Walker had its way in Class 5A, Region 6 play last season.
Led by its defense, coach John Holladay’s squad won its first ever region championship, going a perfect 7-0. Walker allowed an average of just 11.3 points in region games.
It’s outside of the region where the Vikings struggled.
Much of that had to do with the competition. Non-region opponents Cullman, Russellville and Hueytown each advanced to the state playoffs with a combined 25 wins between them. In 2012, the trio accounted for all four of Walker’s losses with Cullman beating Walker in the opener and ousting the Vikings in the second round of the 5A playoffs.
Things won’t be any easier in 2013. Walker plays the same schedule this season with both Cullman and Hueytown making the trip to Jasper.
For the 10th straight year, Walker opens the season against Cullman. The Bearcats have owned the Vikings in recent years, winning eight of the last nine meetings, including a 30-0 rout of Walker in the playoffs last season.
With Cullman’s two wins in 2012, the all-time series is tied 33-33-2.
Four of Walker’s first six games are on the road in 2013.
After the Cullman game on August 30, Walker plays the 5A, Region 6 opener at Moody. The Vikings won last year’s meeting 28-13.
The Vikings will play a key region home game vs. Pinson Valley in Week 3. The two teams played for the first time last season with Walker taking full advantage of five Pinson Valley fumbles in a 31-13 victory.
Walker makes the trip to Curry for a rivalry game in Week 4. The Vikings have won 16 in a row and 22 of the last 23 against the Yellow Jackets. Walker won last year’s meeting 41-15.
Week 5 features a non-region game at Russellville. The Golden Tigers blanked Walker 16-0 last year at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field, snapping a two-game skid against the Vikings.
Walker leads the all-time series 17-11.
In Week 6, Walker travels to Hayden to face the Wildcats. The Vikings are a perfect 7-0 in the series and have outscored Hayden 298-31 during that span, including 37-0 last year.
The Vikings host Center Point in Week 7. The Vikings fought off Center Point, formerly Erwin, in a 22-12 road win last season.
Mortimer Jordan has a new coach this season, former Dora head coach Dusty Goode. Goode served as an assistant coach with the Blue Devils last season. Mortimer Jordan, which hosts Walker this season, hasn’t had a winning season since 2006.
Walker leads the all-time series 7-2 and has won the last six meetings.
The Vikings close the season with two home games.
Springville plays at Walker on Oct. 25. The Tigers fell just short of upsetting the Vikings last year. Walker pulled out a 24-20 road victory.
The regular season wraps up with a home game against Class 6A Hueytown on Halloween. The Golden Gophers are under new coach Mark Stephens. The teams played every year from 1975 to 1997 before renewing the rivalry in 2004-05 and 2012-13. The Golden Gophers won last year’s game 28-14. Walker leads the all-time series 15-14.
Last season, just two of Walker’s region opponents finished with winning records — Pinson Valley (8-4) and Moody (6-4). Pinson Valley placed second to Walker in the region standings followed by Center Point (4-7) and Mortimer Jordan (5-6).
The Vikings’ region foes were a combined 28-46 with Hayden, Springville and Curry winning just five games between them.
Walker Vikings 2013 schedule
The Walker Vikings aim for their second consecutive region championship this season. Here is a look at this year’s football schedule.
Date Opponent 2012 rec.
Aug. 30 Cullman 10-3
Sept. 6 at Moody 6-4
Sept. 13 Pin. Valley 8-4
Sept. 20 at Curry 1-9
Sept. 27 at Russellville 9-3
Oct. 4 at Hayden 2-8
Oct. 11 Center Point 4-7
Oct. 18 at Mo. Jordan 5-6
Oct. 25 Springville 2-8
Oct. 31 Hueytown 6-5
*Walker plays its jamboree game against Benjamin Rusell at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery at 7 p.m. on Aug. 23.