Walker Prepares to Face the Pelham Panthers in an Away Game

On Friday night the Walker Vikings will travel to Pelham High School to face the Panthers at Ned Bearden Stadium on the school campus.

This will be Homecoming night for Pelham, a team that has beat Thompson and lost to Homewood and Jackson Olin in recent weeks.

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Our Vikings were originally scheduled to eat their pre-game meal at First Nazarene, but we  have changed plans and moved the meal at First Nazarene to later in the season.  This will allow the team to load the buses for a 2:30 departure.  Leaving early will ensure that our buses avoid the rush hour traffic through Birmingham.  Coach Brunner has arranged for the guys to eat their pre-game meal at a restaurant closer to the stadium before arriving for warm-ups.

 

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The Vikings are on a winning roll right now and we hope to continue with a win this Friday night.  The word of the week is FINISH.  We have a great start to the season but we need to FINISH…. finish every play, finish every series, finish every quarter and finish every game – playing right up to the sound of the whistle.

Fans will be allowed to purchase our new FINISH towels that you can wave from the stands and save as a keepsake.  These towels will be available in black and gold and the price is $3.00 per towel or $5.00 for a set of two, a black one and a gold one.  We have a limited number of towels on order and we would love to see every fan, student, parent and band member with one in their hands on Friday night.  Bring some one dollar bills or a five dollar bill to the game and you can purchase your own.  (Hopefully we will be able to make these available for pre-purchase during the day on Friday from some local businesses.  Details later.)

Viking fans should refer to the diagram and directions below to familiarize themselves with the Pelham campus.  We suggest allowing an ample 1 hour and 10 minutes to arrive at the stadium in steady moving traffic.  Allow more time in case of traffic delays.

 

 

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8. Merge onto I-65 S via EXIT 124A towardMontgomery.

13.1 mi
9. Take the County Hwy-17/Valleydale Rd exit,EXIT 247, toward US-31/Riverchase Pkwy.

0.5 mi
10. Merge onto County Hwy-17 towardHoover/Helena.

3.4 mi
11. Turn left onto Bearden Rd/County Hwy-105. Continue to follow Bearden Rd.

  • Bearden Rd is 0.2 miles past Sommersby Dr
  • If you reach Bearden St you’ve gone about 0.2 miles too far
0.6 mi
12. Turn right onto Panther Cir.

  • If you reach Victory Trl you’ve gone about 0.1 miles too far
0.01 mi
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Daily Mountain Eagle reports on Big Walker Win vs Minor

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Walker’s Jackson Holladay (6) escapes Minor defender La’Torius Bonner (41) during their game at Ki-Ro Gambrell Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Tigers 15-6 in their home opener. Photo by Jeff Johnsey

Minor’s offense is filled with playmakers. The Tigers had rolled up points through their first two games.

Then Minor played Walker — and the offense came to a screeching halt.

The Vikings got an early lead and turned the game over the defense in a 15-6 win over Minor in Friday’s home opener at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field.

Walker has now won 20 straight region games dating back to the 2011 season.

Walker’s Alex Medina set the tone on Minor’s first offensive play of the game, dropping quarterback Haywood Spencer for a 12-yard loss. Spencer rushed four times in the first quarter and was dropped for a loss on three of his carries.

“Our defense played a great game,” Walker coach Heath Brunner said. “We had a great game plan. The kids stayed true to the gameplan and did a great job containing their offense and containing (Spencer).”

Walker  (2-1, 2-0) got more than enough from its offense in the opening half, getting a field goal midway through the first quarter and its only offensive touchdown following a six-minute drive in the second quarter.

The Vikings led 9-0 at the half and put the game out of reach behind an Isiah Cox interception return for a score in the third quarter.

“Our defense bent, but it didn’t break. We made them snap it again and again. That was what we talked about all week. We didn’t want to give up the big play,” Brunner added.

Spencer, who scored four touchdowns and totaled 249 yards in a win over Hueytown last week was held in check by the Vikings, who limited the speedster to 81 yards on the ground and 76 yards through the air. More importantly, Walker kept Spencer out of the end zone.

