As the WCHS football game entered the fourth quarter Friday night, the main question wasn’t whether the Pioneers would win. Up by 41 points, Warren County had already secured the victory.
The question was whether the 5 on the scoreboard would illuminate if the Pioneers scored again and broke the 50-point barrier. It had been five years since that 5 had been put to use.
Fortunately, Pioneer fans had that question answered when a TD with four minutes left put the team up 55-14 and accounted for the final score. It marked the third time in the past decade Warren County has reached the 50-point plateau.
It’s sufficient to say things have gone Warren County’s way during this festive 2-0 start. The last two times the Pioneers have started 2-0, in 2007 and 2005, the team finished the regular season 5-5.
The Pioneers will face their longest continual rival, Cookeville, this Friday night at Nunley Stadium. Cookeville has been on the Warren County football schedule every year since 1970. If you’re locked in a trivia contest and this question comes up, Putnam County won the very first matchup, 7-6.
Cookeville has an eight-game winning streak in this series. Warren County last beat the Cavs 20-14 to end the 2008 regular season. That win allowed the Pioneers to finish 4-6.
As for this year’s WCHS squad, there are two things I find especially noteworthy. First, the Pioneers have yet to lose a fumble. I’ve only seen the team put the ball on the ground once and that was when it got knocked away from QB Isaiah Grayson in the backfield, but he was able to recover.
Warren County has just one turnover, an interception in the flat where the defender undercut the throw. One turnover in two games is pretty solid and puts the Pioneers on pace for five turnovers for the season.
I’ve also been impressed with the Pioneer passing attack, particularly the play of the receivers. I’ve watched many a Warren County game where the receivers have dropped more passes than they’ve caught, but that’s not the case with this group.
Pioneer receivers are catching the short passes. They’re catching the long bombs. They’re making plays and making a difference.
Grayson deserves credit too by making some very nice throws. His stat line Friday night, 11 completions in 13 attempts, shows his high level of accuracy.
I think Warren County is fully capable of beating Cookeville, but it will take far more effort than the team exerted last week against White County when the Pioneer defense gave up chunks of yardage against the inside run and seemed to have a down tick in intensity.