Friday: Walnut (6-0) at Mantachie (2-3)
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Walnut coach Timmy Moore was home Wednesday with a stomach virus. That’s not something he wanted to pass on to his players, and it might be the only thing that could slow down the Wildcats’ history-making season.
Walnut is 6-0 for the first time since 1977; that team started 7-0 before finally losing. The 1976 team did the same thing, and the ’75 squad owns the program’s best-ever start, 9-0. At last week’s homecoming game, Walnut pulled in what Moore believes is the biggest gate since those glory days.
“We’ve had some up-and-down years here,” Moore said, “and it makes you appreciate winning. People in the community appreciate it.”
Standing in the way of win No. 7 is Region 1-2A foe Mantachie. As usual, Walnut will turn to its two offensive horses, Jacob Sesma and Gavin Luster. Sesma plays quarterback when Walnut runs the spread, fullback and tailback when it runs the I-formation. Luster is a yard-eater, and both seniors are fifth-year starters.
Moore is quick to point out, though, that the Wildcats aren’t 6-0 solely because of Sesma and Luster. He praised the play of receivers Earnest Perry, Shaquille Perry and Mark Peterson.
“Our motto this year has been to approach every game like we’re 0-1, 0-2, 0-3,” Moore said. “We’ve got some athletes, but we still have to scratch and claw for everything. We know our toughest games are down the road.”
The toughest game will be Baldwyn, which has won five of the last six 1-2A championships. The teams meet in Baldwyn on Nov. 2 – the season finale.
“We’re trying to stay focused and get better every week,” Moore said, “stay grounded and not get cocky.”