The lone big play of the game came from Cox, who was coming off a four-touchdown performance in a rout of John Carroll last week.

With Minor putting together its best drive of the night late in the third quarter, Cox stepped in front of a Dre’Quan Pritchett pass and returned it 60 yards down the sideline to put Walker ahead 15-0 with four seconds left in the quarter.

“Big-time players make big plays at the right times in the game. He stepped in there and did a great job for us,” Brunner said.

When Walker went up by 15 points, Brunner turned to running back Marlon Oliver, who carried the ball 10 times in the fourth quarter alone.

“I got a little conservative with the play calling when we went up two scores,” Brunner added. “We were trying to keep our defense off the field. They were playing so good that you don’t want to give (Minor’s) offense any momentum.”

Minor (2-2, 1-1) used a two quarterback system with Spencer and Pritchett each getting a chance to lead the offense. Neither was able to mount a threat until a fourth quarter touchdown.

Brayden Banks gave Walker a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, knocking in an 18-yard field goal at the 5:05 mark.

The Vikings went 63 yards in 15 plays on their next possession. Oliver closed out the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run for the 9-0 lead with 6:18 left in the half.a

Minor had four first-half possessions. Two ended with punts, Walker’s defense stopped the Tigers in the red zone once and the half ended the final drive.

The Tigers opened the second half with a drive to the Walker 10-yard line. After three consecutive incomplete passes, Minor missed a 27-yard field goal attempt with ball just reaching the goal line. Late in the third quarter, Minor put together a drive starting from its own 3-yard line. The Tigers got as far as the Walker 45-yard line before Cox took back the interception to push the Vikings’ lead to 15-0.

Walker’s Lar’Quarius Harris picked off a Spencer pass midway through the fourth quarter to end another Minor threat.

Minor finally got on the board with 2:39 left in the game when Pritchett connected with Delonte Evans on an 11-yard touchdown. Rather than go for the 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to seven points, the Tigers attempted the extra point with the kick sailing wide left to leave Minor down two scores.

Walker ran the remaining time off the clock with Oliver carrying the ball six times. The Vikings had a late touchdown called back on a clipping penalty.

For the Vikings, Oliver rushed 30 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jackson Holladay completed 6 of 12 passes for 50 yards. Walker travels to Pelham for a key Class 6A, Region 5 matchup next week.

 

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Gameday.

Hope to see you tonight for the first home game of the season!

Walker vs Minor – Let’s pack the stands and cheer on our Vikings!

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Reed and Cox Named Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week

Isaiah Cox is named the McDonald's Offensive Player of the Week after a stellar performance against John Carroll.

Isaiah Cox is named the McDonald’s Offensive Player of the Week after a stellar performance against John Carroll.

 

John Michael Reed is named the McDonald's Defensive Player of the Week for his leadership and game changing plays vs John Carroll

John Michael Reed is named the McDonald’s Defensive Player of the Week for his leadership and game changing plays vs John Carroll

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Walker vs John Carroll

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Daily Mountain Eagle reports on Big Viking Win!

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Walker’s Isiah Cox (7) evades a John Carroll defender during Friday’s game. Cox scored four touchdowns in the game, including three on returns. Photo by Jeff Johnsey

HOMEWOOD — Walker’s Isiah Cox showed up and showed out Friday night.

The sophomore returned two kickoffs and a punt for touchdowns and rushed for another score in the Vikings’ lopsided 64-14 win over John Carroll Catholic Friday night in Homewood.

The win, which also served as the Class 6A, Region 5 opener, was the first of the season for Walker (1-1 overall, 1-0 region).

Original photos by Jeff Johnsey, Graphic by Jacquain Crook.

Original photos by Jeff Johnsey, Graphic by Jacquain Crook.

Cox returned kickoffs for 75 and 65 yards, took back a punt 76 yards and ran for a 17-yard score to pace Walker’s offense in the win. Cox finished the night with five carries for 61 yards.

Quarterback Jackson Holladay completed 6 of 9 passes for 90 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He rushed four times for 23 yards.

Marlon Oliver led Walker’s rushing attack with nine carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Myron Mitchell had two receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown.

