The WCHS football team will be looking to get over the .500 mark tonight at Nunley Stadium as it plays host to district rival the Cookeville Cavaliers.
The Pioneers will be looking for revenge after the Cavaliers 42-14 victory last year in Cookeville.
“Cookeville is very sound on both sides of the ball,” said Pioneer head coach Tom Moore. “They will not beat themselves. Offensively they are very creative and diverse. We will need to make sure we align correctly versus the huge number of formations from which they run their offense.”
Moore added, “No one has scored on them in their first two games. Cookeville’s linebackers are difficult to block and make most of the tackles. Our formula for success offensively, not just this week but each and every week, is to be able to execute in the passing game. If we can throw the ball effectively, we will have a good night on offense.”
A successful passing offense is not just the quarterback, according to Moore.
“Our QB (Isaiah Grayson) is a playmaker, but it is everyone - quarterback, receivers, O-line and running backs all executing together. It is also about effective design and timing. This is challenging against good teams,” said Moore.
Moore concluded, “We have some pieces to have a successful offense. We must be able to execute versus Cookeville to move the football. Cookeville also is excellent on special teams, particularly in their return game, as they have already returned two kicks for touchdowns.”
Look for McCall Turner to make some plays at the receiver position for the Pioneers, along with Trevor Collins.
Raleigh Woods will looks to continue his impressive start to the season, where he is averaging 130 yards on the ground behind a stout offensive line.
Some of the playmakers for the Cavaliers include running back Blake Ashburn, who had 61 yards on seven carries last year against the Pioneers.
Ashburn is the second leading rusher on the team with 133 yards on 22 attempts and four rushing TDs. He averages six yards per carry and 66.5 yards per game.
Starting quarterback Cade Smith is another player the Pioneers need to watch. Smith is the Cavaliers leading rusher with 197 yards on 15 carries with the long being a 79-yard TD run in the season opener against Upperman. He also has one rushing touchdown.
Smith is 11-for-20 through the air with 183 yards and two passing TDs. The Pioneers will also need to look out for wide receiver Jarquzes Hicks.
Hicks is by far the leader in all-purpose yards as he is the Cavaliers primary returner.
Hicks has 25 rushing yards, 51 receiving yards, and 130 punt return yards for a total of 206 all-purpose yards. He put up two receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown against the Pioneers last year .
The Pioneers will kick off against the Cavaliers tonight at 7 p.m. at Nunley Stadium.
GAMES OF INTEREST
Hendersonville at Cane Ridge 7 p.m.
Blackman at Riverdale 7 p.m.
Ensworth at Baylor 7 p.m.
Franklin at Overton 7 p.m.
Spring Hill at Page 7 p.m.
Brentwood Academy at Pope John Paul II 7 p.m.
Ravenwood at Mt. Juliet 7 p.m.
Stratford at East Nashville 7 p.m.
CPA at White House Heritage 7 p.m.
Maplewood at Springfield 7 p.m.