With weather not too hot, a little breezy and with no rain in sight, there were perfect football conditions Saturday afternoon as the undefeated Warren County Middle School Pioneer football team played host to Tullahoma’s Wildcats at Nunley Stadium.
It was fitting, as the Pioneers capped off their perfect season with a 26-12 win, becoming CTC champions in the process.
“I’m so proud of this team,” said Warren County Middle School football head coach Donnie Harris. “We came out strong early but Tullahoma challenged. Everyone showed up and the team worked extremely hard and it shows.”
The WCMS defense shut down the Wildcats' initial drive, holding them to a three and out. The Wildcats had no such luck in the early going as Pioneer C.J. Taylor found the 1-yard line after two huge gains. He went for the extra yard on the next play. A two-point conversion by a Ryland Holder make it 8-0 in favor of the Pioneers.
Tullahoma’s second possession was over as quickly as the first with the Pioneer defense working like a steel trap, as WCMS Braden Bottoms pushed the Wildcat runner to a loss. Tullahoma tried to fool the defense on fourth and two with a lateral which ended with no gain.
Switching sides at the end of the quarter, after getting off one play on a new set of downs, the Pioneers again made short work of the Wildcat defense as Pioneer Tyler Taylor scrambled for a 46-yard TD rush, making the score 14-0 in the second quarter.
Striking while the iron was hot, Pioneer defenseman Kaden Jordan ended the next Tullahoma drive by recovering a fumble. The recovery set up WCMS for their third score. The Pioneers went on a 60-yard drive, capping it off with a 5-yard jaunt by Taylor. One more possession by the Wildcats ended the half in favor of the Pioneers who went to the locker room with a 20-0 advantage
In second-half play, the Wildcats showed some signs of life as Tullahoma’s Jakobe Thomas made a huge 45-yard TD run. That was followed by an onside kick recovery by the Wildcats which later allowed Tullahoma QB Kyler Parker to find Wildcat Dakota Waggoner in the end zone. The quick strikes by the Wildcats left the score at 20-12 with 3:25 left in the third.
But the third quarter is where it would end for the Wildcats as Warren County controlled time of possession in the fourth quarter, moving 60 yards downfield in a time-consuming drive that was capped by a 5-yard run for Xander Lee with just two minutes left in the game. The touchdown proved to be the final score as the Pioneers took the CTC Bowl, 26-12.
It was a standout day for the Warren County Middle School team as they rushed for 438 yards.
Awards were given after the game presented to coach Harris for the team and individual all-conference honors going to five Warren County Pioneers: C.J. Taylor, Kaden Jordan, Braden Bottoms, Omar Ornelas and Kason Holder.