JASPER — Playoffs or not, Walker isn’t going down without a fight.
The Vikings’ defense stepped up again and again as they picked up a 17-7 victory over Pinson Valley Friday night.
Walker held Pinson Valley running back Nick Gibson in check, just a week after the junior ran for 447 yards and six touchdowns in a win over Mortimer Jordan, garnering two statewide player of the week awards. Against the Vikings, Gibson rushed for 120 yards on 22 carries and never reached the end zone.
“We talked about (Gibson) all week,” Walker senior linebacker Austin Mansell said. “He’s a tremendous player and we knew we couldn’t let him beat us. I couldn’t be more proud of our defense and the way we played tonight.”
Down by a field goal, the Indians put together two long drives in the second half, but Walker’s defense shut them down in the red zone. A 13-play drive stalled at the Walker 30-yard line in the third quarter and a 17-play drive ended at the Walker 10-yard line in the fourth quarter, after a game-tying field goal attempt went wide left.
The game was scoreless was until the second quarter, when Marlon Oliver went into the end zone from three yards out. The score was set up by a 32-yard run by quarterback Bryant Atkins.
Later in the quarter, Walker got a 21-yard run to set up the Vikings at the Pinson Valley 29-yard line. Five plays later, Ran Crump made a 29-yard field goal with 1:20 remaining in the half to give Walker a 10-0 halftime lead.
Pinson Valley opened the third quarter with a 78-yard kickoff return by Juray Smith for a score.
The Vikings shut down the Indians from there and put the game away with an Oliver touchdown with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.