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MOORE’S 4: Coffee County’s week off will be tested at Warren County

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Demarco Moore, Sports Writer

It’s been two weeks since the Red Raiders last saw game action — a 42-21 loss to Cookeville on Sept. 30 — as their bye week briefly paused a 1-6 (0-4 Class 6A Region-2) season thus far.

Coffee County now has Warren County awaiting them this Friday in a battle of one-win teams.

Here’s four things to watch as the Red Raiders take on the Pioneers:


Coffee County's Colton Prater (no. 18) throws a pass to Deaaron Rozier (no. 1) against Cookeville. (Staff photo by Demarco Moore)

Coffee County’s Colton Prater (no. 18) throws a pass to Deaaron Rozier (no. 1) against Cookeville. (Staff photo by Demarco Moore)

A bye week this late in the season is the best thing for Coffee County right now, whose head coach Ryan Sulkowksi said they would use to heal up, address the on-going issues on special teams, and move players around defensively in order to get the best out of the available talent.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of Red Raider team shows up in McMinville.

Crowded backfield

In the Sept. 30 game against Cookeville, the Red Raiders had the most productive day scheme-wise from a backfield that included Colton Prater at quarterback, and the combination of Alontae Taylor and Deaaron Rozier lined up at tailback.

Prater completed 9-of-12 passes (6 to Taylor). Rozier and Taylor totaled 202 yards on 43 carries (a 4.7 yards per carry average). Tyrese McGee — in his first game back from injury — even took a handoff 13 yards.

The point is, the look was something teams haven’t seen this season, and coming off a bye week, if Coffee County can build on the scheme that faired well against Cookeville, they should have similar success against Warren County.

Playoff warm-up

Thanks to the TSSAA’s realignment back in 2014, all 32 Class 6A teams are eligible for the playoffs regardless of record.  Coffee County falls under that “Super 32” category, and despite their start, they ‘ll finish their season at some point in the playoffs.

I’ve often times this season considered that a reason to throw out records in every game and play every week as a sort of tune-up game for the postseason.

Even though this will be the TSSAA’s final year implementing the short-lived rule, Coffee County needs to take advantage of it and experiment with any and everything that will maximize their talent on both sides of the football.

That includes their game against the Pioneers.

Easy win?

Look, Warren County’s record is no secret (1-6 overall; 0-4 Class 6A Region-2), and neither is the 46-7 blowout Coffee County handed out last season at Carden-Jarrell Field.

But the Red Raiders don’t have the depth or record to come into this game thinking it’ll be easy.

Coffee County SHOULD win this game, but the question is will they?

Can’t make the game?

You can stay up-to-date with the game by following the Manchester Times page on Facebook and on Twitter @ManchesterTimes.


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Who:  Coffee County Red Raiders (1-6) at Warren County Pioneers
When: Friday, Oct. 14
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Nunley Stadium, McMinville

Reach Demarco Moore at, and follow him on Twitter @iam__demo