Raiders to piece lineup together again for Parkview
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
November 15, 2012 10:40 PM | 2526 views | 10 10 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
11-02-12 Etowah at Walton 06 --  Walton's DJ Smith (21) runs for yardage against the Etowah Eagles at Raider Valley as Etowah's Keith Gordon (52) follows the play.  SPECIAL/CECIL COPELAND.
11-02-12 Etowah at Walton 06 -- Walton's DJ Smith (21) runs for yardage against the Etowah Eagles at Raider Valley as Etowah's Keith Gordon (52) follows the play. SPECIAL/CECIL COPELAND.
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Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said he’s 99-percent sure that Alabama-bound running back Tyren Jones won’t play tonight in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs tonight at Raider Valley.

That’s not going to help the Raiders as they gear up for a Parkview defense that’s given up an average of 13 points a game and held defending state champion Grayson to just a touchdown in their 22-7 win over the Rams.

Jones was nearing 2,000 rushing yards for the second straight season when he went down with a sprained knee Nov. 2 against Etowah.

D.J. Smith was Walton’s primary running back in Walton’s 28-24 loss to Roswell last week and rushed for 187 yards. It will still be up to Walton (7-3) to find a way to get it done without Jones and several other Walton players who are hurting in tonight’s first round.

Good news for Walton is that quarterback Parker McLeod is back on the field after missing five straight games with an injury, and he threw for 348 yards against Roswell in his first game back.

The bad news is that backup quarterback Price Wilson went down last week with a sprained knee.

“We’re kind of balancing it out,” Hidalgo said. “We’re losing guys at the same time we’re getting some back.”

There have been as many as 34 injured in the Walton football program as recently as last week, four of them being future Southeastern Conference players. The question is, how many of the injured players will be cleared to play?

The rash of injuries for Walton has mostly occurred on the offensive line and the defensive front seven.

Georgia-bound offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow has missed time and has a shot at playing against Parkview tonight. But Jake Boynton, who committed to Kentucky, is still out with an ankle injury. Nick Randolph has been nursing a knee injury and is not expected to play. Griffin Wilkinson is also missing on the offensive line.

However, the Raiders are expecting defensive end Kyle Whitaker to return after joining the injury list against Roswell. Whitaker, who has 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks, could be a threat for the Parkview backfield.

Walton linebackers Christian Burlock and Imani Parker are also out with injuries.

Even with all the injuries, Walton is still the No. 2 seed out of 5AAAAAA and hosting a playoff game. And without Jones and a couple of marquee linemen, the Raiders still have to find ways to score points.

“Parkview’s defense is the best defense we’ve played all year,” Hidalgo said. “They are athletic on defense and can tackle very well. Our execution will have to improve for us to put points on the board.”

And that starts with the offensive line, Hidalgo said, injured or not.

Walton has gotten solid play up front from a trio of sophomores in David Davis, Jack Henry and John France. Senior Joe Cook has filled in at offensive tackle with Boynton out.

Comments
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Local Doctor
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November 16, 2012
I love Walton Football.

playoffsbegin
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November 16, 2012
In spite of the injuries that have hit about 40 Raiders this year, they finished with a 7-3 record and host a playoff game. A testimony to the strength and depth of the program. Younger players got thrown into the mix and have really stepped up. In addition to Davis, Henry and France, sophomore Eric Smith has played his heart out.

It was great to see Parker McLeod back on the field and he was 10 of 15 with 93 yards in the air. His season total is almost 500 yards in 5 games. Most feel the rust was knocked out last week and he's ready to step in and lead this team to a win. This team has a lot of heart this year and it will show that trait tonight.
Excuses
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November 16, 2012
Can Hildago please stop making excuses about all these injuries. Maybe if they didn't practice 4hrs a day maybe they could stay healthy!!!!!!
comeonby
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November 16, 2012
Hahahaha! That's hysterical. Please, please come to the Walton practices next week. 2 hours twenty minutes from start to finish. College coaches who visit during recruiting trips compliment the staff on their tight practices. No wasted time because they know they lose the players and their attention span. Some of the injuries didn't take place during practice or a game, so don't chime in and make yourself look stupid.
youarewrongagain
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November 16, 2012
Excuses, you just showed your ignorance. School is out at 3:30 and the latest those players are still on campus is 7:00. Practice doesn't begin until 4 and if they are still there at 6:30, they are in a film session. You're invited to stop by at any time and then you can see for yourself how wrong you are. Did it ever occur to you that the reporter from the MDJ is the one that keeps asking about the injuries?
@Excuses
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November 16, 2012
Ive heard about this, if you cant get what needs to be done in 2 hours, youre doing soemthing wrong. The kids lose focus after 2 hours anyway, therefore, they dont go full speed, therefore, injuries happen more often.

4 hour practices are ridiculous, heck 3 hour practices are shouldnt happen.
waltonfan
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November 16, 2012
Moreso than making excuses, talking about the injuries is just stating facts and also a way of mentioning what a great job all the players who have had to step in and fill their spots have done.
Facts Please
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November 16, 2012
Practice begins at 345 with film (Mon-Wed). On the field at 4 to get loose. 4:15 begin. End at 6:45 on Monday, 6:30 on Tuesday, 6:00 on Wednesday, and 5:00 on Thursday.

That's the fact Jack!
waltonfan
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November 16, 2012
Parker only threw for 93 yards against Roswell. 348 is closer to his season total. Hopefully the Raiders can gut one out tonight and get some guys back for next week.
Spoiler Alert
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November 16, 2012
If the Raiders don't have Tyren Jones in the line up I believe this will be Walton's last game of the 2012 season.
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