Carpenter said Walton will be a pivotal part of Capital's attempt to reverse last year's result and begin a critical stretch of the team's schedule. The Cougars travel to Huntington (4-0) and Cabell Midland (3-1) in consecutive weeks after Friday night's game at SC.
"The key for us is the defensive line. We weren't very good there last year in that game," said the fourth-year coach, who is 1-2 against the Black Eagles.
"Right now we've got the potential to be good there. It's going to take all those guys there trusting what they've been coached to do.
"It's one thing to have the potential to be a great player and a great defense, but reality's something different. That's the key to us: do your assignment and stay in your gap."
The emergence of Grier as a running threat complicates matters for Capital, who must worry about his ball-carrying abilities along with those of Cunningham, not to mention the numerous receivers Grier has at his disposal.
"We just need to play our positions and follow our coaches, and they'll get us to where we need to be," Walton said.
"There's been a lot of extra emphasis put on that this week. Against some teams you can, like they say, go rogue and just kind of do your own thing. If you do that against a team like South Charleston you're going to get beat."
Capital enters the game ranked second in the latest Daily Mail Class AAA poll, with South Charleston at No. 8. The Cougars are third in the latest SSAC playoff ratings, while the Black Eagles are at No. 11.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.