For the first time in nine years, Walton is back in the Section IV Class D football final.
After beating Greene, 40-14, in the semifinal round Nov. 2, the Warriors have advanced to the title game where they will meet undefeated Tioga, Friday, Nov. 8, in Johnson City.
With a win, the Orange Crush would hoist the section championship for the first time since 2010.
“It’s really kind of carrying on the tradition that my father started,” Walton coach Adam Hoover said. “It’s been awhile since we’ve won one. We’re excited about that opportunity. Football is one of those sports where it really takes everybody in order to be successful. I think we have a good group of kids, a good group of coaches and I think that’s why we’ve been successful.”
Adam took over coaching duties from his father, Jim Hoover, in 2016, after he served as head coach for 40 years. Adam will seek his first section title as head coach while Jim compiled 14 during his tenure.
The Warriors (8-1) will have extra motivation heading into the final as their only loss to this point came to the Trojans. Tioga downed Walton, 23-20, in the season opener Sept. 6.
“I don’t expect a lot different, just as I don’t expect much different from us,” Hoover said. “It’ll come down to who executes the game plan. We know from week one that they obviously have a good team. Both teams will be able to see how far they’ve come.”
Since the loss, the Warriors have rattled off eight consecutive wins with blowouts and barn-burners featured along the way.
Quarterback Dylan Jacob along with running backs Nick Lamoreaux and Kaylieb Stanton make up a three-headed monster for Walton. Jacob has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, Lamoreaux has rushed for 582 yards and Stanton has scored 13 touchdowns for a Warrior offense that has averaged just more than 42 points per game.
“In order to be successful, we definitely rely on Dylan and Nick but we have a few other guys too,” Hoover said.
Wide receiver Morgan Condon has also put together a strong season with seven touchdown receptions on 17 total catches.
Jacob, Lamoreaux and Condon highlight the 12-person senior class for the Warriors.
On the opposite side, the Trojans enter the matchup as the defending section champions and have won seven of the previous eight section titles. In 2015, Tioga claimed the state championship.
The Warriors will look to win their 15th section championship in program history, while the Trojans will vie for their 11th title overall.
“Personally, I would be excited to win but I would be more excited for my kids,” Hoover said. “We have a good group of seniors (especially) who have worked hard and I’m excited for them to have success.
“The kids are excited,” Hoover said. “They’ve been working hard all season and we’re excited.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Johnson City’s Wildcat Stadium.