Walton last played at the Dome in the 2011 Class AAAAA state final — a 24-0 loss to Grayson. This time, however, Tyren Jones rushed for 305 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries to help the Raiders (1-0) to the season-opening victory.
While Jones fell short of the team record for yards in a game — Michael Boydston owns the mark at 339 — he did tie his own record with five touchdowns.
“I knew I could do well (Saturday),” Jones said. "I like to visualize the game in the bed the night before, and I saw myself scoring at least three touchdowns, but to get five is a really good outcome.
“It was a good game. We came out and tried to dominate. We had some mistakes, but the offensive line played awesome, and I’m happy with the win.”
Jones scored on runs of 71, 1, 48, 6 and 52 yards. His 71-yard touchdown came three plays after Brandon Morrow converted a 26-yard field goal that gave Brookwood (0-1) a 3-0 lead with 4:49 left in the first quarter. Jones used a spin move and a fake on two different defenders to find the running room to reach the end zone.
Jordan Davoudpour intercepted Brookwood’s Zach Moon early in the second period to set up Walton’s second score of the game. The Raiders started the drive on the Broncos’ 36, and a 16-yard completion from Parker McLeod to Brad Green set up Jones for a 1-yard touchdown and a 14-3 Walton advantage with 8:17 remaining in the second period.
Brookwood answered with a nine-play, 90-yard drive to cut the deficit to four points. Jamaal Cole, who carried the ball 26 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns, capped the possession with a 19-yard score that left the Broncos trailing 14-10 with 4:05 left until halftime.
“It was all about continuity for our guys in the second half,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “We made some changes with our formations and got better on defense and it paid off.”
Walton broke away early in the second half with touchdowns on its first two possessions.
Jones scampered 48 yards to end a four-play drive. Two penalties and three incompletions on the Broncos’ first second-half possesion left them with a punt from their own 5 and gave the Raiders good field position.
Jones capped another four-play possession with a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Raiders a 28-10 lead with 7:38 remaining in the third period.
Brookwood answered two possessions later behind its strong running game, and a 17-yard completion from Moon to Ky Priester set up Cole for a 2-yard touchdown and an 11-point deficit early in the fourth quarter.
Walton fired back behind Jones who had six straight carries for a total of 80 yards, including his 52-yard trot that put the Raiders in front 35-17 with 8:43 left in the game.
Zach Williams and Henry Rowling recovered two straight Brookwood fumbles, but Walton wasn’t able to capitalize. The turnovers, however, did keep the Broncos from making a move until it was too late.
Brookwood began its final possession with just under a minute left and scored when Moon connected with Priester for a 20-yard touchdown with 25 seconds remaining in the contest.
Walton recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock for the 35-24 final.
Priester had six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, and Moon was 6-of-15 for 91 yards and a score.
McLeod was 5-of-10 for 49 yards for Walton. Blake Montz recorded five sacks, and the Raiders’ defense collected one interception and recovered two Brookwood fumbles.
“This was a good start for these guys,” Hidalgo said. “I was pleased with their effort, and I think we represented the diamond (on our helmets) well. I think we’ll be a really good football team as long as we play together.”
Hidalgo seemed to believe part of the recipe for the Raiders’ success was forgetting their crushing loss to Grayson in last year’s title game.
“That last season is over and done with,” he said. “The only thing on our mind is to get back to work so that we can get back here for another final. We’re working on the legacy for these young men.”