Staying undefeated, Warren County Middle School (4-0) won a tight football game on the road Tuesday night as the Pioneers defeated a tough Harris Middle School Golden Eagle squad, 16-12.
The game was viewed as the biggest test thus far for the physical and talented Pioneers and they didn’t disappoint, handing Harris its first loss.
“Their quarterback is the real deal,” said Pioneer head coach Donnie Harris. “We were fortunate to contain him enough to be able to control the clock.”
Both teams scored two TDs. The difference was the Pioneers made both their two-point conversions while they stuffed Harris on both of its two-point attemps.
Implementing the running game early with Ryland Holder and C.J. Taylor, the Pioneers gained 34 yards in nine plays before coming up short on a fourth-down attempt.
Eight plays and 68 yards later, Harris Middle lit up the scoreboard first when Golden Eagle running back Demarcus Smalls crossed the goal line. A subsequent 2-point conversion was no good leaving the Eagles ahead, 6-0.
Finding themselves in the unusual spot of playing from behind, the Pioneers responded. Warren County answered when C.J. Taylor scrambled into the end zone to cap a seven-play, 60-yard drive which included a 26-yard pass from Ryland Holder to Kason Holder.
The TD was followed by a successful two-point conversion to give the Pioneers the lead, 8-6.
The score would remain 8-6 at the half.
The Golden Eagles came back strong, but Kason Holder was there for a key interception for Warren County. Holder was then instrumental in converting fourth downs until a turnover ended the Pioneer drive.
Harris turned the ball over on first down when Pioneer Kaden Jordan picked off an errant pass.
Three plays and 11 yards later the Pioneers added eight more points after another Taylor touchdown and Kason Holder conversion.
A Warren County fumble helped the Golden Eagles reach the end zone one more time, but the Pioneers could breathe a sigh of relief after a failed two-point conversion by Harris led the Pioneers to run down the clock and take a knee.
The Pioneers return to action this Tuesday, Sept. 13, when they travel to Tullahoma. Game time is 6:30 p.m.