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Bitten by Bulldogs
Smyrna roughs up Pioneers
Warren County Pioneer Isaiah Grayson, left, stiff-arms a Smyrna Bulldog in Fridays home game at Nunley Stadium.

With the fair in town, it was the visiting Smyrna Bulldogs who won best-of-show Friday night at Nunley Stadium.
Capitalizing on four touchdown passes by Smyrna QB John Turner and a stifling defense, Smyrna earned a blue ribbon in the 48-0 shutout against Warren County.
Warren County’s offense became bogged down early and couldn’t get momentum, earning only two first downs and a total of 35 yards all game. The Pioneers were held to 33 yards rushing and didn’t have a player reach the 15-yard plateau.
Polar opposites, the Bulldogs scored first, early, and often, leading 27-0 at the half. One constant for Smyrna (4-1) was the Turner-to-Blake Watkins air attack, which accounted for two TDs.
Watkins was explosive, scoring on two of his four receptions. He had TD catches of 71, and 40 yards. He also had a 60-yard rushing TD on the Bulldogs first offensive possession.
This is the first game the Pioneers (1-3) have not had RB Raleigh Woods, their best offensive ground weapon, due to injury. Woods had rushed for at least 100 yards in the Pioneers previous three games.
With their best rusher out, the Pioneers were looking to add punch through the air. However, Warren County was held to two yards passing and QB Isaiah Grayson was sacked four times.
Grayson didn’t return from the last of those sacks late in the first half. He didn’t return to the field after walking to the locker room for intermission.
Grayson completed both of his passes, but for only two yards. His backup, Devin Jordan, attempted only one pass, which was incomplete.
Turner, Smyrna’s talented QB, completed 9-of-16 passes for 266 yards. He threw for four TDs and had one INT.
Leading rushers for the Pioneers were Tre Ladet, who carried the ball three times for 14 yards, Josh McCanas, with four carries for 14 yards, and Noah Campbell with 11 carries for 12 yards.
Hitting two field goals, Bulldog kicker Jose Baeza was good for all PATs as well.
“We’re struggling right now,” said Warren County coach Tom Moore. “They suffocated us on offense.  Smyrna is physical and talented.”
Moore knew it would be tough going in, as his team wanted to execute like it practiced. There were a few bright spots for the Pioneer D when Jacob Rabideau intercepted a Turner pass and raced down the sideline. It gave Warren County great field position at the Smyrna 46-yard line, but the Pioneers were only able to take one snap before the first-half clock expired.
Any chances of a Pioneer comeback were dashed early in the second half. Smyrna received the second-half kickoff and the Bulldogs were pinned deep in their own territory at the 6.
It only took Smyrna five plays to cover the 94 yards. The Bulldogs scored on a 71-yard TD to Watkins when he caught a short pass near the line of scrimmage then raced through the middle of the Pioneer secondary. The successful extra point made it 34-0.
The Pioneers coughed up the ensuing kickoff with the ball bouncing off the ground and into the hands of a Smyrna defender. He raced 25 yards for the Bulldogs’ second TD in 11 seconds. The extra point made it 41-0 and put to rest any hopes of a Pioneer comeback.
The game ended after Smyrna hit the speed limit with 48 points in the third quarter and the clock was let run out.
Warren County will try to bounce back this week when the Pioneers stay at Nunley Stadium for their fourth straight game. It will be homecoming and Warren County will face Riverdale.