That’s how Walker coach John East described the Wolverines upcoming game against George Walton Academy tonight in the second round of the Class A private school state playoffs.
The Bulldogs (8-3) boast the largest offensive and defensive lines the Wolverines have faced yet. They get most of their offensive production from junior running back Stanley Williams, a four-star recruit who has already committed to Georgia. Williams came into the playoffs with more than 1,300 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns after battling through a number of injuries.
Williams will match up against the Wolverines’ Evan Kasian, who comes into the game needing 18 yards to reach the 2,000-yard mark. Kasian has also scored 27 touchdowns.
Like Walker, George Walton’s passing game is a distant second to its ground-based production.
“The big boys are coming,” East said. “Heavy-weight boxing matches, some people find them boring, but if you watch them, there is some finesse that you don’t necessarily see or understand if you don’t know the sport. That is how I see it (tonight). It’s a heavyweight boxing match.”
East certainly won’t be taking the Bulldogs lightly.
“I think they are a pretty season group of kids,” he said.
George Walton finished the regular season 7-3 but avenged one of its losses in the first round of the playoffs when it defeated Aquinas 38-12. The Bulldogs had suffered a 28-21 loss to the Fightin’ Irish in the second week of the season.
But the Wolverines are seasoned, too. Scoring nearly five touchdowns per game and holding opponents to an average of 8.3 points per game, Walker has been a force on the field. The defense has never allowed more than 14 points in a game, while the offense has never been held to fewer than 20.
The Wolverines, who have won as many games this season as in the last four combined, are paving a new path for Walker football. But East said it doesn’t just start and end with the varsity program.
He has seen a lot of growth in the JV program and in the middle school ranks as well. The JV team finished 5-1 and the eighth-grade team won the final four games of its season.
The first-year Wolverines coach feels he is succeeding in not just building a team, but building a program.
East said the players haven’t had trouble focusing, even as their stature has grown week-by-week. They have found ways to continue to improve, instead of becoming complacent.
“I don’t feel like this team thinks that have done good enough,” said East. “They want to keep going. Our motto for the whole year has been ‘win the next game,’ and I think they have been in line with that. It doesn’t matter that we are 11-0. It doesn’t matter a bit. It just means we have a game Friday and we need to come out and try to score more points than the other team. I think they want it.”