Water Valley taking potent offense on the road

Published 10:12 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

Water Valley has cruised through their first two games, but as with any good coach, Blue Devil head coach Brad Embry knows the best is still to come for his team.

The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 65-14 with a potent offense that is clicking on all cylinders, but Embry sees untapped potential.

Staying on the road for week three, Water Valley (2-0) has the chance to stay perfect with a trip to J.Z. George on Friday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard locally on 105.5 FM.

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“I’m not complaining with where we’re at, I just think we can be better,” Embry said. “I think we have some potential that we have not reached yet.”

The catalyst for the offensive has been the Blue Devils run game. The duo of Tay Rucker and Jacob Truss at running back has been a dominant force early. The pair has combined for 356 of the Blue Devils’ 446 rushing yards and six of the nine touchdowns on the ground. Rucker paces the team with 239 yards and five scores while Truss has racked up 117 yards and one touchdown.

“We’re real physical,” Embry said. “We’re going to be playing some people who are also physical at the defensive line and technicians win out. We’re working on that and the kids take a lot of pride. I think we’re in a good spot. We just need to not be complacent and keep working hard.”

Defensively, the Blue Devils are on pace to hold opponents to seven points per game, which is 12 points better than their average last season (19.6 ppg). Eupora scored eight points in the season opener and Coffeeville could only muster six points late in the Railroad Rivalry game. Water Valley held opponents to single digits four times last year and have already reached half of that total in the first two weeks of the season.

“I’m pleased with our defense. We need to develop some depth in some spots,” Embry said. “Good thing this we’ve been able to play a lot of people the first couple of weeks, especially this past week. That helps.”

This week’s opponent has yet to win a game, but the Jaguars have come lose to having a perfect record entering this week. A 19-4 loss to Okalona in week one and a 26-18 loss to Noxapater last week have J.Z. George (0-2) searching for their first win. They’d love to hand Water Valley their first loss in the process.

Senior Malik Christian leads the Jaguar offense as the starting quarterback and the leading rusher. Sophomore Jacob Johnson and senior Devontae Smith have also gotten carries.

“I think (George) has improved from last year,” Embry said. “They’re getting better. They’re athletic and we’ve got to go to their place. …One thing that’s hurt them is their quarterback got hurt and they’ve had a few turnovers that kept them from being undefeated. If they fix their turnover they’re a much different team. So, we have to make sure they don’t fix that this week.”