Water Valley improves to 2-0 in 2-3A with rout of M.S. Palmer
By Walker Bailey
WATER VALLEY — Water Valley picked up where they left off after a dominant win at Holly Springs last week.
The Blue Devils rolled over M.S. Palmer with a 41-8 win at Bobby Clark Field on Friday as the defense shined, not allowing the Dragons (2-4, 1-1 Region 2-3A) to cross the 50-yard line until a long touchdown run late in the fourth quarter after the game had ultimately been decided.
“Our defense was lights out,” Water Valley head coach Brad Embry said. “They’ve been doing a great job and that has really been all year. They just continue to pursue the ball with a great effort and technique.”
Water Valley quarterback Blayne Clark was able to connect with wide receiver Bud Tolbert on short passes throughout the first two quarters and the duo capped off a dominant first half with a 16-yard score to give the Blue Devils (7-1, 2-0) a 41-0 lead at the break.
Tolbert finished with only 33 yards but came up with important catches to extend early Water Valley drives.
“Those guys have had a really good connection all year,” Embry said. “They had a really good summer in passing leagues and they have worked really hard at it. I think our passing game is a work in progress, while it has been effective I certainly think there is more potential there. It’s all about peaking at the right time for us though which is heading into the playoffs.”
Water Valley came firing out of the gates and carried a two-touchdown lead heading into the second quarter. Blue Devils running back Tay Rucker scored the two early touchdowns and established the ground game for the Blue Devils.
“Definitely momentum was big in this one,” Embry said. “They had a very athletic group and they were coming off of a big win last week, and we didn’t want them to get a lot of confidence. I think we did that, our kids did a good job.”
Offensively, the rushing attack was Water Valley’s biggest weapon. Rucker and Jacob Truss both rushed for two touchdowns on the night. The Blue Devils ran early and picked their opportunities in the passing game.
“We want to be physical up front,” Embry said. “We want to run the football and that’s how we do things to set up the pass, but it’s about being physical first.”
Coach Embry talked to his team about doing “championship things” after the game. While the lopsided wins have been impressive, Embry still thinks there is room for this team to grow.
“We just need to play the game no matter the score or the opponent,” Embry said. “We need to turn around and take care of therapy and practice and if you take care of those, those are doing the championship things.”
Water Valley travels to Coahoma AHS next Friday.