Walton’s young squad rode an 18-point second quarter to an 18-16 victory over visiting Whitney Point on Saturday in a Section Four Football Conference non-division victory that marked the opener for both teams.
Christian Rutherford, Austin Kilmer and Tanner Goodrich scored in the second quarter for the Warriors, who stopped a Golden Eagles drive inside Walton’s 10-yard line in the closing minutes.
“It was a hard-hitting game,” said Walton coach Jim Hoover, who earned his 294th victory. “We had a quarter-and-a-half where we played very good football and it was enough to score 18 points. Whitney Point played really tough.”
Whitney Point opened the scoring on a 31-yard touchdown run by Donovan Sturdevant in the first quarter. Jake Lynch’s conversion run made it 8-0.
Rutherford narrowed Walton’s deficit to 8-6 with a 10-yard touchdown run. The Warriors then forced a punt and took over the Golden Eagles’ 9-yard line after a poor snap on the punt attempt. Austin Kilmer capped the ensuing drive with a 3-yard run as Walton took a 12-8 lead.
Walton, coming off a 4-5 season, scored its final touchdown on a 31-yard pass from Trevor Zandt to Tanner Goodrich.
“It was a play-pass and Goodrich got behind the defense,” Hoover said. “It was a nice throw. He caught it in stride.”
WP made it a two-point game in the third quarter when Mitch Edson hit Andrew Gardner on a 40-yard scoring reception and then connected with Gabe Shrauger on the two-point pass.
Hoover said his squad suffered several injuries Saturday, including numerous muscle cramps and a couple of turned ankles.
“We were really banged up,” the veteran coach said. “For a couple of plays, we had our quarterback Zandt playing on the defensive line. We were on the sidelines trying to figure out who we could put in there. We had three fullbacks go down. We had Kilmer, one of four halfbacks, at fullback. Considering everything that happened, it was a good win.”