Walker had its quick-strike offense.
In the end, that was enough as the Vikings fought off a valiant effort from the Yellow Jackets in a 41-15 victory in their rivalry game at Walker’s Ki-Ro Gambrell Field Friday night.
Curry took a short-lived lead in the third quarter, but Walker countered with 27 unanswered points to pull away for their third straight region victory.
“I felt like we didn’t play with any emotion in the first half,” Walker coach John Holladay said. “They played hard and we didn’t. We just came out after that first drive on the second half and played with some emotion and some intensity.”
Walker got a pair of touchdowns during a 1:24 stretch in the closing minutes of the third quarter to crush Curry’s chances at ended the Vikings’ stranglehold on the series. Walker has now won 17 straight over the Jackets dating back to the 1996 season.
Curry trailed 14-7 at the half, but opened the third quarter with a statement — driving 98 yards in 16 plays and taking 6:01 off the clock. Bradley Loggins scored on a 1-yard run to send Curry’s stands into a frenzy.
That was the last highlight for the Yellow Jackets.
Walker (3-1 overall, 3-0 in 5A, Region 6) put together a scoring drive of its own on its following possession with Kevin Clay weaving through Curry defenders for a 25-yard touchdown. His two-point conversion run put the Vikings up to stay at 22-15 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
Following a Curry three-and-out, Walker needed just two plays to find the end zone again. This time Tyler Phillips went 34 yards for the score. Joseph Pedraza’s kick made the score 29-15.
Walker added a pair of touchdowns in the final quarter.
Joseph Bell scored on a 1-yard run with seven minutes left in the game and Saige Harding fell on a loose ball in the end zone on a botched snap on a punt for Walker’s final score at the 6:18 mark. Curry’s final two possessions ended with interceptions by Jarrod Ollie and Myron Mitchell.
Both offense struggled in the first half.
Walker got on the board first on the final play of the opening quarter when Pedraza connected on a 27-yard field goal. The Vikings’ doubled their lead on the first drive of the second quarter when a 43-yard field goal put Walker up 6-0 with 7:24 left in the half.
The Vikings pushed their lead to 14-6 when quarterback Blake Wilkes hit Quadrekas Key on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Phillips ran in the two-point conversion.
Curry (1-3, 0-3) got on the board when Loggins hit Tyler Hill on a 53-yard touchdown bomb. The Yellow Jackets took their 15-14 lead after Loggins’ touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion pass to Lane Oliver.
Walker then put the game away.
“Curry came in here ready to win,” Holladay said. “They came in here with a good gameplan. Their kids kind of gave out in the second half.”
Clay rushed for 77 yards and a score on 13 carries to lead Walker’s rushing attack. Phillips picked up 71 yards on 11 attempts.
Wilkes completed 11-of-24 passes for 169 yards. Clay caught three passes for 49 yards while Key had five catches for 64 yards.
For Curry, Loggins completed 17-of-26 passes with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Tyler Hill hauled in eight passes for 87 yards and a score.
“I’m awful proud of them,” Curry coach Shay Oliver said of his team. “We let that last quarter get away from us, but I’m tickled with the effort. I told our kids, and I believe with all my heart, that if we get that type of effort from here on out, we will win the rest of them. There is no doubt in my mind.”
Both teams will be at home next week. Walker hosts Russellville while Sipsey Valley travels to Curry.