Rutherford football returns top-notch kicking and special teams

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Rutherford football team is looking forward to another season of excellent special teams play with the help of all-county kicker, Jonathan Walker.

The Rams finished their 2020 campaign 4-5 on the year but did see some positive play at the tail end of the season with a playoff victory over North Bay Haven.

Head Coach Loren Tillman said there will be a lot of new faces on this team, but he expects that they have enough skill and potential to win ballgames.

“We’re young and we got a lot of new starters but we’re very very athletic and the guys are trying to prepare themselves for the competition we’re going to see,” Tillman said. “It is an unknown because we don’t really know, because we don’t really have a lot of returning starters in some key positions, but we feel like we got some really good athletes that are prepared to step up and do well, it’s just a matter of us just getting out there and doing that.”

While the team will be young and there are still some starting spots up for grabs, one thing about the Rams is an absolute certainty.

“Our biggest weapon is Johnny Walker, which is our kicker and punter, our all-county kicker and punter over the last two years,” Tillman said. “High academic kid a weapon on all the special teams which can flip the field.”

Heading into his senior season, the back-to-back all-county kicker said he is aiming for perfection.

“My goals, well are to have no missed kicks, have great punts all season, do whatever I can to help the team succeed, that’s really my goal,” Walker said.

The Rams participated in many seven on seven scrimmages with other Panhandle squads this summer, and senior defensive back, Chad Allgood, said the experience improved the team in black and gold tremendously.

“We have more like chemistry, like we’re put together more,” Allgood said. “Like before the seven on sevens we weren’t really communicating, now we’re talking everywhere, it’s way easier to move around the field and know what’s happening when you got communication.”

And with the 2020 season in the rearview, Walker said Rutherford has confidence that they can put together something special.

“This isn’t the Rams squad that you’ve seen before,” Walker said. “We’re going to build off of what we had in the past, and we’re coming back better than ever, so be ready.”

The Rams will open up the season with a big in-county match against the Mosley Dolphins. That game will be held at Tommy Oliver Stadium on August, 27.

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