NEW ALBANY – Walnut junior running back Armani Linton was playing football in Louisiana last season. Walnut coach John Meeks is happy to have him back in Mississippi and playing for his team.
Linton took a toss 75 yards for a score on the first play of their game against the East Union Urchins. He would finish with a game-high 185 yards and three rushing touchdowns in a 35-8 win.
It was Walnut’s seventh win in a row and moved them to 2-0 in league play. Linton said he’s happy to be home.
“It’s a great feeling to be back with my brothers,” said Linton, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in all seven Walnut wins.
“Coach counts on us to make plays, and we when get the ball that’s what we do.”
Linton led a ground attack that totaled 348 yards. His 35-yard jaunt on their second drive gave them a 14-0 lead. He would add a 19-yard TD run in the third quarter for his ninth scoring run in the last three games. He has 483 yards in that span.
“It makes me sleep a little better at night,” said Meeks on having Linton back. “He just works so hard for us.”
Walnut fullback Kylan Crum got in the mix in the second quarter with a 21-yard score for 21-0 lead they would take to the half. Crum had 39 yards on 10 carries. He added a second score of 19 yards late in the third quarter.
The senior also nailed five extra points.
Walnut (7-1, 2-0) limited East Union leading rusher Blake Spruill to just 50 yards on 11 carries. The Urchins (6-1, 1-1) had four turnovers and managed just 194 total yards, 151 on the ground. Chase Hall got them on the board with 9-yard run with 48 seconds remaining.
Linton “is a great ball player and we hadn’t seen speed like that all year,” said East Union coach Scott Duley.
“They got two big plays on us early and set the tone. Their offensive line dominated us and they deserved to win tonight.”