Alex King scores the first of three touchdowns Friday night against Hixson High School. (Photo by Nikki Swafford)
Junior Alex ran for three more touchdowns - to give him seven on the young season - to lead Walker Valley to a come-from-behind victory, 42-32, at Hixson on Friday night.
The Mustangs coughed up two costly fumbles, but rebounded with a strong second-half to go to 1-1.
The two offensive-minded teams amassed a total 46 points in the first half.
Hixson drew first blood moving 46 yards on eight plays to go ahead 6-0.
The Wildcats put together another drive, but had to settle for a 48-yard field goal try that was short and wide left.
Walker Valley took the lead after galloping downfield on a pass to Zach Eslinger, then a run by Tucker Mendenhall to the two. King took it in untouched to put the visitors ahead 7-6.
Hixson moved back ahead after Justin Nicholson picked up a Mustang fumble. Speedster Tarik Twitty, who ran for over 700 yards last season, took it to the five and Ladaquis Word got the score to make it 18-7 Wildcats.
Walker Valley roared back on a 54-yard Kolten Gibson score on a mis-direction play to pull to 18-13. The extra point try was blocked.
Hixson had a chance to take another two-touchdown lead after advancing to first and goal. But a personal foul moved the ball back to the 17. Soon after Walker Valley took over, Twitty picked up a fumble and ran 17 yards around the left side for the 24-13 lead. A penalty on the extra-point two-point try gave Hixson another chance, and Word went around the left side for a 26-13 lead.
Walker Valley went 54 yards on two plays late in the first half to pull to withing six points.
The Mustangs marched down the field on the opening drive of the second half and King again got the score. The drive went 80 yards on 10 plays. The extra point by Andrew Hannah put Walker Valley up 27-26.
Walker Valley threatened again after 6'4" wide receiver Cooper Melton caught a pass and went to the Hixson 34 before stepping out of bounds. However, a Mustang penalty moved the ball back to the 49.
Hixson's Dylan Bargerstock had two sacks to help Hixson hold on its own 32.
On the next play, Twitty raced to the Hixson 25. However, the long run was nullified by a holding infraction in the penalty-riddled contest. After Hixson got close to the goal, 230-pound Myles Ratliff pounded it near the line twice before Twitty scampered in. That put Hixson back on top 32-27.
But King then burst up the middle to quickly send the Mustangs ahead. Junior Bryce Nunnelly caught a pass for the two-point conversion to make it Walker Valley ahead 35-32.
Hixson went three and out, then Walker Valley controlled the ball in the final minutes before King scored yet again. He had 123 yards on the ground.
Hixson drops to 0-2.