MOUNT PLEASANT -- Wando head coach Jimmy Noonan spent most of the preseason working on the Warriors' passing game.
But two games into the season, Noonan realized that the Warriors might have a pretty good option quarterback in Josh Walker.
Walker rushed for 179 yards and a touchdown and threw for another score to lead Wando past Beaufort High, 40-21, before a standing-room-only homecoming crowd at Wando Stadium.
"We knew that to beat the teams in our region we'd have to be able to throw the ball," Noonan said. "We spent a good bit of the preseason working on that, but Josh is very good at running the option. He made some great reads tonight and he was able to pick up some big yards for us."
Never miss a local story.
The night didn't start out very well for Walker or the Warriors. On the sixth play from scrimmage, Walker's pitch was behind running back Cameron Rouse. Beaufort High linebacker Maliek Maldonado scooped up the loose ball and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.
The Warriors didn't panic and put together an eight-play, 62-yard drive with Rouse scoring from 11 yards out. Walker added the two-point conversion to put the Warriors up 8-7 with 5:56 left in the opening quarter.
"Last year we might not have come back and scored," Walker said. "This is a different team. We believe in each other."
The Warriors took control of the game in the second quarter when Walker burst over the left side for a 37-yard touchdown and Casey Clawson kicked a 40-yard field goal, the first of two on the night to give the Warriors a 24-14 lead at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Walker found SaDavia Johnson all alone along the right sideline for a 20-yard TD pass to give the Warriors a 31-14 with 11:11 left in the final quarter.
Clawson added a 24 yard field goal with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter to give Wando a 34-14 advantage.
But the Eagles answered when quarterback Luke Smith capped a 73-yard drive with an 11-yard TD run with 6:43 left in the game.
The Eagles attempted an onside kick, but an alert Taylor Kimball picked up the ball and returned it 40 yards for a TD to put the game away.
"October is an important month," Noonan said. "As the weather gets colder, the games get more important. We've got some tough teams ahead of us on the schedule. This was a good all-around win for us."
Wando 40, Beaufort High 21
B--Maliek Maldonado 31 fumble return (Mitchell Stewart kick)
W--Cameron Rouse 11 run (Josh Walker run)
B--D'Vonta Cohen 2 run (Stewart kick)
W--SaDavia Johnson 5 run (Casey Clawson kick)
W--Josh Walker 37 run (pass failed)
W--Casey Clawson 40 FG
W--Johnson 20 pass from Walker (Clawson kick)
W--Clawson 24 FG
B--Luke Smith 11 run (Stewart kick)
W--Taylor Kimball 40 kickoff return (kick failed)