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Water Valley gets one final tuneup at Winona

The second half against Calhoun City last week was one to forget.

Now Water Valley gets one more chance to put the finishing touches on themselves before entering the stretch of games that truly matter. The Blue Devils travel to Winona on Friday for their final non-region game of the season, and it will be another tough test against a 2016 playoff team (7 p.m., 105.5 FM).

It is the second Class 2A opponent in a row for Water Valley (3-2) but head coach Brad Embry feels it is almost a repeat performance against a team they’ve already played.

“I compare them to Calhoun City,” Embry said. “That’s what I told our kids. They’re that athletic it looks like on film.”

Last year Winona (3-2) came to Water Valley and left with a 54-19 victory.

Against Calhoun City last week, the Blue Devils were outscored 34-7 in the second half. It was a big blow to the Blue Devils’ confidence after taking a 21-14 lead — scoring 21 unanswered points — into halftime and seizing all the momentum.

Embry voiced his frustration after the game of how his team needed to learn to play a four-quarter game and not be satisfied with how they performed against the 2016 Class 2A state champions in the first half.

“In spurts we were probably a really good team, but that doesn’t win you very many ball games,” Embry said. “If you handle it the right way it can be a helpful thing. Give you a little confidence. We just know that we’re not where we want to be. We’re not into moral victories like that.”

Winona is led by senior quarterback JaTyler Moore. Moore has thrown for 657 yards and 11 touchdowns, completing 55 of 98 passes. He has not thrown an interception.

Against the Blue Devils last season, Moore threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Jaylen Campbell who has rushed for 299 yards on 36 carries and scored five touchdowns controls the ground game. Campbell has one 100 yard game this season. Senior J.T. Townsend and junior D.J. Ringo have combined for 308 yards on 45 carries and one touchdown behind Campbell.