Winning isn’t the main focus of the Warren County Middle School football team right now. Actually getting to play is the first hope of the Pioneers.
Only two weeks after their opening game against Sequathie County was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict, the Pioneers once again saw outside influences keep the team from completing a contest. Severe thunderstorms in the area Tuesday forced the postponement of a home game against Franklin South, one the Pioneers led 8-0 in the second quarter when lightning caught the eye of the head official.
The game has been scheduled to resume Thursday, Sept. 25 at Nunley Stadium. Action will start at 6:30 p.m. and will begin from the point where Tuesday’s game was stopped.
Warren County was clinging to an eight-point lead late in the first half, but Franklin South was mounting a drive. Just after a penalty forced Franklin South into a first-and-15 at the Pioneer 32, lightning struck and the referees sent both teams to the locker rooms. Around 7:30 p.m., referees decided the game wouldn’t be able to be completed Tuesday night.
Pioneer coach Donnie Harris was using his time in the locker room to try to shore up his run defense. Warren County will now have a couple of weeks to prepare for the Franklin South rushing attack.
"Defensively, we were doing some things we need to get fixed," said Harris. "The break gave us a chance at the time to look at making a few adjustments, ones we didn’t have a chance to apply."
Warren County took an early lead by scoring on its opening drive. The Pioneers marched straight down the field against Franklin South, ultimately getting the payoff when Josh Macanas broke free on a run to the red zone.
Macanas, who scored a touchdown in the Pioneers’ 16-0 victory over Franklin North last week, took a hand-off and sprinted straight through the gut to score from 15 yards out. Macanas also added the two-point conversion on a jet sweep.
The Pioneers had other chances to score in the first half, but penalties got in the way. After a good punt return early in the second quarter, Warren County was set up in prime field position. Instead of adding to their lead though, an early penalty derailed the drive as the team got behind the chains.
Although the Pioneers had their share of miscues, coach Harris believes his team was showing improvement in its second contest.
"We looked a lot better than our first game," said Harris. "We are continuing to get comfortable with our offense and players are beginning to make plays."
Warren County will return to the field Tuesday for its first road game. The Pioneers will travel to play Shelbyville Harris at 6:30 p.m.