Walton coach Jim Hoover said he told his squad he wanted to see some more toughness in Week 2.
The Warriors responded by limiting the visiting Oxford to 123 yards of offense in a 30-6 Section Four Football Conference non-division victory Saturday.
“I was a little concerned with our defense,” Hoover said following his team’s 18-16 win over Whitney Point in Week 1. “I didn’t see that little toughness in them, but they showed me they like to play football. We had some real good hits. For a while, they couldn’t get back to the line.”
Oxford’s Angelo Gonzales attempted 27 passes but completed five for 42 yards. Walton also intercepted two passes.
“We had a good pass rush and the defensive backs kept things in front of them,” Hoover said. “Defensively, we improved 100 percent.”
Walton (2-0) opened the scoring on its second drive, which was capped by a 19-yard run by Christian Rutherford. He also scored on the two-point run to make it 8-0.
In the second quarter, Austin Kilmer returned a punt 44 yards for a touchdown. Kilmer found a seam on the left side en route to the end zone.
“That was real important,” Hoover said of Kilmer’s return. “Offensively, we moved the ball well, but we fumbled five times and lost three. A couple of times, we were driving for touchdowns, so (Oxford) was hanging in there. But that punt return got us going. That set the tone.”
Quarterback Trevor Zandt completed two passes on Walton’s third-quarter scoring drive. The drive started deep in Walton territory, but Zandt hit Jacob Wright on a play that covered 46 yards.
A few plays later, Walton fumbled. Zandt recovered, but the Warriors lost 8 yards.
“The next play we threw to (Matt) Sinistore,” said Hoover, a 38th-year coach who has 295 victories. “He was the tight end and ran down the seam. He was a yard or so behind the defender and he went up and got it.”