Walker defense rises to occasion
by Jeff Dickinson
MDJ Sports Correspondent
September 21, 2013 02:19 AM | 1772 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker defensive lineman Josh Reini tackles Mount Zion-Carroll ball carrier Matt Turner during the Wolverines’ 7-3 victory Friday.
Walker defensive lineman Josh Reini tackles Mount Zion-Carroll ball carrier Matt Turner during the Wolverines’ 7-3 victory Friday.
CARROLLTON — Normally, playing a lot of sophomores on your high school football team isn’t a good thing. Inexperienced players can often cause a team to make too many mistakes.

However, Walker coach John East has no choice this season.

With his team clinging to a 7-3 lead against host Mount Zion-Carroll late in Friday’s game, East asked his young team to play like an experienced group. Twice in the last 5 minutes the Wolverines kept Mount Zion from scoring inside the 20-yard line to hold on for the 7-3 victory.

East said he was proud of his young team, which improved to 3-1 on the season.

“We graduated a lot of key offensive players last year,” East said. “We had to play a bunch of sophomores tonight and our defense came up big. The turnovers really hurt us, but we were able to stop them when it counted.”

The Eagles drove 74 yards spanning almost 6 minutes in the fourth quarter and faced a fourth-and-goal from the Walker 6. Quarterback T.J. Garrett scored what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown, but the Eagles were penalized for holding.

On the next play, the Walker defense held and took over on downs.

Two plays later, though, the Wolverines fumbled the football and gave Mount Zion another chance. After taking over at the Walker 23, the Eagles had a first down at the 12, but the Wolverines defense held again and preserved the victory.

After trailing 3-0 at halftime, Walker took the lead with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Kevin Bray and the extra point by Jack Johnson. Prior to that score, the Wolverines’ offense had been shut down by the Eagles (1-2).

Walker was held to a total of 41 yards of offense in the first half. Then, after the Eagles took over late in the third quarter at their own 20, Connor Coolbroth recovered a fumble at the Eagles 34.

Eight plays later, Bray scored what would be the game-winning touchdown.

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