In Battle of Unbeatens, Lions Roar to 9 and 0
by Alec Parker
Special graduate freelance writer
As the sun goes down the lights come out, and yet again Walkersville proves their dominance by winning their 23rd game in a row against a mighty tough Oakdale team that was 8-0 coming into the night. The final score was a nail biter as Walkersville won 19-13.
It was not only a big night for the whole team of Walkersville, but it was a special night as it was senior night. There are 27 seniors on this very experienced Lion team, and each one of them got their deserving round of applause, and the respect they earned through tough, and long days at practice, and their constant participation, and leadership during games.
As the game started the temperature dropped to the low 50’s into the high 40’s. Walkersville started off strong with a great return by senior number 22 Jacob Wetzel. However Walkersville would have to eventually punted away. Oakdale was a prominent pass first offense with weapons all over the field. The Bears did push the ball down the field, but only came up with a field goal, making the score Oakdale 3, Walkersville 0. This would be the first time Walkersville has trailed at home all year. Walkersville did eventually strike back as they marched all the way down field, and when in doubt hand it off to Wetzel as he scampered in for a four yard touchdown.
Walkersville’s defense in the first half was stellar as they forced Oakdale to turnover the ball twice. On one turnover Walkersville’s number 33 senior Christian Policelli recovered a fumble , and returned all the way which put Walkersville up 13-3. Towards the end of the half Walkersville did add a field goal by number 11 senior Noah Sadler. At halftime Walkersville was up 16-3. According to Steve Hawkins Walkersville had 245 total yards in the first half to Oakdale’s 127. Also Wetzel had 12 carries for 71 yards, and one touchdown.
In the second half it was a totally different game. Oakdale started to connect on a lot more passes, really starting to push the ball down field, and eventually scoring to make it 16-10. Later in the third quarter both teams started to struggle to put points on the board. Which is usually a rarity when it comes to these two powerhouse offenses. Walkersville eventually did get another field goal by Sadler putting the Lions up 19-10. Late in the fourth quarter the Bears were trying to push the ball down the field however a few penalties cost them some big plays, and eventually had to settle for a field goal, and were forced to onside kick, and the Bears were too aggressive, and touched the ball too soon. So the Lions were given the ball at the Oakdale 40, and got one first down. Then the Lions respected kneeled the ball, and won the game.
Some seniors were really touched by all the support they got especially from family members, and when the whole community comes together, this is an unstoppable force. Some players had a lot to say about the whole season, and what they felt about the team, and the brotherhood they have, plus the leadership they use to help the younger players.
“We have been watching a lot of film and been coming to practice with a lot more focus. I’ve been able to make decisions a lot faster whether it be an audible or who I should throw to. We try to focus on taking things one game at a time and having as much fun in the process,” said senior number 15 Billy Gant.
“In football you have to a short memory. What we try to do is have a next play mentality because once you make a mistake there is nothing you can do but make the next play. All players make mistakes, and although it can be challenging we can’t allow past mistakes to affect our confidence. I would say just making sure we are always focused and playing with energy. Tuscarora was definitely a humbling experience but we came out playing “Walkersville football” against Wootton,” said senior number two Josh Polce.
“I’ve always had high expectations for myself when it comes to pretty much anything whether it’s in school or in athletics to be the best at what I’m doing so I always try to max out my effort because I know that if I put in the work and the drive is there, then I’m going to accomplish my goals so I’d say having high expectations in myself is what pushes me to be the best of my ability,” said senior number 33 Policelli.
(As a captain) “I expect to keep everyone’s head straight and make sure we stay together as a team. I also expect to give my best effort every play. It’s pretty weird too be honest. I can still remember my first home game as a freshman, which was also against Oakdale. So it’s cool that we open and close our high school regular seasons with Oakdale,” said senior number 60 Ethan Parish
“We are very senior loaded this year and have a lot of guys with experience. A lot of guys take on a leadership role when needed. We had a few minor injuries, younger guys had to step up and play larger roles for the team. You have to stay positive when things aren’t going your way. Momentum swings all the time in football, you have to stay focused and positive when momentum isn’t in your favor,” said senior number five Zack Mathis
This was a huge win for Walkersville especially against another top team like Oakdale. Next week Walkersville will be heading to Middletown to once again renewing one of the great rivals in Frederick county sports. Last year Walkersville defeated Middletown twice once in the regular season ,and once in the playoffs. This should be a great game, with a lot of action, and emotion.