Water Valley defeats Holly Springs for first 2-3A win; keeps playoff hopes alive

Published 10:54 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

Rumors of Water Valley’s season being over might have been greatly exaggerated. The Blue Devils ended a seven-game losing skid and got off the schneid in Region 2-3A as they defeated Holly Springs 14-6 at Blue Devil Stadium on Friday night.

Water Valley (2-8, 1-3 2-3A) used stout defensive play and an offense that found the end zone twice to finally knock the zero off the win column in region play. It did not look like it would go the Blue Devils’ way for an eighth straight week as Holly Springs (1-9, 0-4) took advantage of a Water Valley fumble with 16-yard scoop-and-score for a 6-0 lead after the missed extra point in the first first quarter.

That would be the only scoring Holly Springs would muster as the Blue Devil defense kept the Hawk offense out of the end zone all night.

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“Defense, I thought, played really well,” Water Valley head coach Brad Embry said. “Defensively, I was really pleased with our effort.”

Embry noted that Water Valley had ‘several’ chances to put points on the board deep in Holly Springs territory. Though, the Blue Devils only manged to score twice. The first came off a 43-yard pass from quarterback Ty Varner to receiver Jayvon Morgon, putting Water Valley on top 7-6 in the third quarter after the made extra point. The second score came from running back Taghee James used a long run to get to the Hawk two yard-line, then punching it in from there for the winning margin midway through the third quarter.

“Offensively, we’ve got to get better when we get inside the 20 (yard-line),” Embry said. “We’ve got to be able to score more points. We drove the ball a lot better (Friday night). Ran it well. Just couldn’t score. Several drives stalled down deep.”

The win keeps the Blue Devils’ playoff hopes alive thanks to M.S. Palmer’s loss to Charleston. Both teams are sitting at 1-3 in the region and will play each other next Friday as Water Valley will host the Dragons in the regular season finale for the four seed in 2-3A. If Water Valley escapes with a win they will put a positive end to a regular season that was not so positive.

“We got a chance,” Embry said. “I think we’ll have a good week of practice. The kids are showing up and working. But, a win and a shot of confidence will do us a lot of good. I know a little about Palmer. It’s going to be a challenge because they are athletic. But, another week of practice and another week of experience and game experience and hey, we’ll cut it loose here Friday night.”