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Coffee shuts out WCMS
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Wednesday’s weather was perfect for football. Unfortunately for the Warren County Middle School football team, it was the only thing that was perfect as the Pioneers took on Coffee County Middle School in a day game in front of the WCMS student body.
Warren County was shut out by the Red Raiders, who were carried by Reece Pratt to a 22-0 victory.
The Pioneers, who fell to 2-4 this season, had their chances to slow down the Red Raider offense, but Pratt seemed to come through in the clutch each time.
Behind Pratt’s 135 yards on 26 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown, Coffee County controlled the clock and limited the opportunities Warren County got on offense.
The Pioneers got the ball first, but a three-and-out led to A.D. Majors punting the ball to the Red Raiders.
Coffee County didn’t take long establishing its ground game as Pratt carried eight times for 46 yards on a 14-play, 66-yard scoring drive that spanned into the second quarter.
On the first play after the first-quarter break, quarterback Grant Sadler snuck in from the Pioneer 1 to put Coffee County on the board. Pratt added the two-point conversion, making it 8-0 four seconds into the second quarter.
A short kickoff gave the Pioneers prime position near midfield and the running of quarterback Trayton Rackley moved Warren County into Coffee County territory for the first time, but the drive stalled following back-to-back imcompletions.
Majors came back to punt a second time and his kick left Coffee County starting at its own 20, where the Pioneers would get a big break.
Pratt got the call on the first play following the punt, but was stripped by Ethan Stuart as he came through the line. Noah Campbell dove on the ball as Warren County regained possession at the Coffee County 20.
Instead of moving toward the goal line, the Pioneers started moving back. Raliegh Woods was dropped for a four-yard loss on an attempted reverse, leaving the Pioneers in a 4th-and-long situation.
Rackley tried to find Woods on a pass near the goal line, but the ball was batted away as Coffee County was able to hold the Pioneers off the scoreboard.
Coffee County took over the ball and ran the clock out to send the game into halftime with the visitors leading 8-0.
The Red Raiders got the ball when the second half started and although a 12-play drive didn’t produce points, it did run the clock down to a minute remaining in the third quarter.
With their opportunities running out, the Pioneers could ill afford giving the ball back to Coffee County quickly, but another three-and-out did just that.
The Red Raiders took over in Warren County territory following a short punt by Majors and the visitors marched straight down the field. Pratt was the workhorse as he carried five times for 36 yards on a seven-play, 41-yard scoring drive.
Pratt put the finishing touches on the drive when he plunged in from the Pioneer 1 to make it 14-0 with 4:47 to play.
Down two scores, Warren County tried to score quickly on the ensuing possession. Rackley lofted a deep pass down the sideline, but his intended receiver couldn’t outjump Sadler for the ball. The Red Raider cornerback intercepted the pass and returned it 10 yards as Coffee County took over against a winded Pioneer defense.
Five plays later, Bailey Howes scored on a three-yard run for the Red Raiders to make it a 20-point game. Noah Liebig tossed to Sadler for the two-point conversion, accounting for the final score.
Warren County didn’t muster much on offense throughout the game. The Pioneers were held to 20 yards of offense, most coming when Rackley ran. Rackley rushed seven times for 23 yards, while the Warren County running backs were held to negative yards on the ground. Rackley also had seven tackles, which tied Stuart for the team lead.
The Pioneers will return to action Tuesday, Oct. 2 when Warren County plays host to White County. It will be the regular-season finale for the Pioneers, who will honor the team’s eighth-grade players. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.