Walton 49, South Gwinnett 17

Senior running back KK Brooks led Walton with three touchdowns Friday and the Raiders rolled past the South Gwinnett Comets 49-17 at Richard Snell Community Stadium in Snellville.

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Brooks had seven carries for 36 yards and three receptions for 68 yards in the first half.

“We won the game and I feel like I helped contribute to that win,” Brooks said.

In the season opener for both teams, Raiders senior linebacker Joey Goodman boosted his team to an early lead with two blocked punt returns in the first quarter, including one for a touchdown.

“Last year we were losing these games,” Raiders coach Maurice Dixon said. “There are some things we’re doing really well. Offensively, we’re night and day from where we were.”

Dixon attributed the team’s improvement from the 2014 season to “being together” for an entire season and winter training.

“We got some good ballplayers,” Dixon said. “These are good kids. They feel like they've got something to prove.”

The Comets rallied to put points on the scoreboard in the third quarter when junior Malik Robinson recovered a blocked field goal and returned it for 64 yards. Robinson intercepted a pass with less than one minute remaining.

South Gwinnett struggled with penalties, including 11 penalties for 100 yards in the third quarter.

“We shot ourselves in the foot too many times,” Comets coach John Small said. “We have to correct our mistakes, go back to work and get better.”

The Raiders continued to capitalize off the mistakes when senior linebacker Taji Stewart intercepted a pass from Josh Shim and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Shim left the game after the interception, having completed 9-for-21 passing for 87 yards.

Raiders quarterback Shoup Addison was 10 of 15 for 187 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception in the first half.