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Ready for Raiders
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Homecoming is a night of celebration for past Pioneers making the trip back to McMinnville, but the current Warren County High School football team is hoping it has something to cheer about after tonight’s game against Moore County.
Warren County (1-4) will play host to the Raiders, who lead District 9-A with a 5-0 record, at 7 p.m. tonight at Nunley Stadium.
On paper, the game looks like a mismatch that doesn’t favor the Pioneers. Warren County has lost its last two games, and four of five overall, while the Raiders come to town undefeated.
The Pioneers have struggled defensively, allowing 39.8 points per game, while the Raiders average 40.6 points per game with an offense led by all-everything quarterback J.P. Evans.
Even the Warren County offense, which has shown signs of improvement this season, only averages 14 points per game. Finding ways to exploit the Raider defense that allows 17 points per game is a key point for Pioneer coach Tommy Johnson.
Getting a valuable piece of the offense back could help.
Junior quarterback Hunter Mullican is expected to make his return after sitting out most of the first five games due to a concussion he sustained in the first quarter against DeKalb County.
Mullican should split snaps with Lee Carden as the duo will try to lead the Pioneer offense to a big night of scoring. Lots of points will be important as the Pioneers could have trouble containing Evans and the Moore County offense.
In the last two weeks, Moore County has scored 99 points in lopsided home victories over East Roberson and Middle Tennessee Christian School. Unless Evans misses the bus to Warren County, the Raiders should have the ability to score against the Pioneers.
Evans does a little bit of everything for the Raiders, including serving as the team’s kicker when Moore County lines up for field goals. Evans also can line up in situations at wide receiver, something he did against the Pioneers a season ago when Moore County defeated Warren County 31-27 in Lynchburg.
The Pioneers will also have to corral Matt Taggert and Dillon Davis, who will shift in and out of the Raider backfield.
Mullican’s return could help the Pioneer defense, which will see Carden back playing snaps at safety. Coach Johnson will be glad to have his top tackler back in the defensive backfield.
“Hunter will get some action and it helps us because Lee can move back and give us some help defensively,” said Johnson.
Mullican had a solid game a year ago against the Raiders as he threw for 186 yards and a touchdown. Mullican is well versed in the Pioneer offense and could make an immediate impact in his return.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and halftime festivities will include the selection of Homecoming King and Queen, as well as the results from the judging of the Homecoming floats.