On the first offensive play in Friday night’s game at Walker, a fumbled exchange by Broadmoor quarterback Devante Palmer and running back Jaelin Jackson hung in the air behind the line of scrimmage.
Walker defensive back Landen Harper scooped up the loose football and sprinted 23 yards for a touchdown, setting the tone for the resurgent Wildcats in their latest nondistrict rout.
Walker this time took a 52-0 victory, increasing its margin of victory to 232-23 through four games.
Not bad for a team coming off a winless 2014 campaign.
“These are the games we thought we should have won if we played up to our ability,” first-year Walker coach Brandon Lawley said of the first four, “but the focus has been to get better every week.”
That’s why Lawley spent several minutes huddled with his players after Friday’s win imploring them not to be satisfied.
“From here on out, it’s a slugfest every week,” he said.
Indeed, Walker (4-0) plays host to unbeaten Assumption of Class 4A next week before finishing the year with its five-game District 4-5A slate,where the likes of Zachary, Scotlandville and Denham Springs await.
But the manner in which the Wildcats have handled business to this point shows they are gaining steam.
Facing their first 5A foe in the fourth of five straight nondistrict home games, they once again leaned on the prolific passing of quarterback
Terry Bozeman and the stingy and opportunistic play of an improved defense.
Bozeman completed 13 of 23 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was sophomore receiver Darius Hampton, who had five catches for 117 yards and two scores.
Meanwhile, the defense picked up where it left off after scoring three touchdowns and registering a safety against Friendship Capitol the week before.
The Wildcats forced three turnovers and held Broadmoor (0-4) to 57 yards of total offense.
Middle linebacker Kyle Nevels provided the defense’s second touchdown of the night when he returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“The defense has set the tone all year,” Lawley said.
Walker led 16-0 less than four minutes in and took a 31-0 lead into halftime.
Compare that to Broadmoor’s last visit to Wildcat Stadium two years ago, when the Buccaneers led 36-0 at the half en route to a 48-0 win.
Broadmoor coach Elliott Wilkins said the young Bucs had only one player on the field Friday who played in that game two years ago.
“Walker’s a well-coached team,” Wilkins said, “and they’re getting better every week. I thought we were on the cusp of getting better until we played them. I guess we’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”