Raiders win to open Dixon era
by Brandon Simmons
MDJ Sports Correspondent
August 23, 2014 02:05 AM | 4379 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Though new Walton coach Mo Dixon preached a more widespread offense, running back K.K. Brooks still had a big night Friday, finishing with 161 yards on the ground.
<Br>Special photo by Cecil Copeland
Though new Walton coach Mo Dixon preached a more widespread offense, running back K.K. Brooks still had a big night Friday, finishing with 161 yards on the ground.
Special photo by Cecil Copeland
MARIETTA — Chris Jensen’s 29-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as Walton rallied for a 16-13 victory over South Gwinnett.

K.K Brooks was also key, rushing for 161 yards and a touchdown.

“When we needed to get the job done, K.K was there for us,” new Walton coach Mo Dixon said following his first game at Raider Valley.

Trailing 13-6 early in the fourth quarter, Walton’s offense finally came alive after sputtering for three quarters, mostly due to penalties.

A 26-yard pass from Josh White to Sam Letton put the Raiders in scoring range at the Comets’ 19 before Brooks carried the ball three consecutive times for 19 yards, and finished the drive with a 5-yard run to tie the game.

After forcing South Gwinnett to punt, Walton started at its own 4-yard line.

Brooks started the promising drive with a 21-yard run. Two plays later, White completed a 60-yard pass to Cole Watts, reaching the Comets’ 13 and setting up Jensen’s game-winning field goal.

“I am real proud of him,” Dixon said of White’s first varsity start.

White completed 10 of 13 passes for 196 yards, while Letton led Walton with 73 receiving yards.

Sloppy play was the story of the first half, as both teams struggled to find a rhythm, combining for 19 penalties. Walton was responsible for 11 of the flags.

Despite Walton’s struggles on offense, the defense seemed to come up with a stop when it needed one, as the Raiders’ defense did not give up a touchdown in the game.

“Coach (Chris) Stewart did a tremendous job.” Dixon said of his defensive coordinator. “His boys played lights out.”

The Raiders led 6-0 at halftime, thanks to a 34-yard touchdown pass from White to Letton in the second quarter. However, the 2-point conversion was no good.

The first blocked punt recovered for a touchdown by Brandon Hamlette tied the game at six in the third quarter. The second blocked punt was recovered in the end zone by Chris Skyers, giving the Comets a 13-6 fourth-quarter lead

“That’s on me. I don’t think we have done a great job preparing for special teams.” Dixon said

Still, he was proud of the resiliency of the team in the fourth quarter, which Dixon hopes follows over to next week’s game at Marietta.

“I was proud of these boys,” Dixon said. “It’s hard to win games like this, and to come out and win the first game like this tells you something about them.”

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