The Warren County High School JV Pioneers tangled with the Wildcats of Tullahoma on Thursday night and the Wildcats had their claws out. The Wildcats devoured the Pioneers and went on to win, 20-2.
Warren County lost starting QB Devin Jordan to injury in the second series. From that moment, Warren County’s ground game was left to carry the load.
The Pioneers pounded out 120 yards total led by Josh Macanas, who carried 13 times for 74 yards and Keshion Conaway, who carried 15 times for 58 yards.
The Pioneer defense against the run game limited the Wildcats to 45 total yards on the ground. Tullahoma moved the chains against the Pioneer defense through the air and gained just over 100 yards passing.
Just before the half, Tullahoma led 14-2 and Warren County fumbled the ball on its 46-yard line.
With 6.7 seconds to play in the half, it would have been easy for the Wildcats to kneel on the ball and run out the clock. After an incomplete pass on first down and 1.4 seconds to play, the Wildcat QB took the snap and dropped back in the pocket.
Just as the pocket started to collapse he heaved a pass down field and his receiver caught the ball near the 15-yard line. He raced untouched for a touchdown as the buzzer sounded for halftime. The Pioneers did block the extra-point and went into the half down 20-2.
Warren County’s points came on the series just prior to the Wildcat touchdown strike that ended the first half. Warren County turned the ball over on downs deep in Wildcat territory on fourth-and-2.
After a first down run for no gain, Tullahoma lost six yards when Conaway slipped through the offensive line and sacked the Tullahoma QB on the 3-yard line. An incomplete pass left the Wildcats faced with fourth-and-16.
Tullahoma elected to punt and on fourth down the ball slipped through the hands of the Wildcat punter. The ball was loose on the ground and a mad scramble ensued. Tullahoma claimed possession under the pile of players but Warren County was on the scoreboard with two points.
With 41 seconds, the Pioneers took over near midfield but fumbled the ball away with less than 10 seconds to play in the half. Tullahoma took advantage of the extra time and extended its lead.
On the second series, Warren County faced a second-and-7. Jordan rolled out and cut back to the middle of the field when he was dragged down. He immediately knew something was wrong and his teammates alerted the trainer. After a brief timeout, the Pioneer QB was helped to the sidelines.
Two plays later, Warren County faced a fourth-and-7 and was forced to punt from its 34-yard line. The punt was blocked and the loose ball was scooped up by the Wildcat defense. It was run into the endzone for a touchdown.
A flag was thrown on the 17-yard line and the Wildcat defense was called for a block in the back after the recovery. Tullahoma took over first-and-10 on the Pioneer 17. A pass set up a three-yard run for Tullahoma’s first touchdown with just over a minute to play in the first.
Warren County continued to struggle in the second quarter. The Pioneers moved the chains and then on third-and-7 the ball popped loose. After the players were sorted out, the officials signaled Tullahoma recovered.
The Wildcats took over on their 42-yard line. Three consecutive passes over the middle were completed to two different receivers. On first-and-goal from the 8, Tullahoma pounded through the Pioneer defense for its second TD.
Tullahoma did get it done in the air. The Wildcats completed 6-of-13 passes for 107 yards. On the ground, Tullahoma was limited to 52 yards. The run defense had the Wildcats’ number but the corners paid the price.
The Warren County JV Pioneers were defeated by the Tullahoma Wildcats with a final score of 20-2. The Pioneer JV will be back at home Oct. 22 against Franklin County with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.