One team will turn its football season around tonight in Sparta when Warren County High School goes on the road to face White County in district play.
Both teams have been traveling similar paths this year by winning their season-opener and then dropping their next three games. Last week, they both had heart-breaking losses with the Pioneers falling to Coffee County in overtime and White County allowing DeKalb County to rally for a 27-22 win.
“We had the lead with two minutes to go,” said White County head coach Mattan Houser. “Then we let them go 80 yards in 1:46 to win the game. A lot of that is because both of our starting cornerbacks were out. We’re a young team and we’ve been hit by injuries.”
Coach Houser said he is not optimistic his injured starting CBs, Josh Rowan and Perry Clayton, will be on the field Friday night. If that’s the case, it could be promising news for Pioneer quarterback Christian Wilkinson and receivers Malik Ladet, Ethan Fliss, and Adrian Lusk.
Wilkinson is coming off a 10-for-20 performance against Coffee County where he threw for 139 yards and a TD. Wilkinson rushed for a TD to go along with two running TDs from Rickie King.
The Pioneers will be looking to get back on track after starting the year strong with a 34-30 win over DeKalb County. Since then, Warren County has dropped competitive games to Shelbyville and Coffee County, and been shut out by Cookeville.
White County is in the same proverbial boat. After winning their opener against York, the Warriors lost to Livingston Academy and Rhea County before allowing DeKalb County to come back in the final minutes last week.
“We’re still looking for good things to happen, but right now we need to build some confidence more than anything,” said coach Houser. “We started with a win, then we played two really good football teams and that hurt our confidence.”
Houser identified his offensive line and running backs as the strength of his team.
The winner will move to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the district. The loser will fall to 0-2 in district play.
Tonight is homecoming for White County. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.