DEFUNIAK SPRING, Fla. (WMBB) – The Walton football team is coming off a nine-win, first-round playoff bye 2021 season, and returning all but five players.

The Braves are entering their second season under Head Coach Keith White. He said his unit that allowed just over 10 points per game in 2021 should be even better this year.

“It’s going to always be our defense,” White said. “And we don’t give up a lot of points and we play very tough and we have a very good defensive front with great linebackers, some very good people in our secondary that have come out and stepped up.”

Walton faced adversity early this fall, as rising senior starting quarterback, Keyaunte Miller, transferred to a school in Kansas just weeks before the first practice.

“Our old quarterback was my best friend, well he still is my friend,” Walton junior linebacker Daniel Boatwright said. “And we were both captains, I’m the captain of the defense, he’s the captain of the offense, we were real close, we were really tight, but even though we have a new quarterback I feel like we’re still going to really good, I have faith in him and I belive in the process.”

The Braves had plans to run a dual quarterback system with returning senior Paul Dillon, who Coach Keith is confident can take every snap.

“Paul played for us all year last year, so he’s been there and done that,” White said. “He went through the whole summer with us, he’s been doing all the 7 on 7’s, he’s fine, he’s going to be really good, it’s just, we had two, and now we have one.”

Walton rushed the ball for over 3,400 yards last season and Coach White said they aren’t changing their game plan.

“We’re going to run the football, and then run play action and try to hit some big plays but we’re coming off a great year from last year and we’re expecting good things,” White said.

Walton will open their regular season on the road, visiting Marianna on Friday, August 26.