By David Howell
It was an uphill battle last Friday night in Senatobia when the Water Valley Blue Devils were shut out by the Senatobia Warriors, 42 – 0.
The young Blue Devil team struggled in the first half, but played much better in the last half, holding the Warrior defense to a single touchdown.
Warrior senior running back V.J. Street, who accounted over 300 yards and five of the six Senatobia touchdowns, proved to be the biggest nemesis for the Water Valley team.
The mood for the first half of action was quickly set when the Warriors took possession of the opening kick on their own 45-yard-line. Two plays and 46 second into the game, Senatobia put six points on the board. The extra point kick was good and the Warriors were up by seven.
The Blue Devils first possession started from their 20-yard-line with a one-yard-run by Davidtron Logan. Two plays later, facing a third and seven situation, an incomplete pass from Leo Daniels to Trey Lowe brought the punting team in.
Following the punt the Warriors, started on the Blue Devils’ 36-yard-line quickly scored again, giving them a 13 point lead with 8:46 remaining in the first quarter.
The first quarter ended with the Warriors putting 28 points on the scoreboard.
A lone touchdown by the Warriors was the only score in the second quarter, with the Warriors finishing the half with five touchdowns and a 35 point lead.
Facing many of the Warrior defensive starters in the third quarter, the young Blue Devil team dug in.
“We fought hard in the third quarter,” Hammond said.
On the opening kickoff, the Blue Devils started their drive from their 25-yard-line, driving all the way to the Warriors’ 13-yard-line. The drive faltered after a fumble on a reverse play and the Warriors took possession for the first time in the second half with just over four minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Blue Devils defense buckled down and initially held the Warriors ‘explosive offense until Street went around the end, scoring on a 59-yard-run with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The final rally for the Blue Devils came with a strong push, driving 54-yards to the Warriors’ 25-yard-line before stalling in a fourth down possession play with an incomplete pass by Daniels.
The Warriors last possession came with 2:28 remaining in the game.
Water Valley’s Dewayne Samuel, a junior, recorded the most yards for the night with 68 yards.
The Blue Devils will travel to Webb in their first Class 2A challenge of the season against West Tallahatchie. This will be the first match in history between the two teams, who both share a 1-3 record on the season.
Although Hammond has not seen West Tallahatchie in action, his team will ready for their playing style. Each Sunday the Blue Devil coaches work from 1 – 9 p.m. reviewing films from the game two days earlier, and footage on their next opponent.
“They have a good fullback and a big offensive line,” Hammond said of West Tallahatchie.
“They do a lot of blitzing,” he added.
“Every play in each game we grade every position,” Hammond said about the weekend film review. “We work to correct mistakes in practice,” he added.
“We are still working to put a whole game together,” Hammond said about his young squad. The Blue Devils continue to operate without their three strongest seniors, Hosea Bradford, Antonio “Bull” Hoskins and Davidtron Logan. All three seniors sustained injuries early in the season.
Hammond hinted that Bull could see limited playtime Friday.