The Stars shined bright at Nunley Stadium on Friday night. Unfortunately for the Pioneers, it was the Siegel Stars.
Siegel came into McMinnville without a win, but left with a convincing 44-14 victory over Warren County. The game leaves both teams 1-8 heading into the final week of the season.
WCHS assistant coach David Upton said during the game, “This is the best 0-8 team I’ve ever seen.”
The Stars outshined the Pioneers in both rushing and passing. The Pioneers gained 245 total yards, while the Stars piled up 379 total yards.
Warren County’s run game was led for the second straight week by QB Isaiah Grayson, who tucked the ball away 10 times for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Rickie King had a hard time finding holes in the extremely large Siegel defensive line. King took it at the heart of the defense 21 times for 49 yards.
In receiving, Rickie King caught one pass for 22 yards, with many of those yards after the catch. The Stars defense closed in quickly and McCall Turner caught 1-of-2 passes for 13 yards.
Grayson was allowed to air the ball out versus Siegel and he was 9-of-13 passing for 85 yards. Tyree Ladet, who was Grayson’s go-to receiver last week versus Coffee County, was limited to one catch this week for a 6-yard gain.
Lorenzo Wilson caught two passes for 18 yards in the final scoring drive late in the game for Warren County.
The previously 0-8 Stars set the tone early and their defense held Warren County to a three-and-out and the Pioneers were forced to punt from their own 28-yard line. Evan Reynolds shanked his first punt of the night and the Stars offense took over just five yards from the line of scrimmage.
Siegel RB Deontae Newsome got five touches in the short seven-play drive that ended with a touchdown romp from 1-yard out and Siegel added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Yardage was hard to get against the much larger and quicker defense for the Stars. Warren County moved the chains on the next series but was forced to punt the ball after a fourth-and-1.
Siegel was on the move again that started with a 56-yard foot-race by Newsome that ended at the Pioneer 24-yard line. The Stars threatened to score again but Rodney Murray coughed it up inside the 10-yard line and Warren County recovered just as the first quarter came to a close.
Warren County faced a third-and-7 from its own 6-yard line. Grayson took the snap and rolled to his left when a shooting Star shot through the offensive line unseen by Grayson and dropped him in the endzone for a safety. The Stars led 9-0 just minutes into the second quarter.
The Stars continues to shoot down the field from one side to the other as they bounced off would-be Pioneer tacklers. Siegel coughed up the ball again with just over 4:00 to play in the first half. Warren County took over at the Siegel 20-yard line. A 12-yard pass to Logan Dyer kept the chains moving in the right direction for Warren County.
The Pioneers faced a fourth-and-2 with 1:25 to play in the half. Grayson took the snap and ran to his right away from his bench. Grayson got outside and turned the corner. A few Stars got close but Grayson raced down the sidelines for a 57-yard touchdown just before the half. Jakob Morin added the extra point and Warren County trailed 23-7.
The Stars took the short kickoff at the 45-yard line. Then a 29-yard pass to Todd Merryman put the Stars on the 16-yard line with a first down. Newsome took the snap and scampered through the defense and was met near the goal line by Justin Bennett. Newsome lowered his shoulder on Bennett and the result was a 16-yard touchdown run. Siegel went into the half with a 30-7 lead.
The Stars continued to shine in the second half. The third quarter Siegel had slowed the pace slightly but maintained the lead at 44-7.
On Warren County’s last possession with nothing to lose, the Pioneers pulled out all the stops on a last-ditch effort to put the ball into the endzone. King caught a screen pass from Grayson and rumbled down field for a 22-yard gain to move the chains.
Wilson made his second grab for a 13-yard gain and another Pioneer first down. The deeper Warren County got into Siegel territory the tighter the defense closed in. The Stars defense felt the pressure and made a couple of costly mistakes that drew flags and moved the Pioneers inside the 10 with first-and-goal.
The drive was capped by King who got outside just enough to slip past the right-side corner on a 4-yard touchdown carry just before time expired. Morin added the extra point and the Stars led 44-14.
A scary moment on the Siegel sideline as the final touchdown was made was when defensive back Baylor Bramble collapsed after removing his helmet and required immediate medical attention. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt where he had emergency surgery.
It was all Siegel on Friday night and the Pioneers could not contain the shooting Stars. Siegel defeated Warren County for its first win of the season.
The final Pioneer home game will be senior night this Friday, Oct. 30 versus Blackman with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.