Searching Water Valley hits road again for Independence

Published 5:55 am Thursday, October 6, 2016

Even with the way the season has gone, Water Valley still has a chance to make the postseason. That is how it works with high school football in Mississippi. If you struggle through the non-region portion of your schedule much like the Blue Devils did, you can have a strong finish to the regular season and find yourself playing in November.

Water Valley went 1-5 the first half of the year with their lone win coming against an uninspired Coffeeville in the second week of the season. Last week, the Blue Devils began their Region 2-3A slate, opening up against perennial Class 3A powerhouse Charleston, and the result was much like the first six games of the season. A 51-6 loss at the hands of the Tigers has Water Valley (1-6) sitting at 0-1 in the region standings with a trip to Independence up next on Friday (7 p.m., 105.5 FM).

“We did have some guys make some individual improvements,” Water Valley coach Brad Embry said. “Some young kids that are starting to come around. Some sophomores played really well. It’s hard to tell unless you watch the film. We’re more worried about team victories. That’s what we need right now.”

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The Blue Devils are riding a five-game losing streak as they head to Independence (4-3, 1-0 2-3A), which beat Holly Springs 29-12 on the road to start their region schedule last week. Last year, Independence came to Bobby Clark Field and left with a 35-14 loss in their pocket.

Senior quarterback Trevonta Newson leads the Independence offense. In seven games, Newson has completed 31 of 61 passes for 457 yards and three touchdowns but has double that amount in the interception column with six. Zykeris Mosely has 126 carries for 724 yards and eight touchdowns. Four of the first seven games has seen Mosely have over 100 yards rushing.

“They’ve got some good seniors,” Embry said of the Wildcats. “They’re senior heavy, and that’s a positive as you go down the stretch. … It’s definitely a task.”

Fighting chance

The message when the players returned to practice on Monday was simple, the season is not lost yet. Water Valley has lost their opening game to Charleston in years past and has been able to finish second in the region and make the playoffs. History can repeat itself once again, but the young Blue Devils will have to grow up soon on the field to make that happen.

“We can still make the playoffs,” Embry said. “We’re 0-1 in in the region. That’s bad, but a positive is we’ve already played what historically has been the best team in the region. We have to find a few wins. Four more times, four more chances.”