Pioneers ready to roll after bye week
The Pioneers will be back in action Friday night when Coach Matt Turner leads Squad 54 into Bedford County to face off with the Shelbyville Golden Eagles. It will be a must-win game for the Pioneers if they want to make the playoffs for the third straight year.
Warren County is coming off a much needed bye week and is sitting at 1-6 (0-2 in region play). The Pioneers decided to use the break to get away from the grind and, hopefully, come back fully recharged and ready to go.
“We Just let the guys get away for a few days," said Turner, who is 2-0 in his tenure following the by week (the team didn't have a bye in 2021 due to rescheduling following COVID cancellations." “At this point in the year, we have our system in place so it was good for the team to get away."
Defensive coordinator Camron Bond also thought about the bye week may have come at a perfect time for the Pioneers. “I think the bye week was good for everyone," said Bond. “Our guys have had a lot of tough losses this season in a lot of close games. It was good for them to clear their heads and recharge.”
The Golden Eagles sit at the bottom of the region with a 0-7 record but the bad record doesn’t define this Shelbyville team. Just ask the Pioneer coaching staff.
“They got athletes all over the field,'' said Turner, who knows the game will be a 4 quarter dog fight. “They are a well coached team. Coach (Jud) Drden is a defensive guy who will have his guys prepared for a hard fought game.”
Turner and Dryden are really familiar with each other as they both coached the Pioneers under Gerald Tidwell back in the mid 2000s. Dryden may be a defensive guy, but his team features a balanced attack offensively - one that will certainly be a test on Bond and his unit defensively.
“Shelbyville has some good athletes at the skill position who bring quality speed and athleticism to the table, '' said Bond. “Their QB (Jake Preston) seems to know where he wants the ball to go and does a good job of it. Offensively, they are multiple in what they do. We will have our hands full Friday night trying to get off the field against their balanced attack.”
Preston had a big game last week against Hendersonville where he threw for 298 yards on 12-of-28 passing and two touchdowns. His favorite target seems to be junior Miciah Threatt, who caught seven passes 181 yards and one touchdown last week.
In the backfield, the Golden Eagles have a two-back attack with sophomore Rocky Chandler and Freshman Robert Lentz. Chandler made the most of his four carries last week, totaling 96 yards and two touchdowns. Lentz added 77 more yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
The Pioneer offense has shown some good improvements the last couple games but offensive coordinator Donnie Harris is not letting his unit get ahead of themselves “We have to pay attention to the little things," said Harris. “Coach Turner always stresses Step A and doing the first things first. Whether it's lining up right, taking the right steps, securing the ball, or whatever, if you take care of the little things, the big things will be taken care of.”
The Pioneer front has to be ready for a battle in the trenches because the Golden Eagles are going to bring it. “Shelbyville is aggressive," said Harris, who knows his unit has to be ready for everything. “Their D-line and linebackers get off the ball and play downhill. We have to stay disciplined and execute our assignments.”
Squad 54 is looking to start the final stretch off right Friday night in Shelbyville so if you can’t make the trip, be sure to follow along with us on Twitter @The_WCSA, and on Facebook Live. Our reporters from the sidelines this week are thanks to this week's game sponsor, Adam Wood of Farm Bureau Insurance. Be sure to give him a call for all your insurance needs.