After opening the 2015 football season with a loss to DeKalb County at home by a final score of 23-14, the Pioneers are about to embark on a four-game road trip that starts tonight in Lebanon versus the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils are led by third-year head coach Sam Harp. The successful coach left the blue-grass in Kentucky and greener pastures led him to Lebanon. The Blue Devils have endured their share of growing pains and last season the team went 0-10, the first winless season since 1979.
The Blue Devils found a way to score in every game in their winless season except one. Lebanon was blanked by the Gallatin Green Wave 35-0. The Blue Devil team is in very similar circumstances as the Pioneers.
Coach Harp reported he has a very young team with very few seniors. He will play a young group loaded with sophomores and even a freshman running back. Lebanon is not loaded with talent but the team works hard, Harp says, and hopes that work will beat talented kids who don’t work as hard.
After several coaching changes since last season, the Lebanon coach now has a full staff and the team is ready to compete.
The Lebanon Democrat reports Jarren Stewart went down last season with an injury to his ACL mid-season. Stewart, a senior, is back and he not only lines up under center, he can also line up out wide as a receiver or in the backfield.
In Stewart’s absence, Jackson Gray finished last season in the quarterback position and will be the regular there while Stewart moves all over to make best use of his athleticism. Stewart will also play defense at cornerback and safety.
Joining Gray and Stewart behind the offensive line will be senior Raheem Reynolds. He brings a tremendous amount of experience and speed to the backfield. A pair of juniors, Brett Hutto and D’Anthony Harris, each bring something unique to the offense. Rounding out the backfield is an explosive freshman running back, Xavier Mills.
A pair of senior receivers stand ready at the corners but offer no height advantage on the outside. But a solid pair of tight ends tip the scales at just over 200 pounds and each stands over 6-feet tall.
The front line is more settled and a pair of seniors and a pair of juniors will try and provide blocking.
A lot of the same obstacles face both these teams. Youth being the dominant concern for both programs. Warren County will have to find a handle tonight, and keep it. The Pioneers were fortunate in their opener against DeKalb County to recover a couple of their fumbles.
After talking with coach Moore after the JV game Monday, he was very excited after the first series of downs led Warren County to the endzone on its opening drive. Coach Moore said the amount of support from the fans was overwhelming and he is excited for his team.
Lorenzo Wilson will continue to put in work from the backfield and rely heavily on his offensive line for blocking and opening up running lanes.
Coach Moore also explained the mistakes after the first series of downs contributed to the loss. Even though Isaiah Grayson is a young quarterback and is very athletic, he still needs time to throw and the pass protection just wasn’t there throughout the game. Grayson also won’t be expected to play as much defense, Moore said, in order to keep him fresh at QB.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Lebanon.