Friday night could not have gone much better for Osborne’s Khalif Walters.
The 5-foot-1, 175-pound senior carried the ball six times against Clarkston. Four of those carries resulted in him finding the end zone.
Walters had touchdown runs of 17, 70, 51 and 16 yards, and his night ended with six carries for 162 yards in the Cardinals’ 70-8 victory over the Angoras to help them to their first 4-0 start since 1994.
For his efforts, fans voted Walters the Cobb Football Friday Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Walters is second in the county in rushing with 566 yards and nine touchdowns. He has also caught 12 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns, and the 12 total TDs lead the county in scoring.
With Walters able to concentrate on just running the football this year, coach Luqman Salam said the player’s football knowledge and maturity has grown significantly — not just from last season to this one, but from the beginning of the season until now.
“His maturity as a football player continues to grow through his preparation and his leadership,” Salam said. “It has drastically improved, and he is becoming a more polished player.”
Salam said Walters’ biggest impact may not be coming in games as much as in practice.
“There was a point in practice a few weeks ago where things weren’t going well for the offense,” Salam said. “The defense was getting after the offense pretty good. In the past, (Walters) may have gotten frustrated. Now, he’s calm and encouraging. He’s talking up his offensive linemen telling them, ‘We’re OK. Let’s go. We have this.’”
Walters is likely to be a centerpiece of the offense again this week as Osborne hosts Woodland with the hopes of closing non-region play with a perfect 5-0 record.
Other players nominated for the Cobb Football Friday Player of the Week were Hillgrove linebacker Bryson Hansbrough, Walton wide receiver and defensive back Ayden Jackson, Kennesaw Mountain wide receiver Cayden Lee and a trio of running backs in Mount Paran Christian’s Nick Germain, McEachern’s Jaylon Brown and Wheeler’s Josiah Allen.
Fans can vote for the Cobb Football Friday Player of the Week beginning Saturdays at CobbFootballFriday.com. The poll closes Monday at 5 p.m.