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Final game of the season awaits

The Pioneers have one more game this season. Squad 54 will travel to Lebanon to take on the Blue Devils. Warren County is sitting at the bottom of region 3-6A with a 1-8 record and winless in the region. Lebanon, however, is sitting firmly in second behind the Coffee County Red Raiders with a 7-2 record overall and 2-1 in region play.

The Pioneers are coming off a loss on senior night to Franklin County 41-21, while the Blue Devils have won four weeks in a row after beating Gallatin 14-9 last Friday Night. Coach Matt Turner knows the season didn’t go as planned but is not letting his guys think about that right now.

“I've told the guys to play in the moment and don’t waste the opportunity,'' said Turner, who just wants his seniors to go have fun. “This is the last time some of these will suit up and play football so we have nothing to lose. We can just pin our ears back and go play.”

The Blue Devils have playmakers all over the field, with coach Turner saying, “this is a damn good football team and they return a lot of big time players from last year.”

Led by quarterback Jaylon Abston and receiver Anthony Crowell, Lebanon will look to recreate last year's game where they beat Warren County 42-0 at Nunley Stadium. Abston threw for 212 yards and one touchdown last season when these two teams faced off while Crowell snagged three catches for 95 yards. Crowell also returned two punts for touchdowns.

Defensive Coordinator Camron Bond knows his team has been through a lot mentally and physically this season. He just wants the team to leave it all on the field Friday night. “My message has been to just go play the game the way it’s supposed to be played," said Bond. “Enjoy this last week of preparation with these seniors and one more chance to take the field with each other. You’ll never get it back so make the most of it."

Coach Bond knows his unit will have their hands full with all the playmakers this Blue Devil offense features. “The first thing that sticks out when seeing Lebanon on film is the speed they have," said Bond. “Up front they have a big unit that comes off the ball well and protects the QB. Their QB Jaylen Abston has an incredibly strong arm at the high school level and on top of that he’s very accurate. He also can beat people with his legs. He’s surrounded with speed on the outside. They look to get the ball in guys' hands like Anthony Crowell in a variety of ways and let them go make plays.”

The Pioneer offense is banged up at this point in the year, which is expected. The offensive line has big shoes to fill with Dayton Jernigan on the sidelines with a knee injury sustained last week. This gives coach Turner the opportunity to look to the future of his program and get some young guys reps.

“We are going to give some young pups an opportunity," said Turner. “The JV and freshman teams played a lot of games this year and at that level it's more about development than wins and losses. We have definitely looked at a lot of guys in practice this week, like Creed (Adams) now that he is out of his cast. He has seen some reps on offense.”

The Pioneer offense is coming off a game that saw the passing game pick up towards the end of the game. Alex van Vuuren is going to get more snaps in the backfield this week now that he has gotten a full week of practice after coming back mid week during an already short week last week. Van Vuuren threw a pair of touchdowns last week, including a 66-yarder in the final minute against Franklin County.

The Pioneers will look to play spoiler on the Blue Devils' senior night so come support Squad 54. if you can't make the trip, be sure to follow along on Twitter (@The_WCSA) and on Facebook Live. Our broadcast this week will be brought to you by Cory Prince of Prince HVAC.

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