Subbing for injured starter Evan Horton, Jesse Walker turned in a dynamic performance at quarterback as the Mission Roadrunners senior football team knocked off Pitt Meadows 20-6 on the road last Friday.
Horton hurt his foot in a loss to the W.J. Mouat Hawks the previous week, prompting head coach Kevin Watrin to shift Walker from his usual role as slot receiver.
QB isn’t an unfamiliar position for the speedy Grade 11 standout – last season Walker was the full-time pivot for the Mission junior squad, guiding the team to the provincial AA title.
On Friday, Pitt battled the Roadrunners to a scoreless draw at halftime, but Walker found room to roam after the break, rushing for three touchdowns in the AA Eastern Conference regular season opener for both teams.
“It was a bit of a slow start on our part,” Watrin said. “We couldn’t seem to get a break, or couldn’t seem to make a break. But that’s sometimes the way it goes. They’re a big, strong, physical team, and they were geared up for us.”
In the second half, the Roadrunners started running more zone read plays, which gave Walker the option of handing off to a running back or keeping the ball and running himself.
“We hadn’t run it in the first half, and I think it was just kind of an oversight,” Watrin said. “But we were looking at how they were playing us (at halftime) . . . and said, ‘Maybe if we try that, it’ll give us an opportunity.’
“(Walker) is a super-athletic kid, and we had been working with him a little bit earlier in the year as a backup quarterback. And this week, he got all of the reps in practice which really helped him out. He was really confident and prepared.”
Wayde Carpenter also had a big game for the Roadrunners, rushing for over 100 yards and a two-point convert.
Watrin’s squad, No. 2 in the provincial AA rankings, plays the Langley Saints on the road this Friday.