K.K. Brooks, who finished with 115 rushing yards on 27 carries, D.J. Smith and Price Wilson all scored touchdowns in the third quarter as Walton scored 30 second-half points for a 33-14 victory Friday in Raider Valley.
“I just told them we dominated the first half and all we have to do was finish what we started,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “I told them we’ve got to make things happen. It’s not going to come to us. And we made plays in the second half.”
The win means the Raiders (6-4, 5-2) will be the No. 3 seed from Region 5AAAAAA and will travel to Collins Hill for the opening round of the state playoffs.
After trailing 7-3 at halftime, the Raiders (6-4 overall, 5-2 Region 5AAAAAA) quickly took the lead for good early in the third quarter.
On the fourth play from scrimmage, Chad Clay fielded a punt at his own 48 and returned it to the Hornets’ 7-yard line. Two plays later, and with the help of the entire offensive line, Brooks powered his way into the end zone for a 10-7 score with 9:09 left.
Then on Roswell’s ensuing punt, Smith returned the kick 55 yards for a 17-7 advantage nearly 3 minutes later.
“We got good return guys and worked hard at setting up the wall and it paid off for us (Friday),” Hidalgo said.
After the Raiders stopped the Hornets on fourth down, Wilson capped a four-play, 34-yard drive with a 21-yard pass to Clay with 2:24 left in the frame.
To start the fourth quarter, Bayley Wolff highlighted a six-play drive with a 29-yard diving catch, setting up a 1-yard plunge into the end zone by Henry Rowling for a 31-7 cushion.
Dreyon Williams tackle for a safety capped the scoring for Walton in the fourth quarter.
“You want to be moving in the right direction when you get in the playoffs,” Hidalgo said. “We’ve played two pretty good games back to back. Next week is going to be a big challenge — whoever we have. We got some momentum and we feel good about ourselves.”
Neither team could get much going offensively in the first half but Walton did get on the scoreboard first when Christian Lucas capped the team’s second drive with a 25-yard field goal.
However, Roswell (4-6, 2-5) would head into the locker room with a 7-3 edge, thanks to a 12-yard touchdown completion from James Whitaker to Kendall Smith.