SANTA ROSA BEACH -- It was north vs. south and the Walton County High Braves from the north won the battle handily with a 27-0 shutout over the South Walton Seahawks.
The difference in the game? Turnovers.
“We won the turnover battle,” said Walton Coach Bobby Moore.
South Walton fumbled the ball four times and threw two interceptions.
“That’s been our issue … we just hurt ourselves. It’s self-inflicted wounds,” said South Walton Coach Phil Tisa.
Nevertheless Coach Moore was proud of his defense.
“Defensively we played really good … we shut those guys out,” Moore said.
Walton held the Seahawks to 103 yards rushing and 137 through the air.
As for the Braves offense, “We did the things we had to do,” Moore added.
Walton had four different players put points on the board. Xavier Young-Shipman scored the first TD on a 10-yard run in the first quarter. Jamir Campbell scored the second on a 26-yard run up the middle with 5:29 left in the first half. Walton scored one more time in the last three minutes of the first half on a Landon Rogers pass to Kazeri Freeman for a 35-yard TD. The final touchdown came midway of the third quarter on a pass play. Rogers connected with Damarquie Goode for a 70-touchdown strike.
“It’s a good win … because it’s a county win,” Moore said.
“But in a couple of hours, will just worry about the next one.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 9
Nine was the number of turnovers for the night.
South Walton just couldn’t seem to hold on to the ball. The Seahawks fumbled the ball on their first two touches and then twice more. Quarterbacks Drake Roberts and Caleb Lindsey each threw an interception, bringing the Seahawks total to six.
Walton accounted for the other three turnovers. Quarterback Landon Rogers was picked off by South Walton’s Dylan Garner on a two-point conversion attempt and then later by J.M. Allen. The last interception was thrown by backup quarterback Matthew Bearden.
OFFENSIVE MVP: Landon Rogers
Walton’s sophomore quarterback Landon Rogers was pretty impressive. He completed 6-of-11 passes for 170 yards, including two for touchdowns. With 2:40 left in the first half, Rogers found Freeman in the left corner of the end zone for a 35-yard TD pass. The second touchdown pass was a big one. About midway of the third quarter, Walton had just stopped the Seahawks and took over on their own 30-yard line. On the first down, Rogers hit Goode on a route and Goode took the ball 70-yard for the TD.
Rogers also had five carries on the ground for 19 yards.
All this was in just the first three quarters.
DEFENSIVE MVP: Josue Ramirez
There was no stopping the 6-foot-6 junior, Josue Ramirez. He managed to come up with two fumble recoveries, one in the first quarter and then another in the third quarter.
Ramirez also dropped the quarterback in the fourth quarter for a 3-yard loss.
QUOTABLE: Kazeri Freeman
With the Walton Braves up 27-0 and about five minutes left in the game it was really starting to look like the Braves were going to completely shut the Seahawks out.
At that point, Kazeri Freeman of the Walton Braves told this reporter on the sideline, “We had more discipline tonight.”
Last year the Braves lost to the Seahawks 38-6. But this night, belonged to the Braves.
The South Walton Seahawks, 0-2, will travel to Baker to take on the Gators next Friday.
Walton, 2-0, will host the Arnold Marlins of Panama City Beach on Friday.
Both games start at 7 p.m.
- Walton’s BJ Campbell pulled down two interceptions.
- There were a number of penalties in the game; Walton had 55 yards in penalties, while the Seahawks tallied 65.
- Top ball carrier for the Walton Braves was Jamir Campbell eight carries for 74 yards and one touchdown.
- Leading rusher for the Seahawks was Tyler Mitchum with five carries for 43 yards.