Walton - The Bright Spots
Last year's Walton team lost 20-3 in this very same Corky Kell Classic last year against Starrs Mill, and they looked bad doing it. Starrs Mill was a solid team last year, but I don't think they're on the same level as the 2005 version the Camden County Wildcats.
They lost in last year's game too... so what? Well, that was the last game the Raiders lost enroute to making it back to the Georgia Dome for the State Semi-Finals. Beating teams such as Valdosta, Cherokee, and North Gwinnett on the way, all teams that were 2nd round playoff participants or better.
On the field Michael Strickland has several division one offers, and he played himself into more on Saturday. He is a smooth athlete on both sides of the ball that is effortless in his catches and holds perfect position on offense and defense once the ball is in the air. His plays that were nearly back to back brought Walton back into the game, however briefly as Brandon West returned the kickoff for a touchdown after Walton had cut the gap.
See Strickland in action: ScoutTV*
The two or three times that Ross Applegate got time to throw the ball against a relentless Wildcat defense, he showed good touch and good field vision.
Mike Gothard had two bone jarring hits, and he's going to get a lot more opportunities to line up squarely against running backs that aren't nearly as talented as the ones he faced on Saturday. Gothard should be a lot of fun to watch for fans that like big hits from the linebacker position this fall.
See Gothard's Big Hits:
Finally, on a lighter note, crowd support. The majority of Raider Fans stayed until the bitter end, including this group of fans whose message was seen from beginning until end.
Walton's Fans Say "Go Raiders"
*ScoutTV is free for Total Access Pass Subscribers. If you're not a member of the GAVSV's Total Access Pass, there's never been a better time to join with the high school season kicking off this weekend. Give us a try for 7 Days at no cost to you; you're only regret will be that you waited so long.
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