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Burned by Blaze
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Clay Thompson's 61-yard run made up almost half of his team's total offense in a 42-3 loss to Blackman Friday. - photo by Jeffery Simmons

With nothing to lose, the Pioneers came out punching against Blackman Friday night. Almost literally.

Warren County played with an edge against the Blaze, scrapping and clawing against the state’s No. 4 ranked team. The feistiness only lasted so long, as Adonis Otey scored three times to help the Blaze scorch the Pioneers 42-3.

“I thought we had some fight in us,” said Pioneer coach Tom Moore. “I don’t want us to get in a fight. Sometimes people think fighting and having a fight are the same thing, but they’re not.

“We fought back and scrapped. We moved the ball some and played a bit better defensively.”

Warren County (1-6) ultimately couldn’t keep up with Otey. The Arkansas commit found the endzone in three different fashions.

Otey started the scoring with a 66-yard punt return in the first quarter. He added a 24-yard touchdown catch from Drew Beam in the first quarter before scoring on a 37-yard run with 52.5 seconds to play in the first half.

Returns hurt the Pioneers, as Blackman also brought a kick back for touchdown. Luke Hayes went 75 yards for a score on a short kick just 16 seconds after the Pioneers got on the board with a 27-yard field goal from Tony Curtis.

Jordan Brown added a 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, while MTSU pledge Micaleous Elder found the endzone on a 7-yard scamper in the third quarter to enact the mercy rule.

The Pioneers had a pair of highlight plays against the Blaze, one setting up a score and another preventing Blackman from adding to its lead.

Trailing 21-0 in the second quarter, Clay Thompson kept on a 3rd-and-1 option from his own 28 and found daylight. The sophomore quarterback broke down the home sideline, going 61 yards to get the Pioneers inside the red zone. It set up Curtis’ boot – the first field goal of the season for Warren County.

Thompson was effective running for the Pioneers, finishing the night with a team-high 69 yards rushing. Using Thompson’s running was one reason why Moore turned to the option against the Blaze.

“We have a quarterback with some good legs. Running the option gives us a chance to not block somebody and read them instead,” said Moore. “Xander (Lee) and Jay (Rozier) have been back practicing a couple of weeks. They’re big guys who get downhill. It made sense. We had some good plays.”

Rozier was held to seven yards in his first action this season, though the junior was in on a number of defensive stops.

Eric Haywood had the biggest stop for the Pioneers. The senior safety intercepted a wobbly pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, preventing Blackman from adding to its lead. Haywood returned the interception 64 yards, though Warren County was unable to turn the long run into more points.

Along with finishing with the team’s lone two catches, Jorge Sifuentes added a fumble recovery on Blackman’s first drive.

Warren County will try to snap its five-game losing streak Friday at home against Fayetteville. The visiting Tigers dropped to 0-7 Friday with a 55-0 loss to Cornersville. Kickoff at Nunley Stadium is set for 7 p.m.