Walker Valley Cruises Past Howard In Region 4-5A Win

Mustangs Blister Tigers, 44-0

  • Saturday, September 30, 2023
  • Richard Roberts

CHARLESTON, Tenn. -- Walker Valley moved even closer to a region championship showdown with McMinn County Friday as the Mustangs steam rolled The Howard School 44-0 to stay undefeated in Region 4-5A football.

The Hustlin' Tigers (1-5, 0-3 Region 4-5A), contrary to the final score, put up a fight for four quarters as a second half running clock brought the night to an early close.

“Cleavon Smith jr., and Jaron Bell, those two made it difficult all night, all night. It was really difficult running the ball,” praised Mustangs head coach Drew Akins. “They got us on the ground and we had to sustain drives. But, on our side it was good to see us sustain drives. We scored on every drive tonight. We didn't punt at all. We had the field goal which is awesome for Dillon Trew, that's his first points.”

The Mustangs (6-1, 3-0) scored on all seven possessions with 41 points coming off touchdowns. Backup kicker Trew scored his first points of the year with a 25-yard field goal with 38 second left in the third quarter.

“The message was go take care of business. This was a business night. I knew there wouldn't be a lot of atmosphere. I told our guys they have a task and the task was go win this ballgame so they could set themselves up for goals down the road. They came out and they handled the task. They did a really good job of getting up,” said Akins. “I wish we could have gotten our young guys some more plays, but the running clock makes it so difficult to get young guys playing time. I hate we didn't get more guys in, but at the end Javan (Hall) was able to get in the end zone. Our defense played a ton of people and in the end we got another zero on the board.”

The Mustangs were in control from the outset takin just three plays to put their first seven points on the board on a 27- yard pass from Evan Schwarzl to Brady Stack. They followed up six minutes later with a Malachi Martin 4-yard run to take a 14-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.

Schwarzl hooked up with Spencer Makuch for a 28-yard score early in the second and found Hudson Makuch for 28 yards for his third TD pass of the night with just under four minutes left in the half to put the Mustangs out front 28-0.

The Mustsangs stayed on the ground for their fourth score as Tanner Wattenbarger, back from battling injury for an extended period, pushed to paydirt from nine yards out. Walker Valley closed out the half with a 35-0 cushion.

Schwarzl finished his night connecting on 13 of 16 passes for 222 yards.

“Honestly, the biggest play of the night was Tanner Whittenbarger getting into the end zone. That kid's been through a lot of battles,” said a proud Akins. “Nobody knows or understands how much work went into that touchdown. To see that and celebrate with that kid meant a lot.”

The celebration of Whittenbarger's score set the Mustangs back more than 25 yards in penalties for the ensuing kickoff, but was well worth it according to Akins.

“That penalty was on me. That was one of those coaches penalties,” he said through a smile. “I told them to go celebrate their brother's accomplishment. He's worked really hard to have this opportunity and our guys did that.”

With sophomore field general Dosen Stum taking the snaps to open the second half, the Mustangs, using mostley reserves moved 67 yards for yet another score as Trew booted through a 25-yard field goal.

Hall closed out the scoring for the Mustangs on their final touch of the night capping the win with a 6-yard run that made it a 44-0 final.

The Mustangs travel to East Hamilton Friday with home field advantage on the line for the playoffs. The Hurricanes stand at 2-1 in the region and will be looking to hand Walker Valley its first region loss.

“We've got a big one next week. The one next week is going to determine who hosts (the playoffs). They've got a really good football team. They are going to be 5-2, we are 6-1. Whoever wins that ballgame is going to host,” Akins reminded. “We've got to go there and we've got to make sure we're focused in, locked in, all those things that kind of changes the challenge. It's going to be a great challenge for us. But, we have these goals and that's the next step. It's the most important game because it's the next game. We've got to get healthy, get to that game and hopefully have a bye week to rest up a little bit.”







-- 0






-- 44

First Quarter

WV — Brady Stack 27 Evan Schwarzl, (Eli Wilson kick) 8:20

WV — Malachi Martin 4 run (Wilson kick), 2:25

Second Quarter

WV — Spencer Makuch 28 pass from Schwarzl (Wilson kick), 8:32

WV — Hudson Makuch 35 pass from Schwarzl (Wilson kick), 3:57

WV — Tanner Whittenbarger 9 run (Wilson kick), 1:09

Third Quarter

WV — Dillon Trew 25 field goal, 0:38

Fourth Quarter 

WV — Javan Hall 6 run (kick failed), 3:05




First Downs






Passing Yards



Total yards



Passing (Comp-Att-Int)













Rushing: Christopher Beasley 3-20, J'Kwon McKevie 4-18 (H); Martin 6-47 TD, Noah Jones 5-26, Whittenbarger 5-24 TD, Hall 4-16 TD (WV).

Receiving: Chris Bradley 1-14, Ja'Caron Hart Sanders 1-9 (H); Stack 4-70 TD, Hudson Makuch 3-58 TD; Spencer Makuch 1-28 TD, Roman Eulo 2-25, Jeremiah Pugh 1-20, Whittenbarger 1-15, Tate Rountree 1-6 (WV).

Records: Howard 1-5, 0-3 Region 4-5A; Walker Valley 6-1, 3-0.

(Contact Richard Roberts at richardvol55@yahoo.com)

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