If the Warren County Middle School football team wants to defend its conference championship this season, it will need to continue to take steps like it did on Thursday night.
The Pioneers welcomed in Cannon County to the Warren County Middle School practice field and proceeded to whip the Lions in an hour-long scrimmage.
Warren County scored three times early in the scrimmage and held the Lions out of the endzone until the final possession.
Coach Greg Cotten, who in three years at WCMS has taken the program from a winless season to a Central Tennessee Conference championship, was pleased with the performance of his team Thursday.
“I thought the scrimmage was a success,” said Cotten. “We identified our strengths and know what we need to work on. We have a lot of room to improve.”
Ricky King got the scrimmage started off the right way for the Pioneers when he broke a 50-yard touchdown run on the sixth play.
King would go on to score again as Warren County was able to establish the running game against the Lions. Izzy McDonnell, another talented running back, also scored on the ground as the Pioneers racked up three rushing touchdowns.
Though coach Cotten has made it clear the running game is a top priority, especially with the talents of King, McDonnell and Darius Wright in the backfield, eighth-grade starting quarterback Christian Wilkinson can also make plays through the air.
Wilkinson connected on a number of short routes and enjoyed plenty of time to throw as his offensive line provided quality protection.
Coach Cotten noticed the hard work of his running backs and QB during the scrimmage.
“Our running backs ran the ball hard,” said Cotten. “We also got some big plays from Christian in the passing game.”
Though the Pioneers look capable of piling up points this season, coach Cotten still hangs his hat on defense. Warren County kept Cannon County at bay nearly the whole scrimmage, aside from a long touchdown late.
Coach Cotten was impressed by the play of his defense.
“I thought the defense played really well,” said Cotten. “We tackled well and only gave up one big play.”
The Pioneers traveled to Smith County yesterday for another scrimmage. Details weren’t available at press time.
Warren County will be on display this Saturday during the Boys to Men playday held at Nunley Stadium. Local youth teams will also play, while WCMS and WCHS will have intersquad scrimmages.