Walker remains perfect in region
by Johnathan Bentley
Oct 19, 2013 | 1221 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker's Marlon Oliver runs against Mortimer Jordan during their game on Friday. Oliver rushed 38 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' 28-21 victory. Photo courtesy Robert Carter, North Jefferson News
Walker's Marlon Oliver runs against Mortimer Jordan during their game on Friday. Oliver rushed 38 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' 28-21 victory. Photo courtesy Robert Carter, North Jefferson News
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KIMBERLY — Walker is the Class 5A, Region 6 champion — again.

The Vikings put the offense on sophomore running back Marlon Oliver, who responded with a career game. Oliver rushed 38 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns as Walker earned a narrow 28-21 win at Mortimer Jordan High School on Friday night.

Walker’s defense forced four turnovers as the Vikings remained perfect in region play.

The Vikings, who are ineligible for the playoffs, are now 6-0 in the region. The only team that can tie Walker atop the region standings is Center Point, but the Vikings own the tie-breaker over the Eagles. Walker can win the region outright with a victory over Springville next week.

On Friday, Walker built a 28-7 on the first play of the third quarter. Mortimer Jordan battled back, cutting the gap to a touchdown with just under three minutes remaining.

The Vikings ended the Blue Devils hopes by recovering an onside kick and turned the game over to Oliver, who rushed for a pair of first downs to finally finish off the Blue Devils.

Oliver, who doubled this season’s scoring output on Friday, had over 140 yards at the half.

Walker’s defense picked off Mortimer Jordan quarterback Devlin Hodges three times with Cody Brown, Kevin Clay and John Michael Reed each intercepting the Southern Mississippi verbal commitment.

Jarrod Ollie also recovered a fumble after Mortimer Jordan botched the second half kickoff.

Walker (6-2, 6-0) went 70 yards for a touchdown to open the game. Oliver ran on seven of the nine plays and finished the drive with a 20-yard touchdown at the 7:40 mark of the first quarter. Ran Crump made the first of four extra points for a 7-0 lead.

Mortimer Jordan countered with a score of its own. Hodges completed a 45-yard pass on the Blue Devils’ first play from scrimmage. Five plays later, Hodges connected with James Blair on a 5-yard touchdown pass to notch the score at 7-7 with six minutes left in the opening quarter.

In the second quarter, Walker’s Brown picked off Hodges to end a Mortimer Jordan drive at the Walker 24-yard line. The Vikings took the lead behind an 11-play, 76-yard drive. Oliver broke a 35-yard run on the second play of the drive and finished it off with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Vikings ahead 14-7 with 4:29 left in the half.

A botched snap on a punt, put Walker at the Mortimer Jordan 31-yard line to start the Vikings’ next drive.

Four plays later, Oliver scored his third touchdown of the night, going in from 23 yards out as Walker built a 21-7 lead with 2:15 left in the first half.

On Mortimer Jordan’s final possession of the first half, Walker linebacker Austin Mansell pressured Hodges into a hurried pass that was picked off by Clay.

Walker added its last touchdown early in the third quarter.

Following Ollie’s fumble recovery on a short kickoff, Walker quarterback Bryant Atkins connected with Isaiah Cox on a 43-yard touchdown strike on the first play from scrimmage for a 28-7 lead.

Mortimer Jordan (4-4, 3-3) didn’t go down with a fight.

Josh Moon cut the gap to 28-14 with a six-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.

The Blue Devils also capitalized on a bad snap on a punt attempt that gave Mortimer Jordan possession at the Walker 19-yard line at the 4:20 mark of the fourth quarter.

Blair scored on 1-yard touchdown run at the 2:55 mark, but Walker’s offense was able to run out the clock on its next possession.

For Walker, Ollie had seven tackles and a fumble recovery on defense. Jaiquan Crook had seven tackles and a sack while Mansell had nine tackles.

Walker returns home for its final two games. The Vikings host Springville in next week’s region finale.

Walker has now won 17 straight region games dating back to a loss to Hartselle in 2011.

Though the Vikings are atop the region standings, Walker won’t be in the playoffs due to being placed on restrictive probation by the AHSAA following a fight on the field between coaches after the season-opening game against Cullman.