Lions have been a thorn in the Terrier side for two years now, the Terriers will attempt to exact some revenge on them this week when the two teams face off at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 22.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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