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Security Federal Athlete of the Week: Sept. 12-18

Partnering with Security Federal, the Warren County Sports Authority will honor a standout local athlete each week. The WCSA and the Friendliest Bank in Town love seeing great athletic achievement and there are plenty to pick from every week in Warren County. From winter to summer, spring to fall, and on courts, fields, diamonds, dance floors and anywhere else an athlete can succeed, Security Federal and the Sports Authority are going to be on the lookout for the best of the best!

Nate Elrod, Pioneer junior QB

It hasn't taken Nate Elrod long to establish himself as the undisputed leader of the Pioneer offense. In just his second game as a starter, Elrod scored all three of his team's touchdowns (including a defensive score) to push the Pioneers past Cookeville 21-14. It was the first win on the road against the Cavaliers for Warren County since 1987, which was still six years before Nate's dad, Darek Elrod, was the signal caller for the Pioneers.

Coach Matt Turner and offensive coordinator Donnie Harris didn't take long to warm up to the idea of replacing 2020 Mr. Football winner CJ Taylor with Elrod. If anything, it's become obvious they're letting him roll with no restrictions.

"Just watch the game - you can see how much we trust Nate. We're giving him control and calling his number," said Turner after Friday's win.

Elrod got a good push from the Pioneer line and his tailback and good friend Braylon Grayson on a one-yard sneak that tied Friday's game just before halftime. It felt like it would stay 7-7 going into the break after his score with 22.3 seconds left, but he made another house call three plays later.

On the final play of the half, Tay Miller and Hunter Pezzimenti combined to strip Cookeville RB Evan Whited at midfield. Elrod was at the perfect spot, grabbing the ball as it hit the turf and never slowing down on the way to the endzone.

He added another scoring run, from six yards out, in the third quarter. His lone passing score came on the ensuing two-point conversion, hitting Jaythan Pleasant on a quick pass off play action to give Warren County a 21-7 lead.

Elrod was huge in keeping the Pioneers with the ball for over 32 minutes Friday. He had sneaks to convert fourth downs, connected with Grayson on a 17-yard pass to convert a third-and-long and sealed the game on a 15-yard naked boot leg in the fourth.

Through two games, Elrod has already accounted for 148 yards of offense and four touchdowns.

Pioneer fans can get another look at Elrod and the Warren County High School football team this Friday when the group travels to play Siegel.

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