The Raiders were without starting quarterback Parker McLeod in last week’s win against Woodstock, and may be without him tonight, though that will be a game-time decision. McLeod is no longer wearing a boot on his right foot and has seen some light practice.
“He has the boot off, but he’s still pretty sore,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “He’s done some light practicing. It will be a game-time decision with him what he’s physically able to do. He did want to play last week, and the head coach made an executive order. His injury is something that could bother him and could be a prolonged issue. We’ve been advised by the team doctor that the more rest he gets, the more he will be able to heal and be ready for the rest of the season.”
If McLeod can’t play, then Walton has backup quarterback Price Wilson, who played well in his first varsity start last week.
“We knew what kind of quarterback we had in Price,” Hidalgo said. “We feel like he is an excellent high school passer. We’re very fortunate that we have two of those guys. He’s a competitor, as is Parker. Whoever goes out there, I’m confident that they will go out and compete.”
Like McLeod, star running back Tyren Jones has been hampered by injury. Last week, he had his lowest number of carries in a game this season with 27, running for 132 yards and a touchdown against Woodstock.
After playing with a hard cast on his left hand last week, the cast has been removed. However, Jones’ playing time will likely be similarly limited this week.
“He had the cast removed and he has a splint,” Hidalgo said. “But he still has a lot of soreness there, and we’ll see what he can and can’t do. He sat out (practice) Monday, and he practiced light (Tuesday). We’ll see how he feels. Tyren is going to play. Hopefully, his wrist won’t bother him. He’ll play as much as we need him to.”
But more than Walton’s starting quarterback and running back, its the offensive line has similarly been hampered by injury. Tonight, the Raiders will be without two of their starting five offensive linemen in Jake Boynton and Griffin Wilkinson.
On defense, Walton made improvements in last week’s win, and will be looking for more against Cherokee, a team that has changed its offense and was able to move the ball downfield at times against Lassiter in last week’s loss.
“I think our kids took a step in the right direction last week,” Hidalgo said. “We played fast, and ran to the ball. They looked like they knew what we’re doing. As crazy as it sounds, we’ve gotten better at individual positions every week. But, as a team, we hopefully took a step in the right direction last week.”