The win comes after Walker lost its season opener 17-14 to Pell City two weeks ago. The Vikings were off last week.

“There’s no doubt the week off helped us. We corrected some mistakes we made in that first game, got some guys healed up and just got back to work,” Walker coach Heath Brunner said after Friday’s win. “We made a lot of mistakes in that first game, and to get back on the field tonight was really good. Our guys competed hard, and I’m really proud of them.”

Walker jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter on Cox’s first touchdown of the night on a 17-yard run less than a minute into the game. Brayden Banks’ PAT made it 7-0.

Oliver made it 13-0 with a nine-yard touchdown run with 8:07 left in the first quarter.

John Carroll (0-2, 0-1) got on the board with 1:41 to go in the quarter when Matthew Byers picked off a Holladay pass and returned it 60 yards for a score to cut Walker’s lead to 13-7.

Walker’s next score came with 7:40 to go in the first half when Holladay and Mitchell connected for a 71-yard touchdown pass. Cox added the two-point conversion for a 21-7 lead.

The Vikings’ got a safety to stretch their lead to 23-7 three minutes later, and Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a 30-7 lead with 3:46 left in the half.

Oliver got his second score of the night with a 15-yard run with 1:37 remaining in the half.

Walker led 37-7 at halftime.

“This week, I told the guys it wasn’t about the competition,” Brunner said, “it was about the Walker Vikings getting back to our winning ways. After that first loss, we knew tonight we needed this first win. This was more about the black and gold tonight.”

John Carroll got its only other points of the night with 8:19 left in the third quarter when Michael Hankes ran for a 3-yard score to cut the Vikings’ lead to 37-14.

After that, it was all Walker.

Cox returned the ensuing kick 65 yards for a touchdown and a 44-14 lead with 7:19 to go in the third quarter, and less than three minutes later Cox took a punt back 76 yards for a 51-14 lead.

“We kind of knew going in that Cox was a special player,” Brunner said, “but he had 10 guys around him to block that make him pretty good, too. But he finished when he needed to, and I’m real proud of him, as well as all the guys.”

Backup quarterback Ethan Walker ran for a 27-yard touchdown and a 58-14 lead with 7:17 left in the game, and Jayvon Oliver scored Walker’s final points with a 19-yard run with 1:54 to go.

Alex Medina led Walker defensively with 11 tackles. Garrett Davenport had 10 tackles and John Michael Reed had an interception for Walker, which plays its first home game of the season next Friday against Minor.

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Vikings Face John Carroll High in an Away Game

On Friday, the Vikings will take the field against John Carroll High School in an away game on the John Carroll campus.

John Carroll High School is located on Lakeshore Drive.  From Jasper, take I65 S to the Lakeshore exit.  Turn right on Lakeshore Drive and travel about one mile. Once you get past the shopping centers and restaurants, you will see the entrance to John Carroll on the right.

Today, we met up with Coach Heath Brunner to see how he feels about the upcoming game.

“We are really excited to get back on the field,” says Brunner.  “We have had two good weeks of practice and we are seeking redemption!”

The Vikings have two players who are currently injured and their playing time is questionable at this point.  Bob White, and the athletic training staff, are currently working with Tanner Gardner and Marco Hernandez to help them recover from recent injuries and back to their playing form.  We certainly wish these guys a speedy recovery.

We hope to see you at the game this week, but if you cannot attend, you can always listen to the game on our local radio broadcast.

For the fans outside of the listening area, the game can be streamed by following these tips from the station:   We stream everything through our website at http://www.worldwidefm.com. You can also listen to us in iTunes by looking for “MonsterFM station” under “golden oldies” in the “online radio” section. We’re also available on your smart phone or other smart device by using the “Tune In” app and searching for “WQJJ”.

Mark your calendars now for the next Booster Club meeting that will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 9th, at Los Reyes.  We had a good crowd at our first meeting but we hope to have a great crowd next week.  Pencil it in on your calendar, type it in your phone, write it on the fridge door…. just don’t miss it!

Let’s get ready to cheer on a Viking Victory on Friday!  See you at the game!

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