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Water Valley defeated by North Panola in weather-shortened game

Water Valley’s region game against North Panola on Friday was a matchup of two undefeated teams in region play with a region 2-3A championship on the line.

North Panola defeated Water Valley 42-21 in a weather-shortened game.

In football, it is all about the luck of the bounce. Some nights you get a good bounce and others you do not. Water Valley (4-3, 3-1 2-3A) found out all about the luck of the bounce in the first half. The Cougars came out of the gate hot against the Blue Devils as they recovered the opening onside kick by the Blue Devils at midfield.

The Cougars would score a couple of plays later and force an interception on the first Blue Devil offensive possession. The Cougars would score a few plays later to take a quick 16-0 lead. The Blue Devils would answer back with a four-yard touchdown run by CJ Telford. The Cougars then scored on a 17-yard TD pass to make it 22-6.

The highlight of the game was the Blue Devils scoring a touchdown on the Philly Special from Marion Morgan to Telford to make the score 22-14 after a point attempt. The Cougars took advantage of Blue Devil mistakes to stretch the score to 42-14 as the Blue Devils would fumble a kickoff that was recovered by the Cougars at the Blue Devil 15-yard line.

The Blue Devil special teams allowed the ball to take bad bounces on kickoffs forcing the offense to start deep in their own territory. Telford would throw his second interception of the night as the Cougars defense suffocated the Blue Devils to add to the miscues on special teams. The Cougars would never look back. The Blue Devils would score the game’s final points on a Que Carothers 7-yard run to make the score 42-21 after the Point after attempt. Both teams went to the half and never returned to the playing field as heavy rain and lightning moved into the area forcing the game to end early. The game was ended after both coaches agreed to end it because of player safety.

 “We didn’t come out and play our best game, and North Panola is a good team. Credit to them, they played well, but it is what it is. We definitely showed some growing pains,” said Water Valley coach Brad Embry. “There is no sugar-coating; it was bad and we have played better, and we have to find out how mentally tough we are next week.”

Water Valley returns to action next week as they travel to Senatobia (6-2, 3-1 2-3A). With the loss against North Panola(5-1, 4-0 2-3A), next week’s game against Senatobia determines playoff seeding. If the Blue Devils win, they will be the two seed in the playoff or three seed with a loss.

With a Blue Devil win, they will stay at Bobby Clark field for the first round and play the three seed from Region 4-3A. With a loss, the Blue Devils will travel and play the runner-up of Region 4-3A.