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Water Valley begins region play against Holly Springs

Water Valley has faced a setback heading into region play.

After starting the season off 3-1, the past two weeks have seen the Blue Devils’ momentum get slowed. Losses to Calhoun City and Winona by a combined score of 83-47 have them reeling.

With Region 2-3A play beginning this week, some much-needed medicine could be coming Water Valley’s way.

The Blue Devils (3-3) host Holly Springs on Friday (7 p.m., 105.5 FM) in a series that has not been around very long and has also been very one-sided.

Since the Hawks (2-4) entered Region 2 in 2013, Water Valley is a perfect 4-0 against them and outscored Holly Springs 169-39. The closest game was last season’s 14-6 win by the Blue Devils in Holly Springs.

“Looking at film we had a lot of busts (against Winona) on both sides of the ball,” Embry said. “Maybe, if you added them up, more than the week before. I think we were playing two good opponents both weeks. I don’t know that I’d say a step back. I don’t know that we got a lot better from Calhoun City to Winona.”

Not much has gone right for Holly Springs, who’s last win this season was a 15-6 victory over Ashland on Sept. 1. Since then the Hawks have dropped three straight games to J.Z. George, Tishomingo County and Strayhorn.

Freshman Dylan King leads the Holly Springs offense with 282 yards through air on 28 of 79 completed passes. King has thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions through the first six games. Sophomore Joshua Kimble is the Hawks’ key threat, rushing for 717 yards and four touchdowns on 83 carries. He is averaging 8.6 yards a carry.

“Defensively they play well,” Embry said of Holly Springs. “A lot of effort. Offensively, they haven’t scored a lot of points as they would like but they have a young quarterback who will improve every week. They’ve got a couple running backs who run hard. We just need to make sure we come in and play better than we did last week.”

Friday could be a struggle for the Blue Devil offense. While Holly Springs is not lighting up the scoreboard they are also keeping their opponents from reaching the end zone as well. The defense is holding teams to 10.6 points per game. The most points allowed by the Hawks has been 21 points when they were shutout by Byhalia in their season opener on Aug. 18.