ROCKINGHAM — Delon Wall has been named the Daily Journal’s Athlete of the Week for the week of Monday, Nov. 7.
Wall is a senior defensive lineman who picked up multiple tackles for loss, one sack and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown in the Raiders’ 27-23 loss to North Mecklenburg in the first round of the NCHSAA 4AA State Playoffs on Friday.
He played most of the year at the defensive tackle position but was moved to defensive end prior to last week’s game.
“He gave us a great chance to win on Friday,” head coach Bryan Till said. “We moved him around some and tried to put him at more advantageous spots, and he was able to have an impact.”
Wall’s stellar play in the team’s final game of the season was no surprise, however, as Till said he was one of the more consistent players on defense. If the coaching staff could help it, Wall would remain in the trenches for as long as possible because even when tired “he just made everybody better.”
After he recovered the blocked punt for the team’s first touchdown — in the third quarter — against North Meck, the senior didn’t see much rest over the next 10 minutes of play. The Vikings drove down the field and scored on their next possession and then the Raiders quickly answered with an 80-yard kick return for a touchdown.
“There were like three or four series straight that the defense had to be on the field, for I think 25 of 32 plays. And he was on every one of them,” Till said. “He never took a play off. That says a lot about him.”
Wall’s consistency on the field resulted in him finishing the year as the team’s leading tackler and also helped his teammates make plays in both the run game and the passing game. Till called his discipline and leadership abilities “incredible.”
”He was so steady in there that guys were going to have to double team him or he was going to get through gaps,” Till said. “At the same time, when other people were making plays, it was usually because somebody was having to deal with Delon somewhere.
“I don’t know if we can measure all of the stuff he did for us.”