WALKER — The Walker Wildcats did not walk quietly into the night in their District 4-5A contest against Central on Friday night.
Central was on cruise control with a gaping 31-0 lead early in the third quarter until Walker scored three touchdowns in the period to pull to within 10 points.
But Central stepped on the pedal and sped away once again en route to a 54-24 win.
Central quarterback Brett Courville threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns to lead Central. CHS running back Lamontae Juneau had 104 yards on nine attempts and three rushing touchdowns in the second half.
Walker quarterback Tyler Lockhart tossed TD passes to Brice Brown and Carlton Perkins in the third period. Perkins also reeled off an 81-yard rushing touchdown in the quarter and finished with a game-high 162 yards.
Central coach Sid Edwards said he didn’t feel like his team panicked as Walker made its strong comeback bid.
“Let’s just say we had great concern when they made it a 10-point game,” Edwards said with a grin. “With a kid like Perkins on the other side, you’re just one blink away from being behind and then you’re in a war. Offensively, I think we rose up to the challenge and answered their scores. We just tried to keep coaching them up.”
As for Walker (2-5, 0-2), coach Dwayne Severio said last week’s 50-30 loss to Livingston Parish rival Live Oak may have taken some starch out of the Wildcats. He said before the game he counted five starting defensive players sidelined by injuries.
“We lost a tough game to our parish rival last week, and we also got a little banged up tonight, but we played extremely hard the whole game and never gave up against a very good team,” Severio said. “We have a few playmakers on our offense. We’re getting better on that side of the ball and I saw some improvement tonight. Both offenses showed some explosiveness at times.”
Central (6-1, 2-0) mounted a lengthy scoring drive on its first possession, marching 76 yards in nine plays. Courville found wide receiver Jeremy Anderson from 13 yards out and Greg Noel’s conversion gave the visitors a 7-0 advantage.
Early in the second quarter, Courville completed a strike to Devon Gales for a 49-yard touchdown to go up 14-0.
An interception by senior defensive back Paul Broussard led to Central’s next score. Gales took a pitch-back from Courville and looked downfield to find tight end Matt Edwards for a 22-yard gain. The big play set up a 26-yard Noel field goal.
The visitors didn’t let off the gas, executing an onside kick after the field goal and taking over at Walker’s 35-yard line.
The aggressive play led to another Central score just before halftime when Courville ran for a 14-yard touchdown and Noel’s conversion gave the visiting Wildcats a 24-0 edge at intermission.
Central kept up the pace in the third quarter, scoring on its first possession when Juneau ran for a 20-yard touchdown that put the Wildcats up 31-0.
But Walker bounced back by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter to pull to within 10 points with two minutes to play in the period.
Lockhart dumped a swing pass to Perkins who converted it into a 62-yard TD and the team’s first points of the night.
Moments later, Perkins scored on an 81-yard run.
Walker answered Noel’s 26-yard field goal with a 72-yard TD completion from Lockhart to Brown to make the score 34-24 with two minutes left in the period. Central pulled away on Juneau scoring runs of 40 and 1 yards.
popped free for a 40-yard touchdown run. and the visiting Wildcats never looked back.
With the win, Central stays undefeated in conference play before hosting Denham Springs next Thursday night.
“It was an up-and-down game, Edwards said. “I give credit to their coaching staff and their kids for the way they fought back and I was impressed with their grit.
Walker returns to conference action at Zachary next week.
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