Walton defeated Woodstock 24-7 at Raider Valley on the strength of its defense and Jones’ effort to brave through his injury.
“We made some mistakes, but any time you come out and your starting quarterback is out — you know, you’ve got two Alabama commits that are sitting on the sidelines — and you come out and win,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “I’m proud of our kids. I feel like we improved on defense. Everything
wasn’t perfect (Friday) night, but I feel like we took a step in the right direction. It just is what it is.
“We’re a work in progress. We got better from last week, and hopefully next Friday night, we’ll make some more strides.”
Even with a black cast on his left hand, Jones carried the ball 26 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. He played through much of the first half, but sat out most of the second half.
“I’m a little banged up,” Jones said. “I hurt my hand, but I’m going to be all right. Last week, I dislocated my wrist and have a little fracture in it, but like I said, I’m cleared. I just had to wrap it up and I’ve got a cast. It’ll be all right.
“I told them I could play if they needed me. We started off (the game), then I hit my funny bone (on a play) and burst my sac and it messed with the nerves. But, other than that, I was a team player (Friday) and I did pretty (well).”
When asked if he had considered not playing Friday, Jones said: “Naw, towards the end, I was trying to get back in, but coach was like, ‘You’re a tough player, but we’re good. Just sit down.’ It was about midway through the third quarter. It was the head coach’s (call) I guess. And I tried to get in and put some more points up, but they just told me I’m good.”
Along with the injury to Jones, Walton had to deal with playing without starting quarterback Parker McLeod. Although McLeod dressed out for the game, he had a boot on his right foot and could not play.
“(McLeod) has a really severe sprain on his ankle,” Hidalgo said. “He played all last week with it, and it’s one of those that if we don’t give him some rest, then it could him all year. So, we’re going to try to rest him this week, evaluate him Monday and see if he will be available next week.”
Still, it seemed that Walton’s passing game was able to continue on without McLeod. Backup quarterback Price Wilson got his first career start, and finished the game
13-for-18 with 141 yards passing, and his first career touchdown pass.
“I’m proud of the way Price came out and played,” Hidalgo said. “He’s a very capable kid and a very good quarterback. He’s better than 90 percent of what people out there are playing with. I knew that he would come out and do great, and that’s why we made the decision to sit Parker (on Friday.).”
Although somewhat overshadowed by the news of Jones and McLeod’s respective injuries, the defense was much improved this week against a struggling Woodstock offense. The Wolverines finished with just 59 yards of total offense, and Walton’s D.J. Smith and Justice Bailey each finished with an interception.
“I was real proud of the way our defense played (Friday),” Hidalgo said. “I thought that we played hard, and I think we played good assignment football. I think they popped one (play), but we kind of gathered ourselves. All in all, we did some good things on defense. We’re going to go back and watch the film, and hopefully, improve from this point.”