Dunwoody senior Sam Mahle (right) defends against Walton’s Lee Butler (5) during the Wildcats’ Sweet 16 loss at Walton. Mahle scored two of the three Dunwoody goals. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Walton scored eight first quarter goals and the Dunwoody Wildcats never recovered in a 16-3 loss at Walton in the Class 6A/7A lacrosse state playoffs earlier this week.

Lee Butler was the main culprit for Walton in the opening period with four goals, including two in less than a minute’s time, to put the Raiders up 2-0 with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

Goals by Drew Criss and Maddox Kaufman finished off a 4-0 run in less than three minutes to make it 4-0 with 5:25 to play in the first period.

Following a Dunwoody timeout Butler would score two more quick goals to push the lead out to 6-0 with 2:32 to play in the first. Walton put two more scores on the board in the final 1:06, including Criss’ second with 11.4 seconds left to make it 8-0.

Trailing 9-0 with under nine minutes left in the second quarter, Dunwoody got on the board as Conner Reid put one in the net to cut the margin to 9-1 with 8:33 to play in the first half.

Rex Hellman and Kaufman would each score a goal to send Walton into the break leading 11-1.

An end of the half penalty on Dunwoody gave Walton an early scoring opportunity to start the second half and the Raiders capitalized on a goal by Tate Herron just eight seconds into the half.

Dunwoody senior Sam Mahle scored the first of his two goals with 9:42 left in the third quarter to make it 12-2 in favor of the Raiders.

Butler would pick up his fifth goal of the game with 5:40 to play in the third period to give Walton a 13-2 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

Walton scored again with 8:35 to play to make it 14-2 before Mahle answered with his second goal of the game for Dunwoody’s third and final score.

Walton (18-2) added two more goals in the final 4:38 to close out the 16-3 win.

Dunwoody finished the season 13-5 and with the program’s and DeKalb County’s first playoff victory in lacrosse 8-4 over Harrison in the first round. It was also the Wildcats’ third consecutive playoff appearance.