Lee picked off Walker’s final attempt of the game, sealing Alexandria’s dramatic 28-27 win over Oneonta at Lou Scales Stadium Friday night.
Just seconds before the game-winning interception, quarterback Justin Bowen hit Justice Owens in the corner of the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown, giving Alexandria a 1-point cushion with 34 seconds remaining after Gabe Marchal’s extra point.
“The win was huge. Especially the way we won it,” Alexandria coach Frank Tucker said. “It was a typical Alexandria/Oneonta game. You look back at the past four or five games, everyone of them has been like 1 point, and this one was no different.”
The Valley Cubs’ offense looked like a well-oiled machine in the first half, scoring on three of its first four possessions. Lee did the majority of the damage on the ground, scoring touchdowns of 21, 44 and 3 yards.
The junior was the definition of a workhorse back, carrying the ball 31 times for 158 yards.
“He really came back,” Tucker said of Lee. “He kind of had an off game, and he showed a lot of character by coming back and playing hard tonight.”
Lee’s third touchdown put the Valley Cubs up 21-7, but Walker wouldn’t be denied, leading a furious comeback that started with a little bit of trickery.
On fourth-and-11 from their own 37-yard line, the center snapped the ball to Walker, rather than the punter, and he found Alvin Scott for a 22-yard gain. Two plays later, Walker faked a handoff and scampered 41 yards for a touchdown.
“It was huge,” Tucker said of the fake punt. “If we hold them there, we may have the game locked away, but that was a great call by their coach and great execution.”
Walker later added two touchdowns through the air, hitting Scott with a perfect over-the-shoulder catch from 25 yards out knot the score at 21. The Redskins went ahead when he found Jalen Johnson on a 5-yard slant in the end zone, but Tyler Short missed the extra point, which proved costly.
Walker finished the game 17 of 32 for 195 and three touchdowns. He also racked up 81 yards on the ground on eight carries.
“We didn’t,” Tucker said when asked how tough it was to stop Walker. “We tried to contain him, but we definitely didn’t stop him.”
Oneonta had an opportunity to put the game out of reach after Johnson intercepted a Bowen pass, setting the Redskins up at Alexandria’s 25-yard line. On fourth-and-goal from the 7, Oneonta opted to try a 24-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide, setting up the Valley Cubs game-winning drive.
After struggling to move the ball in the second half, Lee picked up 26 yards on three carries to start the drive. Owens and Bowen picked up 14 more yards on the ground before hooking up for the go-ahead score.