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Water Valley shows signs of progress in season opener loss to Eupora

Water Valley had their chances, but the Eupora defense made the stops when they needed to. It resulted in a 13-7 loss for the Blue Devils in their season opener at Eupora High School on Friday night.

There were a lot of positives Water Valley (0-1) could take away from the game, according to head coach Brad Embry

“We put ourselves in a position to win by playing with good effort,” Embry said. “I told the kids after the game that I couldn’t be more proud of them. The only way I could have been more proud was if the score was flipped 13-7 the other way. But, we did a lot of things right.”

The first score of the game came off a 4th and 11 at the Blue Devil 30 when Eupora quarterback Tanner Knight hit Al Dumas for the 30-yard strike. The Eagles (1-0) expanded their lead in the second quarter when when running back Edwin Heard scored from three yards out to make it a 13-0 lead after a failed extra point attempt.

One thing Embry enjoyed seeing was his defense gradually getting better as the game progressed. They Blue Devils did not allow another point to be scored by the Eupora offense after the Heard touchdown in the second quarter.

The defense also provided Water Valley’s offense, which struggled at times during the game, plenty of opportunities late in the game. They forced a Eupora fumble at their 36-yard line with eight minutes left in the game, but The Blue Devils were unable to capitalize.

“They had some really good stands down deep in the red zone a couple times and gave us a chance,” Embry said of his defense. “We moved the ball at times. We had a few penalties that hurt us. A couple turnovers that hurt us. That’s first game stuff. We just have to get that fixed, but I feel confident we will.”

The lone Blue Devil touchdown game when senior quarterback Ty Varner hit Martavius Rockette for a 21-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Both Varner and Blayne Clark saw action at quarterback, something Embry hinted at before Friday’s game.

“That’s something we got to evaluate through the year,” Embry said. “Both of them have a role but we’ve got to see what fits us best in each game. One play more in one game and one play more in the next. We’ll see in how they progress through the year.”

The Blue Devils host Coffeeville in the Railroad Rivalry for their home opener this Friday.