On Friday night, it was payback time.
The Vikings turned five Pinson Valley turnovers into 24 points and cruised to a 31-13 road win over the Indians in a key region road game Friday night at Willie Adams Stadium.
Walker (2-1 overall, 2-0 in Class 5A, Region 6) put the game away in the second quarter, scoring 17 points during a torrid four-minute stretch. Each score came on the heels of a Pinson Valley turnover.
“Our defense did everything and more,” Walker coach John Holladay said. “Our coaches had a great gameplan and our players executed. This win is huge. We beat a really good team on the road.”
Pinson Valley’s first possession ended in an interception by Walker’s Quadrekas Key. It only got worse from there for the Indians, who took Oneonta — the No. 1 team in 4A — to the wire two weeks ago. Pinson Valley had a bad snap on a punt resulting in a Walker touchdown and also threw an interception and fumbled twice in the second quarter.
By halftime, the Vikings held an insurmountable 31-0 lead.
“The first half was the key. We pounced on a lot of loose footballs and made the most of it,” Holladay said.
Walker’s first three touchdowns came on a total of just eight plays. The Vikings drove 11 yards in four plays, 33 yards in three plays and eight yards in one play to build a four-touchdown lead.
The scoring started in the first quarter. Key set up the score with his first interception of the night at the Pinson Valley 11-yard line. From there, Blake Wilkes went into the end zone from one yard out. Joseph Pedraza’s extra point made the score 7-0 at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter. Walker struck again later in the quarter. With the Indians backed up to the end zone, the ball was snapped over the head of the Pinson Valley punter. Walker’s Jeb Cowen pounced on the loose ball for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 1:27 remaining in the quarter.
Walker’s next score came on the third play of the second half when Michael Bridges scored from three yards out for a 21-0 lead. Just two plays later, Key stepped in front of a Pinson Valley pass and returned it 24 yards to the Indians’ 16-yard line. After a Pinson Valley penalty put the ball at the 8-yard line, Tyler Phillips went into the end zone for a 28-0 lead with 10:17 left in the half.
John Michael Reed recovered a fumble on Pinson Valley’s next possession.
The Vikings then got a 21-yard field goal from Pedraza for their final points of the night for a 31-0 lead with 6:50 left in the first half. Pinson Valley put together its longest drive of the opening half later in the second quarter, driving to the Walker 4-yard line before fumbling the ball. Key came up with the loose ball to end the threat.
Walker owned the first half, allowing just 95 yards of offense while forcing the five turnovers.
The Vikings kept the ball on the ground for the bulk of the second half. Pinson Valley scored its first touchdown of the game early in the third quarter when Koleman Powell connected with Donald Efram on a 25-yard strike on a fourth down play. The Indians’ last touchdown came on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Powell to Earnest Robinson with 6:05 left in the game.
Robinson, an Auburn verbal commitment, was a non-factor for the Indians. He caught just one pass for five yards in the first half and finished with four receptions for 98 yards — 93 of those yards came in the final quarter.
Thanks to constantly playing with a short field, Walker tallied just 205 yards in the game. Michael Bridges led the way with 20 carries for 77 yards, Phillips had 56 yards on 14 carries, Kevin Clay added 25 yards on nine attempts and Wilkes rushed for 11 yards on six carries. Wilkes also completed 2 of 5 passes for nine yards.
Defensively, Key had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and five tackles, Blake Moore had 12 tackles and Austin Mansell had 10 tackles.
For Pinson Valley (1-2, 1-1), Coleman completed 20 of 30 passes for 343 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Friday's game was slowed by penalties. A total of 20 flags were thrown for 220 yards. The Vikings were flagged 13 times for 140 yards and also had a long touchdown pass called back in the third quarter.
Walker now heads home for three consecutive games starting with next week’s showdown with Curry (1-2, 0-2). The Vikings also host Russellville in a non-region game and Hayden before hitting the road against Center Point.