Lions Football Starts Strong, Crushes an Experienced TJ Squad 29-8
by Alec Parker
The first game of the season for the Walkersville Football Lions was an exciting one. The Lions defeated the Patriots in a 29-8 victory. The roar the crowd was just too much for TJ in this game.
The game started off very quickly for the Walkersville Lions, because on the third play of the game #22 Jacob Wetzel ran a 59-yard TD, which also the biggest play of the game for both teams. After the run Walkersville stopped TJ on multiple possessions, but it wasn’t until the second when Walkersville got a chance to put more points on the scoreboard, but sadly Noah Sadler missed a 44 yard field goal that was just short of the goal post.
However with only 27.9 seconds left in the first half Walkersville’s iron curtain defense pushed through and got the safety, making the score 9-0 at halftime.
The entire third quarter was great defense both ways and neither team scored; the Lions needed to spread the field to create opportunities, and that’s exactly what the Lions did in the fourth quarter when #2 Josh Polce caught the first passing touchdown from #15 Billy Gant this season. So the score was 16-0, until TJ pulled off a couple long passes and eventually passed in for a touchdown, and two point conversion making the score 16-8. The Lions didn’t back off — they pushed harder, faster, and stronger.
If I have to be honest the game wasn’t even the best part; I would have to give it to the community and the fans of the Lions showing up and supporting the team the whole game. The student section was as loud as it ever was. Some student section members even had things to say about the Lions first game; like senior Joey Edwards said “We stepped to a whole new level this year in football.” When I asked what we could do more as a crowd, Edwards responded with “More celebrations, and excitement.”
“We are doing really well in the second half continually putting pressure on TJ, forcing TJ into bad situations, but we need to stay in the same state of mind throughout whole game if we want to win.” said senior Ari Biggus
“Lions are pretty solid on run defense, shaky on pass defense though, but overall we’re working hard and with up beat tempo. We also need to pass more to open up the run game.” said senior Josh Clegg
“The run game has been strong throughtout, pasees on are on point, and the blocking is ok, could be better; but they really to work is cover the passes down the middle and over the top.” said sophomore Mike Pollak
“Game is going great, it’s been a great first game of mine and the season. The running and defense have been spectacular. Plus Chad Gleason is doing great on both sides of ball. They do need to pass on third downs more.” said freshman Ethan Miller
Even non-student section fans had something to say; like Principal Tracey Franklin, Franklin said “Defensively Walkersville holding their ground, TJ has a big team, with a lot of seniors, so this younger Walkersville team is holding well so far. Offensively need to work on controlling the tempo, and not worry on using our weapons every down, but overall we’re dominating this game.”
“We look physically in control of the game. We also controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the field. Most of all no one has gotten hurt or injured.” said Assistant Principal Greg Keller
Even Ex-Editor in Chief of the WHS Lion’s Pride Hanna Houck was there. Houck said “I’m exciting for the season, and I’m also really proud of the boys; they are just playing with all their hearts.”
Then #5 Chad Gleason had a great fourth quarter running the ball, and playing great defense. C. Gleason had two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter and an interception showing great resilience throughout this hard hitting game. After C. Gleason scored his two touchdowns Walkersville led 29-8, and with only seconds TJ couldn’t push the ball down the field fast enough, and Walkersville won their first game of season, just like that.
After the game some players had something to say about their own performance in the game. #2 junior Josh Polce said “We played with excellent poise and confidence, and TJ is a really good team, and they played a great game, but we need to work on the small mental mistakes for our future games .”
“First half was really tough, because TJ had a plan, but in the second half we adjusted and started playing like the team we need to be, and gained a ton of confidence.” Yingling also added “The defense needs to crash the gaps a lot more in order to control the line.”
The Lions next game will be on Friday September 9th at 7 PM away against the Liberty Lions.