By James Champlin
Sun Sports Correspondent
BINGHAMTON – In a Section Four, Class D semifinal at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium on Saturday, the Walton Warriors used a methodical ground game to outrush the Bainbridge-Guilford Bobcats, 28-18.
Junior Warriors back Mike Beers toted the ball 32 times for 218 yards and injured back mate Nick Shiels provided an emotional lift late in the third quarter, scoring on a 6-yard scamper. The Warriors outgained the Bobcats on the ground 379 to 191 yards to run their way to a matchup versus Tioga in next Saturday's sectional final.
Walton opened the scoring on the game’s first possession, marching 86 yards in 13 plays. Beers, Trevor Spencer, and Robert Albro alternated carries as the Warriors' trademark precision running attack was flawless. Beers capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge that had Walton leading 6-0 after the failed two-point conversion attempt.
B-G's initial possession ended in an interception, but Walton quickly returned the favor on the ensuing play as Spencer fumbled after a hard hit by Bobcat linebacker Billy Holden at the Walton 39. Facing third-and-18 three plays later, Corbin Palmer, the Bobcats’ junior quarterback, lofted a jump ball to receiver Trevor Quimet, who outjumped the coverage for a first down completion at the Walton 28. On the next play, tight end Austin Bauerle got a free release from the line of scrimmage and Palmer hit him in stride for the tying touchdown making it 6-6. A missed point-after kick was missed leaving the game tied.
In a theme that would repeat itself throughout the game, Walton responded immediately. Spencer's 28-yard kickoff return set up Walton in B-G territory. Beers' 27-yard carry ended the first quarter and on the second play of the following quarter Warrior quarterback Dalton Kaminsky bulled over the endline for the go ahead touchdown. Again, the run for two point was stuffed by the Bobcats and Walton led 12-6 at the 11:21 mark of the second quarter.