Walton still searching for first victory
by From staff reports
September 13, 2013 12:22 AM | 1821 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walton’s  Chad Clay (4) and Maurice Gibson celebrate a touchdown in the Corky Kell Classic. Clay and Gibson will try to help the Raiders avoid their first 0-3 start since 1988 when they host North Cobb tonight.
Walton’s Chad Clay (4) and Maurice Gibson celebrate a touchdown in the Corky Kell Classic. Clay and Gibson will try to help the Raiders avoid their first 0-3 start since 1988 when they host North Cobb tonight.
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Game: North Cobb (1-0) at Walton (0-2), 7:30 p.m.

Last year: North Cobb 49, Walton 17

All-time series: Walton leads series 9-8

Prediction: North Cobb 31, Walton 24

While there will be no region implications involved, there will still be plenty at stake when Walton hosts No. 4 North Cobb in a battle of non-region foes tonight at Raider Valley.

North Cobb is looking for another boost, like the one it received a year ago, when it defeated Walton 49-17 to help launch its drive to the Class AAAAAA state semifinals.

The Warriors had a bye week a week ago after opening its season with a 48-7 win over Starr’s Mill Aug. 30.

“Every game is important,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “Every time you go on the field to get better, that’s the important game, and Walton is our next opponent, so, therefore, that’s the most important game. It’s not a region game, but, for us, we’re such a young football team and we need to improve on the mistakes we made in our last game as we go into our region schedule.”

Walton (0-2) is also looking for a pick-me-up as it tries to avoid its first 0-3 start since 1988.

The Raiders — who also had a bye week last week — are coming off of a 47-35 loss to Hillgrove two weeks ago after falling to Peachtree Ridge 23-17 in their season opener at the Corky Kell Classic on Aug. 24.

“(North Cobb is) a really good football team and we want to get a win,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “It’s not really about all of those things, it’s mostly about us being able to finish games and execute on both sides of the football. I think it’s going to be a hard-fought football game and if we play well, we have an opportunity to win the game.”

— By Greg Oshust

MDJ Sports Writer

Game: Langston Hughes (1-1) at Wheeler (2-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last year: Wheeler 17, Langston Hughes 12

All-time series: Wheeler leads 1-0

Prediction: Wheeler 34, Langston Hughes 10

Wheeler’s offense has been on fire the first two games. The Wildcats forced running clocks during lopsided victories over Sprayberry and Pope on the road.

Devontae Jackson rushed for a combined 318 yards and four touchdowns, and Mississippi State-bound quarterback Elijah Staley threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns against Pope. He also ran for a pair of touchdowns.

The Wildcats may face a bigger test tonight in their home opener when they take on defending Region 3AAAAAA champion Langston Hughes.

This will also be their first test against a Class AAAAAA opponent before opening Region 5AAAAAA play against Etowah next week.

The majority of the Langston Hughes’ defense — anchored by defensive end DeAndre Walker and linebacker Montavious Anderson — returns after it kept opposing teams below 20 points in 10 of the 12 games it played last season. So far, Langston Hughes has kept teams below 15 points.

The Panthers lost a 16-14 decision to Creekside to open the season and bounced back to shut out Luella 35-0.

Langston Hughes (1-1) is also returning many weapons on offense. Dual-threat quarterback Kenny Moxey is back under center. Running back Keion Davis, who totaled 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns last year is also back.

Wheeler’s defense behind safety Allen Artis will have to maintain its intensity. The turning point of last week’s game came in the third quarter when its defense held Pope to minus-7 yards while its offense rattled off 26 points to extend its 13-point halftime lead.

— By Adam Carrington

acarrington@mdjonline.com

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