Walker Valley and Red Bank are both excellent at offensive football. However, the visiting Mustangs proved to be a tad better Friday night at Red Bank Community Stadium, and ultimately their defensive unit helped them earn their first win of the season, 45-42.
In addition to 87 points, the teams totaled more than 800 yards of total offense.
In front of their home crowd, the Lions' attack led by Calvin Jackson and Zay Brown lit Walker Valley up for 42 points in the first half. But that's all they'd score for the game.
Instead, the unstoppable combination of quarterback Kolten Gibson and Zeke Westfield gave Red Bank defenders all they could handle before a chip-shot 16-yard field by Kangel Sebany sealed the win.
"Tonight was the first night we've been able to finally put everything together," sixth-year Walker Valley head coach Glen Ryan said. "We came out and pitched a shutout in the second half, and our kicking game won it for us."
Gibson's final stat line totaled 18 completions on 40 throws with five touchdowns. Three of the touchdowns and 273 yards were to receiver Westfield. Gibson also ran 17 times for 83 yards.
"The combination they bring with the height of the receiver and the accuracy and quickness of the quarterback makes it almost unstoppable," Red Bank coach Chad Grabowski said. "We saw why they're rated so high."
Red Bank's signal-caller Madox Wilkey threw for 369 yards, while senior receiver David Cosby totaled 117 yards and a long score on just three catches.
The loss was the first in five games for the Lions (5-2) as they prepare to hop back into Region 3-3A play next week against Brainerd. The Mustangs (1-6), meanwhile, feel energized about their playoff chances moving forward in Region 4-5A.
"If we can just put our heads down and come up with a couple more wins like this, who knows?" Ryan said. "That's why we play and love the game. Anything can happen on any week."
Contact John Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org