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Pioneers looking for road win
Kason Holder 1.jpg
Kason Holder, left, was an unsung hero in last week's 36-35 victory, hauling in a 32-yard pass on third-and-14 to set up the thrilling finish. Holder and the Pioneer receivers will be tasked with making plays against a fundamentally sound Wildcat secondary - photo by Jeffery Simmons
Lawrence County - Hojo Photo.jpg
Photo courtesy of Hojo Photo Lawrence County has been at its best when it gets going on the ground. The Pioneers will have to focus on Kase Tucker, left, and QB Alex Carr. Carr had over 100 yards rushing in the team's big win over Loretto.
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Jay Rozier will look to bulldoze the Wildcats Friday when Warren County goes on the road.

It may be the 51st year of Warren County football, but there are plenty of firsts still occurring.

For the third time in three weeks, the Pioneers will face an opponent for the first time. Warren County is set to go on the road Friday to play the Lawrence County Wildcats. 

New coach Matt Turner has tried two different approaches while facing a first-time opponents. He’ll use the one that produced the program’s first victory over a Rutherford County school in 22 years last week. 

“We focused (our preparation) on Cannon County, even if the result of the game didn’t reflect it. It got us away from focusing on us and doing our job. We got back to that last week and we will keep the same concept this week,” said Turner, who saw his team pick up a 36-35 region win over Rockvale last Friday.

The town has been buzzing since Warren County took down the Rockets in thrilling fashion last week. Add in fair week and a long road trip (110 miles separate the schools) this week and Turner is trying to make sure his Pioneers are focused on things they can control.

“We knew coming into this week there would be some challenges. Then we’ve had some really hot days before lightning knocked out power at the school before our Wednesday practice,” said Turner. “It’s been good to deal with that adversity now.

“We’ve talked as a staff and to the players about how Warren County has this theme where we win a big game, then get content. There’s been some friendly reminders of how this team could be 3-0. We had heart-to-hearts about the effort in Cannon County and not overlooking teams. The guys are trying to prove to the community this team should be taken seriously.”

Lawrence County, like Warren County, has won two of its first three games. The Wildcats beat Hickman County 33-26 and Loretto 28-3 before falling to Maplewood 38-6 last week. The Wildcats like to lean on athletic QB Alex Carr while playing fast and physical in the trenches.

“They have good athletes – their quarterback is good,” said Turner. “They like to play downhill and are aggressive up front. Defensively, their secondary is fundamentally sound. They’re a good looking team.”

Warren County is coming off its best offensive showing, especially on the ground. Penalties and continuity issues hampered the team’s offense through two weeks, but the Pioneers pounded the Rockets for 339 yards on the ground.

CJ Taylor currently leads the Pioneers in rushing with 307 yards and four touchdowns. Ryland Holder, mostly used defensively this year, could be used more on offense this week.

Lacedrick ‘Red’ Cox has made the most of his limited touches this year, averaging 17.1 yards per touch. Cox, who also has three interceptions and a fumble recovery for a touchdown, has scored on three of his nine offensive touches.

Turner gives his team an overall clean bill of health going into Friday’s game. The Pioneers will once again be without LB Elijah Fults, who is dealing with a foot injury suffered in preseason. Linebacker Carter Mansfield, who sat out last week while dealing with a shoulder injury suffered in the spring, should be back in uniform this Friday.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Follow @sstandardsports on Twitter for live updates.