Josh Walker gets what Josh Walker wants.
And Friday night, the Austin senior running back wanted to do big things whenever he touched the ball.
Walker ran for nearly 200 yards and scored on three runs (69, 1, 37 yards) in a 37-24 win against Class 6A No. 5-ranked Spain Park. For good measure, he also caught six passes. That included a 68-yard score in which he took a pass in the flat, juked a Jaguar defender, and turned on the jets to race past the remainder of the defense.
“Josh Walker’s a winner,” Austin coach Jeremy Perkins said. “And he’s going to find a way to win in every situation. He’s tough. He’s a great kid, a great student, a great person. And, as you saw tonight, he’s a great football player.”
Walker ran the offense at several points out of the Wildcat formation. His 1-yard TD run came with him taking a direct snap, and it capped a 12-play, 98-yard drive in which he carried seven times for 33 yards.
And it wasn’t a weak defense Walker was slicing through. Spain Park had two Division I commitments in linebacker Je’Niah Jackson (UAB) and lineman Jacob Chaffin (South Alabama).
“I think we did,” Walker said when asked if he felt Austin successfully handled the Spain Park front seven, which Perkins had said would be one of the toughest the Black Bears face this season.
“They were still well coached. They made a lot of mistakes, too. We just picked up on their mistakes and finished.”
Points aplenty: With a 61-7 win against Southeastern, Falkville scored more points in one game than it did all of last season (58). The 61 points were the most the Blue Devils had scored in a game since a school-record 67 in a 67-0 win against Elkmont in 1954, according to ahsfhs.org.
Falkville has also matched its win total from 2011 and 2010.
Streaking: Decatur’s 21-13 win against Athens on Thursday gave the Red Raiders four straight victories in the series. Decatur also won four in a row from 2002-05. But neither of those streaks are Decatur’s best domination in the rivalry.
The Red Raiders won 15 straight between 1939-52, eight straight from1927-37 and six straight from 1959-64, according to ahsfhs.org.
Decatur now sets its sights on restarting a win streak against Austin. The Black Bears’ 35-25 victory last season snapped a string of four consecutive Red Raider wins.
With a 42-14 win at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa on Friday, Hartselle improved its winning streak to 16 games, which is tied with Jackson for longest current streak in the state. The Aggies, who have moved up to Class 5A, opened with a 30-0 win against Class 4A Clarke County.
Tanner has won 27 consecutive regular season games, tied with Dadeville for most in the state. The Rattlers edged Madison Academy 13-7 on Thursday night. The Rattlers also have 20 straight home wins, second only to Dadeville (21).
All three phases: Austin did more than just rack up 500 yards of offense against Spain Park. The Black Bears’ defense and special teams were also big.
During the second quarter, back-to-back offside calls on Austin gave Spain Park a fourth-and-goal play from the Black Bear 1-yard line. The Jaguars were denied when Lamont Crittendon led a charge at the line, stuffing Spain Park running back Kevron McMillan for a yard loss. Austin then drove down field and scored for a 27-3 lead.
The defense also recorded a handful of sacks and broken up passes, and forced a fumble.
On special teams, Austin’s Fred Coleman blocked a Spain Park field-goal attempt in the second quarter, and Philip Corlew booted a 22-yard field goal and a pair of touchbacks.
Numbers game: Lawrence County has held East Lawrence to 12 points in back-to-back years, both Red Devils wins. Lawrence County has won 13 of the past 15 meetings. ... Danville’s 21-7 win against Randolph snapped a two-game skid in season openers. ... East Limestone’s 20-2 loss to Madison County marked the Indians’ lowest scoring output since being shut out by Muscle Shoals in 2009. ... Ardmore’s 22-16 win against Elkmont snapped a four-game losing streak to the Red Devils.
Daily sports writer Daniel Boyette can be reached at email@example.com.
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