Aberdeen ends Water Valley’s season in heartbreaker

Published 10:32 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

Water Valley came into Friday’s game looking to advance to the 2nd round of the class 3A playoffs after finishing second in the division behind Kossuth. Standing in their way was the 3rd seed out of region 4-3A Aberdeen. Aberdeen (5-5) used a solid defense to defeat Water Valley 12-9.

Defense was the story of the game, with each team holding each other in check as a Water Valley fumble late in the fourth quarter was the difference in Aberdeen’s 12-9 win at Bobby Clark Field.

Water Valley couldn’t get going in the first half as Aberdeen contained quarterback CJ Telford and the rest of the Blue Devil offense. The Bulldog defense held the Blue Devils to 21 yards of offense in the first half and one turnover. The lone highlight for the Blue Devils in the first half was a 13-yard pass from Telford to Marion Morgan.

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“They did a good job. It was a battle, and we didn’t come out on top,” said Water Valley head coach Brad Embry. “Credit to them. Our guys played hard, but it was just one of those games where you hate to see one team lose. I am proud of the way our team played effort-wise, and now when one season ends, the next one starts.”

Aberdeen’s offense also struggled in the first half before Jermaine Strong broke off a 20-yard run, leading to a three-yard pass to Jenari Bell to take the 6-0 lead.

The Blue Devil offense would wake up in the second half after the defense forced two consecutive three and outs. Telford connected with Jaden Morgan on a screen pass that Morgan ran for 73 yards to the Bulldog 5 yard line.

Morgan ran in to score on the next play to make it 7-6 Blue Devil lead. The Bulldog defense tightened down again as they stopped a Water Valley drive on 4th and goal. The Blue Devils would take advantage as they forced the Bulldogs into a safety that made the score 9-6.

Aberdeen’s defense came up big late, forcing Telford to fumble and recover it for a 44-yard return to the Blue Devil five-yard-line. Aberdeen would punch it with another passing touchdown by Strong to make it 12-9. Water Valley would drive down the field but miss the 34-yard field goal to tie the game.

The Bulldogs held Water Valley to 159 yards in the second half, and one touchdown all night.