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Pioneers by the numbers

If you know me, then you know I love numbers. At one point in college, my statistics professor said I should become a statistician professionally. I didn't - mostly because I never heard of anybody making money in that field (this was about 4-5 years before sports analytics and 'Moneyball' would become a national fad).

Instead, I became a sports reporter. And not much longer after that, I became an unpaid statistician anyway. I love keeping up with the stats for the Pioneers, along with elementary basketball, baseball, softball - really any sport locally.

Usually around this time in the fall, I would be crunching some numbers because individual stats were the only way to tell a nice story about the Pioneers. I know that sounds harsh, but it's just the reality of where the football program has been for decades.

This year though, the numbers are just a supplement to the biggest numbers of the season - 7-0. Warren County is undefeated in October - it's truly been a magical run!

Let's look at some of the numbers being thrown out around the program right now before we get back to the gridiron Friday at Coffee County.

1990 - This was the big one before the season. Not since 1990 had the Pioneers finished the season with a winning record. With seven straight wins, Warren County has snapped a 30-year streak of losing years.

1980 - While we're at it, it has been 40 years since the Pioneers started a season 7-0. Fittingly, Warren County honored the 1980 team at homecoming last week. On a special night that featured the most dominant defense in school history, the Pioneers shut out Cookeville 24-0.

Members of the 1980 Pioneers at homecoming.

15:27 - That's 15 minutes, 27 seconds -- the amount of time the Pioneers have trailed all season. Warren County has played 336 minutes of football this year, but the only time it was behind on the scoreboard was against Rockvale. The Rockets held a lead for most of the first half.

75 - Building on the last number, the Pioneers have trailed for just 75 seconds in the second half this season. That was from the 2:09 mark of the fourth quarter against Rockvale until :54 seconds to play when CJ Taylor hit Kason Holder on a long TD pass. Since then, the Pioneers have led for all 96 minutes in the second halves against Lawrence County, Blackman, Siegel and Cookeville.

1,889 - That's the total yards CJ Taylor has put up in just seven games. Taylor has proven to be one of the top rushers in the state, putting up 1,282 yards - including a monstrous 309 yards in the win over Blackman. We're going to keep saying it - Taylor isn't a contender for Mr. Football, he should be the frontrunner.

35 - Taylor now has 35 rushing TDs in his career - the second-most in school history. With 17 scores on the ground this year, Taylor jumped Josh Paz (19), Keith Martin (23), Curtis Lusk (27) and Caleb Northcutt (29) in the standings. Taylor probably isn't going to catch the top spot - Jeff Womack's 65 scores.

515 - Northcutt is second in school history in career rushing yards with 3,029 yards (Womack is first at an insane 6,450 yards). Taylor currently has 2,514 yards rushing, putting him 515 yards behind Northcutt's mark. With (at least) four more games to play, there's a good shot Taylor makes his move into second place all time in yards as well.

"I coached CJ when he was in eighth grade and he told me he was going to break all my records. I'm happy for him and I hope he does it," said Northcutt recently.

Taylor is currently fifth all time, also trailing Curtis Lusk (2,707 yards) and Jerry Lusk (2,916 yards).

2,106 - Warren County currently has 2,106 yards rushing this season, good for over 300 yards per game. The Pioneers are averaging 7.49 yards per carry and have scored 27 times on the ground. Everybody thought Warren County was awesome when it was rushing last season - the Pioneers have already eclipsed last year's 2,050 yards in 10 games in 2019.

8 - The amount of Pioneers who have scored on the ground this year. Taylor leads the way with 17, but he's not the only one with a nose for the endzone. Ryland Holder has three touchdowns, including the highlight of the year - his 26-yard TD against Cookeville. Bryson Elrod has scored twice on sneaks, while Xander Lee, Kason Holder, Hunter Burch, Eli Cantrell and Clay Thompson all have one TD rush.

9.21 - Braylon Grayson currently leads the team with a 9.21 yards per carry average on 19 carries. The sophomore is actually the only player on the team with more than 10 carries that hasn't scored this season on the ground. Of the runners with five or more carries, the lowest yards per carry average is Lee's 4.63 ypc. Every other Pioneer running back or wing averages at least five yards per touch.

0 - The amount of points Cookeville and Cannon County each scored at Nunley Stadium this year. Warren County had not recorded a shutout since 2014 before holding the Lions scoreless in the home opener in August. After going six years between shutouts, the Pioneers needed just two games to record another - completely dismantling Cookeville on homecoming.

Cookeville's all-region QB Stockton Owen couldn't get going against the Pioneers.

1 - Pioneer opponents average one point per game at Nunley Stadium this season. Warren County allowed a first-half FG against Lawrence County. And that's it.

109 - Warren County has outscored its opponents (Cannon County, Lawrence County and Cookeville) by 109 points at Nunley Stadium this year. The Pioneers beat the Lions 48-0, the Wildcats 40-3 and the Cavaliers 24-0.

16 - Warren County has dropped opposing quarterbacks 16 times this season. Bryson Elrod, who spent most of the fall battling for the QB position, has been awesome as a defensive end, leading the Pioneers with four sacks. Braden Bottoms, a new addition this offseason, also has four sacks, while Braylon Grayson has three - all coming against Cookeville. Kason Holder, Ryland Holder, CJ Taylor and Aaron Ashburn all have sacks too.

13 - The Pioneers are +13 in turnover margin this season. Warren County has intercepted seven passes this season, led by Clay Thompson's three picks. Warren County has also picked up 10 fumbles this fall.

On the flip side, Warren County has lost just four fumbles in seven games. The Pioneers haven't thrown an INT all year.

0-0 - Warren County's record this week according to coach Matt Turner. The Pioneers will get back to work Friday, Oct. 16 at Coffee County. The Red Raiders are 4-3 and have their most wins in a season in over a decade.

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