Warren County couldn’t earn its first playoff win since 1983 Friday night in Mt. Juliet.
Pioneer quarterback C.J. Taylor rushed for 196 yards and two TDs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome three first-half turnovers.
Mt. Juliet scored the winning touchdown with :17 left to earn a 17-13 win over Warren County and end an otherwise magical season for the Pioneers. Warren County finishes the year 8-3, its best record in three decades.
It was a 3-0 game at the half, thanks largely to three Warren County turnovers -- two fumbles and one interception.
Mt. Juliet stalled on its opening possession of the second half, but used a fake punt to extend the drive and score a TD to build a 10-0 lead.
Warren County answered with an eight-play drive that was capped by a C.J. 12-yard touchdown to make it a 10-7 game with 1:32 left in the third.
Mt. Juliet put together a 16-play drive that consumed a large portion of the fourth quarter and ended in no points when the Golden Bears tried a fake FG.
On the play, the Mt. Juliet field goal holder threw a pass to the kicker, but Pioneer Dante Elam was in position to make the tackle and keep the Golden Bears out of the endzone.
On the next possession, C.J. gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game when he rambled up the middle for a 74-yard TD with 4:25 to play. Warren County missed the extra point and it was 13-10.
It looked like the Pioneer defense might hold Mt. Juliet, but the Pioneers were flagged for offsides on a fourth-and-2 play to give Mt. Juliet a first down.
Warren County then had a facemask penalty to give Mt. Juliet first-and-goal from the 6.
It wasn’t easy, but Mt. Juliet eventually found the endzone from 1-yard out on a jet sweep to win the game, 17-13.
After a squib kick, the Pioneers gained possession with :10 left and there was nothing that could be done.