Jacobe Burrell’s 79-yard touchdown return on the game’s opening kickoff was just the beginning of the problems 10th-ranked Norcross presented for Walton in the Corky Kell Classic.
Norcross dominated the Raiders in all aspects of the game in a 33-0 first half and cruised to a 46-14 victory Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
Norcross quarterback Baron Radcliff was 16-for-25 passing for 246 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score as the Blue Devils rolled to 378 yards of total offense. Omar Sinclair had touchdowns rushing and receiving, Necholas Sermons had a 20-yard scoring run, and Michael Cole caught a 23-yard touchdown pass. Tamir Jones caught six passes for 78 yards.
Defensively, the Blue Devils held Walton to 186 total yards, but most of that came after halftime when the game was well in hand. The more telling numbers came in the first two quarters, when Norcross limited the Raiders to four first downs and 26 plays for 31 yards, including 18 rushes for minus-1 yard.
Walton quarterback Addison Shoup was 15-for-22 passing for 143 yards and two TDs, but the usually strong Walton running game was held to 43 yards on 32 carries.
Norcross’s special teams also made big contributions. In addition to Burrell’s return, the Blue Devils got a 37-yard field goal from Jake Camarda, a safety when Walton’s snap on a punt went out of the end zone, and a blocked punt that sent up Sermons’ touchdown run for a 46-7 lead.
“All around I’m just pleased with all the kids,” Norcross coach Keith Maloof said. “The kicking game was great today, and the return game was good. The offense found itself a little bit. We were able to establish the run a little bit better in the second half.
“Defensively we played a great first half and were a little sluggish in the second half, but that’s to be expected when you’re up 33-0. We’ve got to get over that, though, because the people we play down the road can explode at any time and get back in the ballgame.”
Walton finally got on the scoreboard on its first possession of the second half, when Shoup threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Blaylock to complete a nine-play, 67-yard drive.
But Norcross answered quickly when Burrell returned the ensuing kickoff 26 yards to the Walton 47, setting up a five-play touchdown drive to restore the lead to 33 points at 40-7. Radcliff capped the drive with a 21-yard scoring pass to Sinclair.
Walton – 0-0-7-7 – 14
Norcross – 12-21-13-0 – 46
N – Jacobe Burrell 79 kickoff return (Cole Hanna kick)
N – Jake Camarda 37 field goal
N – Safety (Punt snap out of end zone)
N – Baron Radcliff 1 run (Hanna kick)
N – Omar Sinclair 6 run (Hanna kick)
N – Michael Cole 23 pass from Radcliff (Hanna kick)
W – Dominick Blaylock 13 pass from Addison Shoup (Johnny Randall kick)
N – Sinclair 21 pass from Radcliff (Hanna kick)
N – Necholas Sermons 20 run (kick failed)
W – Chandler Smith 3 pass from Shoup (Randall kick)