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Warriors Sports

Maple Grove Defeats Walton in Semis

Posted Wednesday, April 08, 2009 by Daily Star

Walton stumped in semi

By P.J. Harmer
Staff Writer

 

ROCHESTER _ It turned out like so many of Walton's games over the past two seasons.

This time, however, the Warriors were the ones watching a celebration.

Section Six champion Maple Grove scored on its first five possessions as the No. 2 ranked Red Dragons shocked top-ranked Walton, 49-14, in a Class D state semifinal on a bitter-cold and snowy Friday night at Paetec Park in Rochester.

The loss snapped a 24-game winning streak for Walton (11-1), who won the Class D state championship last season.

"Hey, we went up against an unbelievable football team," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "They had a great scheme defensively against us and we couldn't keep the ball away from them, which we should have done."

Maple Grove (12-0) used its speed on the front line to keep the Warriors bottled up and opened a 21-0 lead before Walton got a first down.

"They had speed, they were on the ball, and they pursued the ball," said Walton junior Bryant Mead, who finished with 32 yards on eight carries. "They were a better team than we were, and it showed _ 49-14 doesn't happen that much to Walton."

The Dragons, who will meet Moriah (a 21-6 winner over Tuckahoe) in the state championship at 11 a.m. next Saturday at the Syracuse Carrier Dome, received the opening kickoff and needed seven plays to open the scoring. Adam Hover capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, and Chris Secky kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 8 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

After forcing a Walton punt, Maple Grove used a five-play scoring drive that ended with Hover's 3-yard TD run. Secky's extra point made it 14-0 with 3:58 left in the first period.

"We had no idea it would be this great," said Hover, who amassed 78 yards on 14 carries. "We were playing amazing. Our line was awesome and our offense was unstoppable. We have a lot of speed on our team. I think that's what helped."

Another three-and-out for the Warriors gave Maple Grove the ball again, and the Dragons followed with a 10-play scoring drive that bridged the first and second quarters. Jake Larson's 3-yard TD run set up Secky's third extra point for a 21-0 advantage with 9:43 remaining before halftime.

"I was still worried," Maple Grove coach Curt Fischer said. "I didn't know if it was going to happen. I still didn't believe. I always keep the mentality that it's 0-0."

The Warriors finally broke through and looked like a team poised to make a run.

After starting at its 25, Walton used eight plays _ all rushing _ to bring the ball to Maple Grove's 15. Facing a fourth-and-4, quarterback Chad Gardepe rolled to his right and threw back across his body to hit Mead in the center of the end zone. Nobody was within 5 yards of Mead on the play.

"I felt a good kick," Mead said. "But right after that, they scored and our offense couldn't do anything. After that, we were just off."

After Walton attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Maple Grove, Fischer went to his bag of tricks.

Quarterback Secky flipped a lateral to Josh Micek on the right side. Micek took two steps forward, then threw deep down the right side to Joe Caporale, who was all by himself. He made the catch in stride at about the 20 and went in untouched. Secky converted the extra point to make it 28-6.

"We work on that play a lot and we wanted to be prepared," Fischer said. "I was thinking while they were driving that it's probably going to be time, if they score. I don't want the momentum to switch and I'm probably going to have to throw that pass and it worked out pretty well."

Walton reached Maple Grove's 12 with 5 seconds remaining in the half, but Andrew Wascher and Corey Gens combined to sack Gardepe for a 19-yard loss as the half expired.

The Dragons continued their success on the ground in the second half.

After forcing a Walton punt on the opening drive of the third quarter, Maple Grove used a 10-play drive _ seven rushes _ to extend its lead. Hover scored for the third time, this time on a 2-yard run, and Secky's kick made it 35-6 with 4:29 to go in the quarter.

"We weren't wrapping," Mead said. "We're used to hitting people and making them fall. Then making them fold over. We should have hit low and wrapped. Those guys hit low and wrapped."

Maple Grove made it 42-6 in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard run from Hover, then went up, 49-6, with 1:07 to play on a 43-yard fumble return by Branden Fain.

Walton closed the scoring with a minute left, when Dan Gehl hit Cody Endress on a 53-yard touchdown pass. Phil Hanley followed with a successful two-point conversion run.

"I guess we just didn't prepare well enough," said Hanley, who finished with 26 yards on nine carries and ended his junior year with an area-best 1,278 yards. "We knew they were a great team. I have to hand it to them. They are very fast and have a good quarterback. They have a lot of good skill players. I think we underestimated their line."

Mead was named the outstanding offensive player for Walton and his brother, Chris Mead, earned outstanding defensive player honors. Hover (offensive) and Matt Fox (defensive) were Maple Grove's award-winners.

Maple Grove 49, Walton 14

CLASS D STATE SEMIFINAL

at Paetec Park, Rochester

Walton0 6 0 8 _ 14

Maple Grove14 14 7 14 _ 49

FIRST QUARTER

M _ Adam Hover 2 run (Chris Secky kick) 8:39

M _ Adam Hover 3 run (Chris Secky kick) 3:58

SECOND QUARTER

M _ Jake Larson 1 run (Chris Secky kick) 9:43

W _ Bryant Mead 15 pass from Chad Gardepe (run failed) 4:47

M _ Joe Caporale 53 pass from Josh Micek (Chris Secky kick) 4:32

THIRD QUARTER

M _ Adam Hover 2 run (Chris Secky kick) 4:29

FOURTH QUARTER

M _ Adam Hover 23 run (Chris Secky kick) 9:26

M _ Brandon Fain 43 fumble recovery (Chris Secky kick) 1:07

W _ Cody Endress 53 pass from Dan Gehl (Phil Hanley run) 1:00

Walton rushing: Cody Reed 15-80, Phil Hanley 9-26, Chad Gardepe 3-(-22), Dan Gehl 1-(-2), Bryant Mead 8-32, Robbie Rigas 1-1, Evan Boyd 1-12, Chris Mead 1-1, Jim MacDonald 2-(-1).

Maple Grove rushing: Adam Hover 14-78, Jake Larson 16-97, Chris Secky 4-0, Brett Tordoff 3-7.

Walton passing: Chad Gardepe 3-for-9, 37 yards; Dan Gehl 1-for-1, 53 yards.

Maple Grove passing: Chris Secky 5-for-8, 61 yards; Josh Micek 1-for-1, 57 yards.

Walton receiving: Bryant Mead 1-15, Cody Endress 3-75.

Maple Grove receiving: Josh Micek 3-35, Joe Caporale 3-83.

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