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Pioneer teams have final tune-ups
Cameron Lusk busts through the line during the high schools scrimmage during the first Boys to Men playday. Lusk could be the feature back for the Pioneers on Friday night against DeKalb County. - photo by Jeff Simmons

The Warren County Middle School and High School football teams spent yesterday wrapping up fall workouts with intersquad scrimmages at Nunley Stadium.
As part of the first “Boys to Men” playday, coach Greg Cotten led his Pioneer squad out at 10 a.m. to open up the morning, while coach Tommy Johnson brought out the high school team to close out the ceremonies.
Coach Cotten, whose team opens up the season Tuesday night against Lancaster Christian at Nunley Stadium, was glad to get one final look at his team and feels they are ready for the season.
“I feel like we’re mentally prepared for Tuesday night,” said Cotten. “We’re ready for what it’s going to be like on the field against an opponent. We want to see everybody out at Nunley Stadium for the game.”
Coach Cotten and his Pioneers are coming off a season where the team went 6-2 and captured the Central Tennessee Conference crown. Many players return from last year’s team, including two talented tailbacks.
Izzy McDonnell and Darius Wright each saw their share of carries as they played on opposing teams Saturday. McDonnell rushed for a touchdown for the Red team, while Wright scored for the White team.
Coach Cotten already plans on leaning on his run game, which includes eighth grader Rickie King in a crowded backfield, but yesterday’s performance was a reassurance.
“We ran the ball extremely well and it was good to see both teams find the endzone,” said Cotten. “Our defense played well also. It was a good effort by the whole team.”
While coach Cotten and his middle school team go into the season with championship aspirations, coach Johnson and the high school are trying to gel as the team incorporates as many as 40 new varsity players.
With injuries depleting the team, coach Johnson settled on holding a workout featuring his first-team offense going against his first-team defense.
As it has been at times in scrimmages, the offense struggled with penalties and turnovers. Connor Dixon turned the scrimmage around by completing two big third-down passes to Lee Carden and scoring on a five-yard touchdown run just before the end of the first quarter.
Hunter Mullican took over the offense in the second quarter as the team still is undecided on who the starting quarterback will be on opening night next Friday.
Mullican and Dixon shared snaps in the third quarter and Johnson feels he’ll know his starting quarterback after reviewing the film from yesterday’s scrimmage.
The Pioneers are five days away from opening the 2011 regular season at home against DeKalb County. Warren County defeated the Tigers last season 19-16 in the opening game for both teams.
Friday night’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Middle School kickoff on Tuesday night will be at 6:30 p.m.