Last meeting: Walton 42, Marietta 14 (Oct. 28, 2011)
All-time series: Walton leads 13-9
Prediction: Walton 17, Marietta 14
Walton and Marietta have gotten accustomed to posting winning records and advancing to the playoffs.
And both teams have the potential to return to postseason this season.
But as the teams enter Week 2 of the 2014 campaign, both teams are trying to answer some serious questions and fill some key holes.
Walton is coming off a 16-13 win over South Gwinnett in Mo Dixon’s head-coaching debut, but the victory likely won’t go down as the most well played in school history. The Raiders had special team breakdowns. Both of South Gwinnett’s touchdowns came after blocked punts, and Walton also missed an extra point.
The Raiders’ defense was a pleasant surprise according to Dixon, as it kept the Comets off the scoreboard. Dixon said he’s not known for building “shut-down defenses” but this is something he will build on.
Walton’s offense struggled for much of the game, but put drives together in the fourth quarter when it needed to. K.K. Brooks scored on a 5-yard run to tie it and Chris Jensen kicked a 29-yard field goal to win it.
Marietta is younger and more inexperienced this season, particularly on defense, and it showed in its 48-20 loss at home. The Blue Devils had difficulty stopping the run, allowing Etowah’s Raishod Devezin to churn up 274 rushing yards, plus five touchdowns.
Marietta quarterback Brenton Martin and running back KirVonte’ Benson, the players expected to pace the Blue Devils’ offense, didn’t have their best games. Benson had just 35 yards on 10 carries and Martin was held to 99 yards passing, with 43 coming on one deep pass play.
Marietta is known to be a resilient team, and coach Scott Burton said Monday was the strongest practice the Blue Devils has had all season. And it will be up to the young defense to make adjustments and contain Brooks, who rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown last week.
— By Adam Carrington