WCHS quarterback Nate Elrod rushed for two TDs and picked up a fumble and rambled over 50 yards for another score as the Pioneers earned a 21-14 win Friday night in Cookeville.
The victory evens Warren County's record at 1-1 and drops Cookeville to 1-4.
It's the first region victory for the Pioneers this season and their first football win in Cookeville since the 1987 season when coach Rick Barnes guided Warren County to a 30-29 win.
The turning point in the game came in the final minutes of the opening half. Warren County punted from the Cookeville 41-yard line and the ball glanced off a Cavalier player. It was recovered by Pioneer Tae Miller and run in for a TD, but muffed punts can't be advanced by rule so Warren County took over on the 13.
Five plays later, Elrod bulled his way into the endzone on a quarterback sneak from 1-yard out and the game was tied 7-7 with :22 to go before halftime.
Cookeville could have taken a knee and gone into the half with the score tied. Instead the Cavs opted to pass and Pioneer Kaden Rutledge almost stepped in front of the ball for an interception in the flat. If that wasn't enough of a warning of what could go wrong, the Cavs opted to run another play and the ball was jarred loose from the RB.
The ball bounced into the arms of Elrod who scooped it up in stride and danced into the endzone for a defensive touchdown as the first half expired. You can catch the play on video on the Standard's Facebook page at the 8:05 mark of this clip ... www.facebook.com/southernstandard.newspaper/videos/358216342696539
Elrod would score the Pioneers third and final TD with 3:39 left in the third on a 6-yard run around left end.
Pioneer RB Eli Cantrell was bruising up the middle and wingback Jaythan Pleasant provided explosiveness on the perimeter.
For stats and a complete rundown, be sure to catch Sunday's edition of the Southern Standard.