Water Valley’s struggles continue in loss at North Panola
NORTH PANOLA – The stands were filled with fans for North Panola’s homecoming game against the Water Valley Blue Devils. The field dampened from rainfall earlier in the day posed a serious problem, soaking the ball and resulting in a high frequency of fumbles, dropped passes, and muffed snaps.
North Panola proved too much as the Blue Devils dropped their seventh straight game in a 32-7 loss Friday night.
The first score didn’t come till the second quarter when Martavius Rockett broke off a big run to put the Blue Devils (1-8, 0-3 2-3A) up 7-0 midway through the second quarter. Water Valley seemed to have momentum at first but North Panola (8-1, 2-1) would respond immediately with a score of their own coming on a 24-yard pass from Kenneth Jefferson and taking the lead after a successful two point conversion.
The Blue Devils would go three and out the next drive, giving North Panola the ball with plenty of time and great field position. With a little over two minutes left in the half on the next North Panola possession, wideout Rasonne Bishop went untouched into the end zone for the second North Panola touchdown, giving the Cougars a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
It took the entire third quarter for North Panola and Water Valley to get readjusted to the muddy field. Both teams were fumbling snaps, leading to quick drives and little scoring.
Near the end of the quarter, North Panola would put together a drive that would leak into the fourth and ultimately for a touchdown, a 4-yard run from quarterback Kenneth Jefferson. With a 20-7 lead, North Panola would recover their kickoff to get the ball back with a little under 10 minutes left in the game.
After an incompletion, Jefferson would find a wide open Bishop for a 33-yard touchdown pass, giving North Panola a 26-7 lead with the game coming to a close. Water Valley would manage to move the ball on a few drives but none reaching the end zone. With 4 minutes to go, Jamal Leverson of North Panola would find the endzone to put the Cougars up 32-7 and putting the game out of reach.
However the troubles didn’t end there for Water Valley, a fumbled snap with six minutes left in the game gave a North Panola the ball deep in Blue Devil territory. North Panola would go for the end zone but a juggled ball was intercepted on the 4-yard line, giving the Blue Devils one last chance to score. They would drive down the field but would run out of time, the loss being Water Valley’s seventh in a row.
The Blue Devils played hard and gave up a few unfortunate plays in the end that let North Panola pull away.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” Water Valley head coach Brad Embry said of his team. “Against an athletic team like North Panola, you can’t give up and we didn’t. We are still moving guys around and trying to find their spots and tonight was an improvement. We still lost and that’s not good, but we have work to do. We are going to get better and we are going to give it our all against every team.”
Water Valley will stay inside the friendly confines of Blue Devil Stadium for their final two regular season games, beginning Friday when they host Holly Springs.
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