Hylton junior running back D.J. Walton has been waiting much of the season for some decent kicks to return. Yesterday, in the 38-13 state semifinal win over Princess Anne, he got several.
Walton returned the opening kickoff 63 yards. He then had a 28-yard punt return. In the second half, he returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. Later, he had a 42-yard kickoff return.
"Everybody usually kicks it away from me or kicks it out of bounds or kicks it to somebody else," Walton said.
"We haven't had a lot of kicks we can return," Hylton Coach Bill Brown said. "It's been kinds of kicks that are hard to field, either too short or you can't get to them. I think he's been starved to death wanting kicks he can return."
Color Him Embarrassed
Prince William County School Superintendent Edward L. Kelly committed an unintentional fashion faux pas yesterday: He showed up at the game wearing a red and blue sweater--Princess Anne colors.
"I didn't realize it," Kelly said with a laugh during the halftime break. "Nobody's stoned me yet."
Princess Anne lost senior running back/linebacker Kendrick Howard early in the first quarter when the four-year starter separated his shoulder.
"We just don't have a whole lot of depth, and when a key player like Howard gets hurt, I could look on the sideline and tell the kids were down," Cavaliers Coach Jeff Ballance said. "[He's] an emotional leader."
"He's a real key in their offensive attack, but he's even bigger on defense," Brown said. "He's their best defensive player, in my mind."
With Howard, Princess Anne knocked off unbeaten teams Deep Creek and Bayside to reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1979, when Ballance quarterbacked the team.
A Hole Too Deep
Princess Anne junior quarterback C.J. Fayton rushed for 68 yards and threw for 123, but much of that yardage came after the score was 38-0.
"We didn't see anything different, [Hylton] just played a little better than the other teams we faced," Fayton said. "For their size, they're quick, and that presented a few problems."
Fayton and the receiver he threw a touchdown to, Derrick Gatlin, played on the Cavaliers' state championship basketball team last season, as did junior running back Cedric Humes, who rushed for 107 yards.
Hylton 38, Princess Anne 13
Varina 23, Centreville 17
Saturday, Dec. 4
Hylton (13-0) vs. Varina (13-0) at University of Richmond, 4