Storm clouds were gathering and it began to drizzle before the start of Friday’s Warren County High School varsity football game in Murfreesboro.
Like the weather, the game went in a similar tact as the Pioneers couldn’t garner an offense against Oakland’s Patriots, who wowed the home crowd with a 59-0 shutout.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” said Warren County head coach Tom Moore. “We’re better than last year but we’ve struggled since we lost Raleigh (Woods). This team had speed galore, was big inside and many players played both sides. They’re smart. Now we can move forward.”
Warren County won the toss and chose to receive. Beginning with a ground game, they ran into trouble early when a fourth-and-7 turned into a fourth-and-12 after an illegal procedure call went against the Pioneers.
After Warren County punted from its own 18-yard line, Oakland started at the Pioneer 45 and two plays later Patriot Lazarius Patterson found the end zone.
The point after touchdown was good – as it would be all night for Oakland off the foot of Aaron Sears – and with 8:53 left in the first quarter, it was a gloomy forecast.
Warren County’s fortunes did not improve. Down 49-0 at halftime, it was an unsurmountable deficit.
The shutout was Oakland’s fourth this season. The Patriots have now outscored their opponents by a margin of 294-20 in six games.
Warren County did manage to come out with positive offensive yardage, with 37 yards rushing and 16 yards passing. Oakland put up 203 yards rushing and 112 yards passing.
No matter how you slice it, this was a tough contest for the Pioneers against the No. 3-ranked team in the state.
Not only did they start early, the Patriots kept scoring until fourth-quarter action when Oakland switched quarterbacks from senior Brendan Matthews, who threw two TDs, to backup Brevin Linnell. Linnell didn’t do much with the offense in the game’s conclusion.
The Oakland player to watch, WR Jacoby Steven, definitely impacted the game with two TDs, one being a punt return to the end zone. Warren County’s player to watch, Jaden Crisp, performed well too, with a critical stop holding Oakland to a field goal on fourth-and-17 during late-game play.
The Pioneers hit the road again this Friday as they travel to Dunlap to play Sequatchie County. Game time is 7 p.m.