The Raiders rode the hot hand of Hecklinski, who completed 8 of 9 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, a 25-yarder to Nate Lyons and a 49-yarder to Marcus Allen. Walton’s big offensive line helped extend drives by converting six third-down plays.
Zak Rozsman and Hecklinski have been rotating at quarterback, but Rozsman took a hard hit in the first half and was unable to return.
“Unfortunately our senior got knocked out and Jeremy stepped in and finished the job,” Brunner said
Walton got on the board first. After stopping Archer on downs at the 25, the Raiders scored on the next play when Hecklinski connected with Nate Lyons on a 75-yard post pattern with 1:54 left in the first.
Walton scored against after Ashton Woods intercepted Caleb Peevy’s pass at the 36. The Raiders overcame three penalties, converted a couple of third-and-longs and scored when Hecklinski scored on a 20-yard quarterback keeper with 7:56 left in the half.
The Raiders upped the lead to 17-0 at halftime when Lucien Michelin kicked a 24-yard field just before the horn.
Archer had a chance to get back in the game on its first possession of the second half. The Tigers drove to the 20 and Chase Sellers ran it the 8 on second effort when he fumbled and Allen recovered for Walton. The Raiders then drove 85 yards and scored when Allen outjumped two defenders, made a move and scored on a 49-yard connection.
“We had a chance,” Archer coach Andy Dyer said. “When you get into the playoffs you can’t turn the ball over and when you do, you’d better find a way to flip the momentum back. We just weren’t able to do that.”
Walton added a 1-yard scoring run from Austin Williams and a 24-yard field goal from Michelin.
Archer (7-5) avoided the shutout thanks to a 38-yard pass from Peevy to Georgia Tech commit D.J. Moore midway in the fourth quarter. Peevy completed 10 of 19 for 133 yards and two interceptions