Water Valley topples J.Z. George, remains undefeated
By Cody Thomason
NORTH CARROLLTON – Water Valley continued their blazing hot start on Friday night, dismantling the J.Z. George Jaguars by a score of 41-6 in a game that was almost lopsided from the very start.
“I thought we practiced well all week and handled a little bit of success well,” Water Valley coach Brad Embry said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a young team or a veteran team like we are, you still have to handle success, and we did that well. Young people, sometimes that’s hard but I’m really proud of us, and we came out and played well again.”
The Blue Devils (3-0) are on a roll, starting off their season off with a 34-8 victory over Eupora and destroying Coffeeville by a score of 49-6 in week two. Their stellar play continued early on against the Jaguars (0-3).
The first quarter ended with a 27-0 lead, after Tay Rucker and Javarius Benson rushed for scores and Blayne Clark and Jacob Truss each threw for a touchdown, including a picture perfect 17-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Bud Tolbert on a fade route.
“We played fast from the start,” Embry continued. “They’re not a bad team, but the momentum kind of rolled on them in the beginning and they weren’t able to recover. So I was really proud of how we were able to come out hot, and played well early, played physical, and I thought we executed pretty well.”
The Blue Devils defense seemed to slam the door shut on the Jaguars any time they started to get moving. In the second quarter, Jaguars quarterback Malik Christian completed a pass for what would have been a first down, but the ball was stripped and Water Valley’s Cedric White fell on the ball to force the turnover.
“They played like they have all year, fast and physical. That’s a good group,” Embry said of his defense. “We got a lot of guys on the field, we’ll get some film on them and see what they did right and wrong and maybe we can add some depth with some of those guys, maybe they can earn some playing time.”
The offense came out swinging on the ensuing possession, and Bud Tolbert stepped up again, catching a 53-yard bomb from Clark for another touchdown.
Clark finished 5 of 7 passing for 110 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
“We worked hard this summer, developing the passing game, and it didn’t show maybe in the first game, but we’ve thrown it at a highly successful rate here lately so I’m fine with where we are there, Embry said. “I think we have some weapons there, and I think our quarterbacks are doing a good job.”
In the second half, Rucker continued his impressive day and helped the Blue Devils run out the clock. He finished with 124 yards and a touchdown.
With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, J.Z. George finally got on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run by Christian, but the game was far out of reach by that point.
Next week, Water Valley will face Bruce and try to keep their hot streak going.
“Going 4-0 is on the table, we’ll see what happens and if we’re able to earn that,” Embry said.