There might be an underlying reason for Warren County to put in a little extra effort tonight as the 0-2 Pioneers go face-to-face with the 2-0 Cookeville Cavaliers, a team that includes former Pioneer quarterback Christian Wilkinson.
Wilkinson led Warren County his junior year with 1,244 yards in the air with 105 completions. Wilkinson threw six touchdowns and one interception in his junior season. He tucked the ball away 113 times and scampered 402 yards rushing.
The Herald Citizen reports Wilkinson has thrown a touchdown in both games so far and rushed for one touchdown this season.
The Cavaliers also use another quarterback, Matt Collins who rushed 114 yards for Cookeville last week versus Livingston Academy.
In the first two games in the 2015 season, Cookeville senior running back Vic Johnson has accumulated 523 yards with seven touchdowns. Johnson averages 11.3 yards per carry.
WCHS head coach Tom Moore admits Johnson is a good player but most of his yards have come on the same play -- a tailback power to the left side. Moore says Cookeville loves that play because no one has been able to stop it. Moore hopes the Pioneer defense can stop Johnson before he gets into the secondary.
Gabe Angel is a 6-foot-6 tight end who provides an extra-large target for Wilkinson. Angel has already committed to Ole Miss.
Cookeville runs a lot of formations but is not very complicated on offense with the schemes they run. If there is a weakness maybe it is on the defensive side of the ball. The Cookeville defense allowed a 300-yard passer against Upperman and a 200-yard rusher against Livingston Academy.
Coach Moore reports Cookeville is not real flashy and has also been penalized well over 100 yards in just two games. Moore said the best defense for the Pioneers may be keeping their offense on the field for long drives and keeping the Cookeville offense on the sideline.
Warren County has hit the gas pedal early in each of its first two games, scoring on its opening drive in both games versus DeKalb County and Lebanon. Coach Moore attributes the success on opening drives to execution by his offense. Warren County has played a solid first half in both games versus DeKalb County and Lebanon.
In the second half versus Lebanon, the Pioneer defense got exposed on the perimeter and the Blue Devils exploited that weakness. The Pioneers also gave up a few costly third-down conversions with guys getting caught out of position.
Offensively, coach Moore thinks the Pioneers looked better and Warren County gained over 200 yards on the ground. Raleigh Woods and Jordan Bonner picked up big gains in the first half.
Warren County works on scripting its first 15 plays during the week. This strategy has paid off with two opening-drive TDs.
The game is set to kick off tonight at 7 p.m. in Cookeville.