D’IBERVILLE — Minnesota commit Justin Walley came through in the clutch for D’Iberville, scoring three times and leading the Warriors to a 34-0 win over Biloxi in Mississippi Class 6A, District 4 football Friday.
The SBLive fifth-ranked Warriors (3-0) converted 8-of-9 fourth down plays, including twice in the final 8:47 to run out the clock, with Walley responsible for five conversions, although he was held out of the final drive.
“He’s special,” said D’Iberville head coach Larry Dolan. “With a weapon like that, you have to use him.”
Walley came into the game with 206 rushing yards and four touchdowns, averaging 10.8 yards a carry. He added nine catches and 120 yards receiving in D’Iberville’s first two games.
Friday night he added 84 yards on seven carries, scoring on runs of 14, 15, and 22 yards — his first and third scores coming on fourth down. He added four catches for 39 yards, converting one fourth down. His first score broke a string of nine consecutive shutout quarters put together by the Indians defense to start the season.
Walley’s clutch performance led Biloxi coach Katlan French to agree with Dolan. “He’s just a special player,” he said. “He doesn’t seem to get tired and he’s all over the field.”
Walley said his success Friday lay in the offensive line. “When I got the ball, I had a lot of open ground,” he said. “It’s a huge confidence builder for us.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Walley put the Warriors on the board early in the second quarter with a 14-yard run on fourth down. After forcing a punt, the Warriors went on a 16-play, 70-yard drive to go up 14 at the half, with Justice Davis scoring from 5 yards out.
Biloxi opened the second half with an attempted onside kick, but D’Iberville recovered at the Biloxi 49. A pair of long penalties set up a 1st-and-29, converted when Dwight Williams hit Kole Davis on a 50-yard strike down the right sideline. Three plays later, Walley went in from the 15.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors tried to skim the ground, but the kick hit a Biloxi player with D’Iberville recovering the ball at the Biloxi 42. Dolan said the intention was to get the ball deep. “We weren’t trying to do anything tricky, but I was sure happy when we got the ball back.”
In the ensuing drive, Walley ran for two fourth-down conversions, the last going for 22 yards, putting D’Iberville up 27-0. French noted that drive changed the game and forced Biloxi (2-1) to go into hurry-up mode.
“We moved the ball well,” he said, “but we made a lot of mistakes.”
Behind Deljay Bailey throwing to Chad O’Neal, the Indians rapidly moved the ball deep into D’Iberville territory. However, D’Iberville’s Manny Duplessis sacked Bailey at the 21 with Gabe Bosarge picking the ball up and rambling 79 yards for the final Warriors score of the night.
In the fourth, Bailey again drove Biloxi into D’Iberville territory, but the drive stopped when Marquette Scott stepped in front of a Bailey pass at the D’Iberville 16 with 8:47 left to play. The Indians would not get the ball back.
Bailey finished 13-of-21 for 132 yards. O’Neal had nine catches for 84 yards.
Despite the loss, French noted it was early in the season. “Everything is still in front of us. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but there are a lot of region games left.”
Williams was 7-of-11 for 118 yards for D’Iberville. Colton Deshazo added a pair of catches for 29 yards.
— Veto Roley