By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE October 9, 2007 What a difference a week makes.
On September 29, the Tri-Valley Bears shut out visiting Millbrook, 48-0, in a non-league football game.
This past Saturday, the Bears found themselves on the other end of a shutout.
The Walton Warriors, the third-ranked Class D team in the state, traveled to Grahamsville from Delaware County and held T-V scoreless in a non-league football game.
Walton, a Section IV team, defeated T-V, 38-0.
The Bears and Warriors battled back and forth with neither team taking the advantage until the last three minutes of the quarter. Walton’s Casey Killian scored the first touchdown of the game and teammate Cody Endress earned a two-point conversion to give their team an 8-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Walton (6-0) drove to the Bears’ 5-yard line. Quarterback Patrick O’Brien handed the ball off to Logan Wood, who ran in to the end zone. The two-point conversion failed, but the Warriors still held a 14-0 advantage with 8:12 left in the first half.
On its ensuing possession, T-V (3-3) could not gain 10 yards for a first down and punted the ball back to Walton.
The Warriors added to their lead just before halftime. With only 10 seconds on the clock, Chad Gardepe caught a TD pass from O’Brien.
With no time on the clock, Walton attempted its two-point conversion. The ball was fumbled on the play, but the Warriors’ Cody Endress recovered it in the end zone to give his team the two points and a 22-0 halftime advantage.
With the hometown crowd and cheerleaders cheering them on, the Bears kept their heads up as the second half began.
Walton started with possession of the ball to begin the second half.
Richard Fletcher caught a 32-yard pass and ran to the Bears’ 24-yard line. But the T-V defense stopped Walton from gaining more yards and took over on downs.
But Walton played another round of stellar defense to regain possession. The Warriors took over at the 50-yard line with five minutes remaining in the quarter.
Walton then continued to move downfield. Fletcher capped the drive by taking a handoff from O’Brien and running for a touchdown. Endress caught the two-point conversion pass to give the Warriors a 30-0 lead with two minutes to go in the quarter.
The Warriors regained possession of the ball at the T-V 28-yard line when they recovered a fumble on the subsequent kickoff.
Only seven seconds into the fourth quarter, Walton’s Chad Gardepe caught a pass from the 23-yard touchdown pass from O’Brien. Endress made another two-point conversion to bring the score to 38-0.
Walton’s leading rusher was Logan Wood with nine carries for 120 yards.
Walton had 20 first downs while T-V only recorded two first downs. 32 year veteran coach, Jim Hoover for the Walton Warriors said, “T-V came at us and played very well,” said Walton Coach Jim Hoover, who in his 32nd year of leading the Warriors. “T-V hit us hard. We made a lot of mental mistakes and we jumped offside a lot.”
Of Walton’s six victories this season, four have been shutouts.
“Our goal is to improve every week,” Hoover said. “We have a real good crew this year and everyone played a good game.”
T-V Coach John Rusin said that his players “pulled more positives out of this game, the kids played with much heart and worked very hard.”
“We are a better football team right now than before we started the game,” he added. “I am very pleased with the effort of my team, we never quit, and we kept our heads up and came together as a team. Walton’s team is a good team.
“We are building and getting better every week,” Rusin concluded.