After a grueling season in a powerful district, Warren County Pioneer football has reached its final regular-season game. The Pioneers play host to the Blackman Blaze tonight at Nunley Stadium.
The Pioneers first and only win of the season was Oct. 9 versus the Sequatchie County Indians. The Pioneers head into Friday night’s game with an overall record of 1-8.
Blackman, on the other hand, is another one of the Murfreesboro powerhouse schools. The Blaze boast an overall record of 7-2, second only to the Oakland Patriots.
The only Blackman loss in the district came from Oakland by a 21-7 final score. Blackman dropped its first game of the season versus the Chalkville Cougars from Pinson, Ala., in the MTSU Classic.
Former Blaze assistant David Watson was named head coach this after Phillip Shadowens resigned to take the head coaching job at Blount County.
Blackman lost 10 starters from last season. Among them was QB Jauan Jennings who was named Mr. Football and also signed with Tennessee.
Senior Miller Armstrong has taken over at QB. The running game will focus mainly on senior Taelor Dowdy and sophomore Master Teague.
Coach Watson told WGNS News Radio, “We feel like the strength of our offense is our tailbacks. We feel like they’re as good as anyone in our league. Teague is a rising star with speed and power. Dowdy has great speed and our QB can run and is a dual-threat guy.”
Blackman has a high-powered offense and a defense equally as potent. On offense, look for Dowdy to get plenty of touches. The Daily News Journal reported Dowdy found the endzone four times against Coffee County last week as the Blaze burnt the Red Raiders, 42-20.
Dowdy was off to the races on the very first play of the game. He returned the Coffee County kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown.
The Blackman defense played a huge role in keeping possession of the ball. Three of Coffee County’s first five possessions resulted in three-and-outs and the Blaze defense did not allow the Red Raiders to cross midfield until the second half.
The dominant Blaze defensive line is composed of seniors Angelo Derrick, Korey Tillman, Justin Brown, Trey Johnson, and Taylor Johnson. They are “the most violent line we have seen,” according to Pioneer coach Tom Moore.
Coach Moore went on to say Blackman does not appear to have any weaknesses and has an excellent line. Blackman coach Watson was a line coach for many years prior to being named head coach.
Coach Moore said, “Our margin for error is small and we have to minimize our mistakes.”
Warren County gained 245 yards on the ground versus Siegel last Friday night. On the ground, Isaiah Grayson and Rickie King shared the load. Grayson raced down the sidelines for a 57-yard TD run in the second quarter. King pounded out some tough yards and was rewarded with a 4-yard TD scamper in the closing seconds.
Coach Moore reported on “The Coach Tom Moore Show,” King will carry the load again versus Blackman.
He is also excited about Grayson’s growth as a player this season and playing at a high level only being a sophomore.
Tonight’s final home game is senior night for Warren County. Coach Moore knows the seniors have had three coaches over the last four years and he credits them for sticking with it. He also said other coaches have complimented their hard work for not giving up in such a tough district. Coach Moore said, “There is a lot of merit in that.”
Tonight’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Nunley Stadium.