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Blue Devils continue surge with shutout of Holly Springs

HOLLY SPRINGS — Water Valley shut out the Holly Springs Hawks in a 38-0 victory Friday. The Blue Devils had little trouble as their third consecutive victory put them at 5-5 on the season and in playoff contention with a 2-2 record in Region 2-3A play.

It was the first shutout by the Blue Devils this season, and head coach Brad Embry praised the composure of everyone involved.

“I am proud of everyone. Coaches, managers, players, band,” Embry said. “We got to play a good number of players, and there was constant hustle and execution. It was a group effort.”

Embry praised his coaching staff and players for their performance against Holly Springs.

“Coach (Jeff) Roberts did a great job coordinating the defense, and along with coach (Bryant) Mix, coach (Jeb) Lee and coach (Clint) Faust, we were able to execute and they did a great job,” Embry said. “The kids are fundamentally sound, and I hope we can continue to improve.”

The Blue Devils were able to secure a 28-0 lead before halftime, allowing younger players to earn experience at the varsity level. Sophomore tailback D’Onterrius Hervey is the perfect example of a younger player taking advantage of his opportunities. With only a handful of carries, Hervey proved to be the offensive spark in the second half.

After breaking off multiple first-down runs at the end of the game, Hervey secured another victory for the Blue Devils. It was a pivotal victory as the Blue Devils needed to gain momentum after a slow start to the season.

Embry said in a post gamespeech that it was an example of “Water Valley” football.

“It is exactly how we expect to come out and play,” he said. “We have improved week by week, and there is constant hustle from the players.”

There was not a breakout performance from any of the Blue Devil players but instead an excellent showing of teamwork and hustle.

“Our early-season schedule is a large part of our improvement,” Embry stated. “The teams we had to play made us get better.”

Holly Springs struggled to get anything going and had trouble stopping the swarming Blue Devil defense from getting into the backfield on every play. Regardless of the score, Holly Springs kept fighting and provided a positive environment for the players even after a tough loss.

Clamping down
The Hawks only produced 12 yards of second-half offense. The Blue Devils’ defense has been a staple of the team the entire season. Gaining tenacity with every win, a hungry Water Valley defense looks to finish out the season strong on the road in its regular-season finale this week.

Starting the season as a team with a losing record to a team on the brink of making the MHSAA Class 3A playoffs, the Blue Devils have won four of their last five games and look to continue that dominance when they travel to face M.S. Palmer (5-5, 2-2) this Friday.