DELHI — Win No. 296 of Jim Hoover’s 38-year tenure on Walton’s sidelines came with a twist.
That’s because for perhaps the first time, Section Four’s winningest coach watched his team pile up more passing yards than rushing yards.
Trevor Zandt completed 7 of 15 passes for 243 yards, including three for long touchdowns in the second quarter, and the Warriors held off a Delhi rally to win, 30-28, in summer-like conditions Saturday at Dave Kelly Field.
Zandt also finished with 67 of Walton’s 146 rushing yards and accounted for all five the Warriors’ touchdowns.
Before a predictably large turnout between the Delaware County and Section Four Football Conference Division V rivals, Walton put on an aerial display over the first 6 minutes of the second quarter, the likes of which Warriors fans probably have never witnessed.
Rapid-fire scoring strikes to Austin Kilmer, Jacob Wright and Kilmer again that covered 45, 66 and 52 yards, respectively, turned a 6-0 deficit into an 18-6 lead midway through the second quarter.
“(The receivers) just ran their routes hard, looked for the ball and got it,” said Zandt, a junior who’d thrown for 150 yards through Walton’s first three games. “Everybody knows Walton is running the ball, but we’ve been working on passing all week. We came out, threw the ball and did it well.”
The Bulldogs (1-3, 1-1) opened the scoring with a 12-play, 70-yard drive that included a 23-yard run by Ryan Telian and a 16-yard scamper by Noah Dedominicis on a counter to the right side that brought the ball to Walton’s 16. Four plays later, Brian Ingram scored on a 1-yard run to make it 6-0.
That lead was erased when Zandt found Kilmer way behind Delhi’s secondary for a 45-yard scoring play on the first play of the second quarter. Merrill had to wait for Zandt’s pass on the right side of the field, but he was so open it didn’t matter.