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First of the Season

Democrat Photo by Nathan Mayberg

TRI-VALLEY QUARTERBACK Joe Garigliano rolls out to pass as fullback Alan Coombe looks for a Walton defender to block.

Worst of the Season?

By Nathan Mayberg
GRAHAMSVILLE — September 10, 2004 – The Walton Warriors routed the Tri-Valley Bears 62-0 in a non-league football game last Saturday in Grahamsville.
It was the first game of the season for both Walton, a Section IV Class C team, and T-V, a Section IX Class C team.
The Bears were unable to prevent the Warriors’ unrelenting run offense from gaining yards throughout the game. Walton (1-0) threw the ball fewer than five times, showing off its fierce running machine.
Walton was led by the supreme sprinting capabilities of Wisey Askerzadah, who ran for over 160 yards despite playing only half of the game. On three separate scoring plays, he ran the ball about half the field. One of those plays was a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Askerzadah received a rest for most of the second half, but that did not help T-V (0-1). Warrior running back Kirby Fletcher ran for two more touchdowns, a 30-yard dash and a 9-yard scamper.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears had great difficulty handling the football. Fumbles were an all-too frequent occurrence, costing them any chance of sustaining any attack.
T-V did have a few positives. Linebacker Alan Coombe infiltrated Walton’s offensive line throughout the game. Running back Daniel Knox displayed a great deal of talent, as did junior quarterback Joe Garigliano. Sophomore Kyle Byrne showed a lot of heart returning punts and kickoffs, despite being tackled by three to four players at a time.
T-V had its best chance to reach the end zone near the end of the first quarter. Down 14-0, Garigliano completed a 25-yard pass in Walton’s half of the field. But the drive ended when Warrior defensive back Kyle Holley intercepted a subsequent Garigliano pass.
Garigliano also showed an ability to carry the ball, running for over 30 yards.
One of Walton’s few throws on the day came in the form of a 45-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Tamao to tight end John Talbot.
Knox had a few big gains running the ball, but the Warriors’ gang tackling was too much. At least two Walton players seemed to join in on every tackle.
T-V’s ground attack was also hampered by running up the middle – and straight into the wall of the Walton defensive line – too many times. On several occasions, Walton’s tackling was not required as
the Bears fumbled the ball. The T-V receivers also dropped many passes.
Hoover was extremely modest when asked about his team’s accomplishment.
“For the first game, I thought we did a pretty good job,” he said.
The veteran coach noted that Askerzadah was “a good running back who ran for over 500 yards last year.”
“He should have a good year,” Hoover said.
The team’s leading rusher from last season, Jeff Bolivar, is currently out with what Hoover described as a “banged up knee.” He is expected to return in about three weeks.
Hoover complimented T-V’s Coombe and Knox for their strong play. Asked what led to his team’s success, he replied, “we come at people.”
T-V Coach Dave Viglione had strong praise for the Walton team.
“Year in and year out they are one of the best Class C teams [around],” he said. “What [Hoover’s] program is, is what we’re trying to be. They got up on us and they got momentum. And that is tough to stop.”
Viglione believed his team could use the game to improve.
“If our team uses this as a lesson, we can bounce back,” he explained. “If we can, it will show the character of the Tri-Valley kids.”
Viglione said he was pleased with the performances of Kevin Hornbeck at linebacker, third-year quarterback Garigliano, Coombe and defensive end Owen Williams.
However, the coach stressed that “it has to be a team effort.”
“We’re going to have to go back to the fundamentals and practice harder,” Viglione said.
The Bears take the field again on Saturday, September 18. The team will travel to Eldred that afternoon for a non-league game. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.

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