WALKER - All in all, it was a great night for coach Neil Weiner and Zachary High. Not only did the Broncos tally a convincing 38-18 win on the road against Walker, but they also kept pace in a close District 5-5A race.
“This was one of our best efforts this season,” Weiner said afterward. “Walker is a good team, and they had a good crowd. We were able to pull out a big win.”
Led by a pair of rushing touchdowns from both Boston Scott and Ladarrius Vessell, the Broncos churned out 354 yards on offense while holding Walker to 240 on its homecoming night.
“We had no answer for those two,” Walker coach Dwayne Severio said. “They were able to find holes in our defensive line and gain a lot of yards.”
After a quick three-and-out by the Wildcats to open the game, Zachary and senior quarterback Mason Pace started their first possession at their own 38-yard line and quickly drove down inside the Zachary red zone in six plays.
Pace capped off the drive by connecting with Quinton Jones for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Walker answered back on its next drive with a heavy dose of running back Carlton Perkins. Faced with a fourth down and 1 yard from the end zone, Perkins took a direct snap and plunged forward for the score.
“He was the only thing that we could really get going on offense,” Severio said. “He’s been a workhorse for us all year.”
Entering the game, Perkins was the state’s leading rusher, and he did what he could to maintain that status Friday, He was the focal point of Walker’s offense, taking a game-high 28 rushes for 141 yards.
“He’s just a good player and hard to stop,” Weiner said of Perkins. “I think we actually did the best job we could containing him.”
The Broncos held onto their lead, however, by blocking the extra point. A 30-yard field goal by Brandon Delhom right before the end of the first quarter put Zachary up 10-6.
Zachary started its fourth possession with a little more than nine minutes to go in the second quarter but turned the ball over on the first play when running back Shaun Lowe fumbled and Zachary recovered.
With the short field, the Broncos handed the ball off twice to Vessell, and he quickly rumbled for 40 yards, including a 15-yard TD to send Zachary to halftime with a 17-6 lead.
Lowe was part of two of the Wildcats’ four first half turnovers.
“That’s just inexcusable,” said Severio. “Those are mental mistakes that you can’t let happen if you expect to win a game.”
Severio saw his team continue to commit mistakes in the second half; however, this time, it was penalties. Thanks to three infractions for 30 yards, the Broncos were put in perfect position to give the ball to Vessell for his second touchdown.
After an interception, Scott found the end zone for the first time with a 2-yard score.
Walker finally answered on a 15-yard TD run by Perkins. But the Broncos quickly answered with a two play, 60-yard TD drive to take a 38-12 lead.
Scott led the Broncos with 105 yards rushing. Vessell finished with 83.