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Looking for a fresh start
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Friday being termed Week 1 in high school football is perfect for the Warren County High School football team. It’s like last Friday never happened.
Erasing any memory of a 50-0 loss in the opener to the DeKalb County Tigers would be a good thing for the Pioneers if the team hopes to have an improved showing against the Shelbyville Golden Eagles Friday.
Warren County returned to the practice field Monday in hopes of finding an answer to the question that has been being asked since October 2010. When will the Pioneers win again?
If the Pioneers hope to snap a 14-game losing streak in Shelbyville two days from now, freshman Christian Wilkinson will probably have to play a big part.
Wilkinson will most likely get the starting nod at quarterback for the Pioneers after junior Hunter Mullican was injured against DeKalb County. Mullican, who took a blow to the head while making a tackle on special teams, didn’t attend practice Monday and could be lost for a couple of weeks while dealing with an apparent concussion.
Coach Tommy Johnson saw his freshman quarterback come in and do some good things against the Tigers in his first game. If Wilkinson is going to continue to lead the Pioneer offense, coach Johnson knows he’ll need some help.
“We’ll have to simplify things for Christian on offense,” said Johnson. “He played a great game Friday and showed us what he can do. We have to put him in situations where he can succeed.”
Running the ball effectively and pass protection will be two keys to helping Wilkinson. Warren County’s ground game was almost invisible against the Tigers.
The Pioneers produced 29 yards on 26 carries and sacks were a big cause for concern. Mullican was dropped twice before leaving the game and Wilkinson was taken down three times. Losing 27 yards on five plays put the Pioneers in unfavorable down-and-distances, something coach Johnson stressed in the offseason couldn’t happen if Warren County wanted to be successful.
On the other side the ball, the Pioneers are trying to revamp a defense that was gashed by the Tigers. Warren County surrendered 380 yards of offense and 50 points to DeKalb County, both worrisome numbers for a defense that allowed over 350 yards and 40 points per game a year ago.
A good offense may be the Pioneers best defense in the coming weeks. The Tigers scored on their first eight possessions, most coming as the Pioneers were gasping for air. Warren County had six three-and-out possessions last Friday and DeKalb County took advantage by scoring a touchdown after each one.
A week worth of practice will be needed if the Pioneers hope to stay on the field with the Golden Eagles Friday.
Warren County will have practice this afternoon and tomorrow before heading to Shelbyville Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.